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Rare blood group discovered in Mangaluru: First of its kind in India

Blood group in vial. Copyright: <a href=''>olegdudko / 123RF Stock Photo</a>This article was originally published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.

By Nimeshika Jayachandran

Doctors at Kasturba Medical College and Hospital in Mangaluru recently discovered a rare blood group, the first of its kind noted in India.

The patient’s blood samples had been sent to the blood bank at the hospital for further workup and testing before a transfusion could be undertaken, when staff members at the blood bank noticed that this particular sample did not cross match with any known types even after comparing with over 80 units.

“Extensive immunohematology workup was performed by the blood bank team and for further confirmation, samples were referred to the International Blood Group Reference Laboratory (IBGRL), Bristol, UK for serological testing. With the help of IBGRL, it was confirmed that the patient’s cells had the rare ‘pp’ phenotype,” stated an official press release issued by the hospital.

“Doctors…in Mangaluru recently discovered a rare blood group, the first of its kind noted in India”

Blood typing is done to figure out a person’s blood group.

“Antigens in our blood help us determine what ‘blood type’ a person is. Blood is classified as per the ABO system and the Rhesus or Rh system,” explains Dr R Swatika, a general physician from Bengaluru, “If someone’s blood is found to have either A or B antigens, we classify them as having either blood group of A or B, if they have both the antigens, we say it is AB type. The absence of either antigens is O type.”

She further explained that the Rhesus system is based on whether someone has the RhD antigen, “Those with the antigen are a ‘positive’ blood type and those without are ‘negative’ type.”

In this particular patient, the identified blood group was a rare ‘P null’ type.

Dr Shamee Shastry, Professor and Head of the Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion at KMC, said, “The patient had a very rare ‘P null’ blood group and anti PP1Pk antibody in his blood.”

She added that establishing a rare blood type donor registry would be extremely helpful in such cases.

This is the first time that a person with this blood type has been identified in India.

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