Blood Transfusion Question

What if someone received a transfusion of incompatible blood? (i.e., type O receiving type B) What would happen?

From here

Found another link that indicates the “clumping” has to do with antibodies

To be a bit more explicit, those blood clots formed by a transfusion reaction with incompatable blood will form in places like the brain, kidneys, lungs, liver, etc. causing tremendous pain and dysfunction before death.


Now I’m glad I’m AB+ and don’t really have to worry about any of it, in case I ever need a transfusion :slight_smile:

Remember when you were a kid and you had to sign those little emergency forms when you went on a field trip in case you got in some kinda icky school bus crash or something?

My (nurse) aunt tells me that these days hospitals won’t even take your word for it re: your blood type. Unless you are absolutely pounding at death’s door (in which case they would immediately give you O- blood), they’re gonna test your blood to confirm your blood type before they give you a transfusion.


When a type O person receives type A, B, or AB blood, he/she will experience a ***hemolytic ***transfusion reaction. As mentioned, people who are blood type O have naturally occurring antibodies to type A (and type B) red blood cells. These antibodies will lyse (break apart) the transfused incompatible red blood cells by signaling a group of substances called complement to disrupt the red cells’ membranes.

When large numbers of red blood cells lyse in the circulation (such as occurs in a hemolytic transfusion reaction), and when the complement system is activated, a syndrome ensues characterized by kidney failure, lung failure, agonizing pain, and even death. To a large extent, this syndrome occurs because complement activation activates, in turn, the coagulation system and the inflammatory system. The result is systemic (widespread) clotting and inflammation. Not good.