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Blood Type Errors on Veterans

Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
edited 11:00PM in Off Topic
I donated my second unit of blood today for my pending knee surgery. The lady asked me if I knew my blood type and I just said "A, according to my military records. I think A-Positive."

She said, "Well, you have A-Negative. It's the second rarest form and only about 5% of the population have it."

I didn't know that.

She went on to say that they find a lot of blood type errors among active and former military personnel. She said most go through life thinking their blood type is what they were told in the military.

I came home and dug out my DD-214's for for both the Army and the Navy to see what they said. The Army DD-214 only said "Type A blood group." The Navy DD-214 made no mention of my blood type at all.

I would think that knowing your correct blood type would be handy knowledge to have, especially in an emergency, and even more important when you are in an area where there are no labs nearby that could confirm your blood type.

Just passing the information on...

Spring "A-Negative But I'm Trying To Be Positive" Chicken
Spring Texas USA


  • dang, leroy, how much bleeding you planning on doing there!!. shouldn't need any transfusions for a knee replacement ...not a bad idea to have a pint on hand for an emergency, but if you think you might need more than that, i'd be checking on a different surgeon!! :whistle: :ermm: :unsure: :blink:

    as far as the military not having your blood type correct...thats another story all together. ..

    and thirdly, with a rare blood type like yours, when this is all over, get your big butt down to the red cross on a regular basis and donate some of that good stuff to them so they can share it with folks that really need it!!!
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    The bad part is that every servicemember's blood type is on their dogtags, and that is the only information medics and corpsmen have to go on in a battlefield emergency situation.

    I wonder how many people were killed or harmed in some way due to an infusion of incorrect blood type.
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    Ha... I don't plan on bleeding a lot but if I should hear an "Ooops!" I want to be ready. So does the doctor.

    As for donating blood in the future I plan to do just that. For years I've been under the impression that I was disqualified from donating blood because of my accumulative ailments and related medicines, not to mention the considerable amount of rum I have absorbed over the years.

    But the lady at the Blood Center said I could donate blood and because of my blood type (A-Neg) she encouraged to me to do so as often as possible. I plan to after all this is over.

    Spring "Leaking Red" Chicken
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    That was my thought exactly.

    I can't find my dogtags but I'm almost certain they only said 'Blood Type A' and mentioned nothing about the 'minus.' The lady at the Blood Center said if I received the wrong blood type the results would not be good.

    Remember the movies where a doner was put on a gurney next to a patient and they just stuck a hose between them to transfer blood from 'doner' to 'donee?' It was good for the movies but probably wouldn't work well in real life.

    Spring "Been Both A Doner And A Donee" Chicken
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    My tags say "A POS"

    If i recall positive rh factors can receive positive or negative, but negative can only receive negative.
  • good for you leroy. . .every time you donate a pint you help save up to three lives!! . ..just think about all those people out there that will be running around with some "chicken red" in them!! .. .i can tell you, its the best feeling in the world knowing there are well over a hundred folks running around (well, hopefully running!!), with some 'mad max red' coursing through thier veins!! . .greatest gift you can give!
  • SantanaSantana Posts: 58
    My Army dogtags, circa. 1966. No rh factor.

  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    My Navy tags from that same period just says 'A'. I couldn't find my Army tags.

    Me thinks we would be in a heap 'a trouble if we would'a needed a 'transconfusion'.

    Spring "Blood Brothers Maybe But Different Types Definitely" Chicken
  • SantanaSantana Posts: 58
    I'm O+. I think I'd rather be AB+.


    In looking at the chart, it seems to me that you would only need to know the rh factor if you were a "negative". Ex: I am O+, therefore, I can take O+ or O-, so they didn't need to know my factor. A+ can take any A or O blood type, but A- can only take O- and A-.
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    And that's why I'm upset that the Army or Navy did not identify me as an A-Neg. Good thing I didn't get shot or blown up. But wonder just how many GI's died from the wrong blood rather than the wound? We will probably never know.

    Spring "Close Enough For Government Work Extends To The Military" Chicken
  • hey leroy. ...i doubt that many, if any, troops actually died of wrong blood have to remember that they treated the wounded on the battlefield, and even in MASH units, with Plasma, not whole, i'm no expert here, but i'm pretty sure that plasma can be given to anyone, of any type, without cross matching first...once stablized, they could then go through the cross matching process to then start giving whole blood transfusions as necessary...if you go back, even as far as WWII, one of the truly amazing statistics is that a wounded soldier that reached, even a forward aid station, had something like a 95% chance of surviving their wounds ....pretty damn impressive given some of the locations where guys were getting wounded in WWII (think the jungles of the pacific, muddy mountains of italy, hurtgen forest/the bulge, burma, etc)...and that percentage of 'saves' only got higher in korea, vietnam and beyond i think, even though they didn't put that little "-" or "+" sign on your dog tag, they were narrowing it down enough to get them where they wanted to be in case you got wounded in action . ...
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