Genetics and Antigens
Antigens play a significant role in blood donation, particularly with the compatibility and matching of blood types between donors and patients. Compatibility between the donor's blood and the patient’s blood is crucial to avoid adverse reactions when the transfused blood interacts with the patient’s immune system. Mismatched blood transfusions can trigger a severe immune response that can be harmful or even fatal.
There are more than 600 known antigens besides A and B. Certain blood types are unique to specific racial and ethnic groups. The only way to find specially matched blood for these patients is to increase the diversity of the donor population.