Bloody Mess

false info

Dear Holy Mother of All That is Science, NO.

This is just plain false.

Blood typing 101 follows.

There are two antigenic substances (there are more, but these two are the most important) that determine how your blood is classified when it comes to donations.

The letters A, O, and B are the three that make up the first group. You’re either O, or you’re A, or B, or a rare combo: AB.  I am A.  My husband is O.

The second group is the RhD factor. It’s either present or it’s not.  I am negative, meaning I don’t have it.  My husband is positive, meaning he does have it.

It’s complicated (much too much for a short blog post) but in general, if you’re A or B or AB, you don’t have a problem with O blood reacting with your blood.  So, you can give O blood to anyone, as Nicole claims?

NO.

The so-called “universal donor” is O-negative blood.

That’s because, in theory and in general, the O doesn’t react to the A or B, and the RhD factor is missing so that doesn’t matter either and won’t cause a reaction.

In practice, this is iffy.

In my entire working life (and I worked ICU and Recovery Room for most of those years, so I saw a whole lot of trauma and started a whole lot of blood transfusions), I only had one instance where we simply grabbed a bag of “universal donor” blood and gave it.

The particular case was not my patient. It was a patient in the OR one night and I was in the recovery room with no patients and thus free to play gofer. Someone came out of the OR and told me to go to the blood bank and come back with some blood and to do it fast. I asked for a blood sample for typing and cross-matching.  They said there was no time for that—that the patient was going to die if they didn’t get blood pronto.

So I ran to the blood bank (and I mean ran). The person at the front desk refused to give me any blood at first until I yelled a bit and finally she produced a couple of bags of O-negative blood and a form that I had to sign stating that we knew it hadn’t been typed and cross-matched and that we would all be sent straight to hell if it didn’t work.  I signed and ran.

I cannot remember now if the patient lived or died, but I was told later that I was the only person in anyone’s memory who had ever managed to extract blood from the blood bank without proper typing and cross-matching.  Even the surgeon was impressed.

Because that’s what they do. They run a test on donated blood, first to type it.  Then they put it in very special refrigerator that holds nothing but blood and it stays there for a certain number of hours and then it is tossed.

When somebody needs blood, a sample of the patient’s blood is submitted and the lab does some testing to see if the donated blood will be compatible.  (That’s cross-matching part.)

And then the blood is given to the patient, with close, close monitoring to make sure that no reaction occurs.  It’s serious business, because blood reactions can be fatal.

But of course, this is coming from the Unschooling Queen, who insists that she knows everything about blood.

blood type

 

This is so wrong that I do not have the words to express my dismay.

It’s not an issue so long as I don’t have an accident or injury that would cause the blood to cross, as I did when I was pregnant with A.

Uh, no.

No.

I am also RhD negative, and my husband is RhD positive.  Because of this, my obstetrician made sure that Nathan was typed immediately at birth, so they could determine if I needed a shot of Rhogam.

I remember the bad old days before Rhogam was invented. There was basically nothing they could do to prevent Rh-incompatibility problems in a newborns, except complete transfusions.  I’ve assisted with a couple of those, and it’s not pretty or fun.  Drain all the baby’s blood and replace it with compatible blood.  Try it and see how fun it is. And do it quickly.

Rhogam basically “fools” the immune system into thinking that blood types are the same. (More complicated than that of course, but that’s the quick explanation.)  It’s just one shot given at delivery.

The problem is this, though:  RhD incompatibility is not usually a problem with a first pregnancy because blood typically doesn’t cross the barrier (maternal and fetal blood don’t typically mix).  But at delivery, it’s very possible for some mixing to take place—and contrary to Nicole’s ridiculous claims, you may or may not know this without doing an antibody titer. She has absolutely no idea if she is sensitized.  My bet is yes, she is.  I can hardly see how she wouldn’t be after so many pregnancies.

Along comes the second Rh-positive baby, and the woman’s immune system says, “OMG, a foreign invader.  Kill it,” and you’re in trouble.

So Rhogam is standard for any Rh-negative woman who carries an Rh-positive baby.

In my case, Nathan was Rh-negative, so there was no problem.

That means that he got a negative gene from me (the only type I could give him) and a negative gene from his dad (who is positive but quite obviously carries a negative gene).

According to Nicole’s own link in the above little piece,  the handy little calculator says this.

odds

And this shows the foolishness of these online calculators. This one is incorrect.  (Thanks to somebody for pointing this out.)  The odds are 50/50 that a child with those parents would be Rh positive.

And once sensitized (once the crossing of blood has occurred and the maternal immune system has created antibodies against the RhD factor), there’s no going back.

risk
click image to link

“HDFN” is hemolytic (meaning blood) disease of the fetus and newborn.  It’s bad, bad news.

So Nicole and Joe play Russian roulette every time she gets pregnant.  They crow that everything is fine and that they just “know” how to do all this, but they are gambling.

Either that, or Nicole is really not Rh-negative at all.  I don’t know who typed her blood (if she used that over-the-counter do-it-yourself thing, OMG), or what “midwife” “checked [her] out.”  I don’t know where she got the very erroneous idea that you start all over again with each pregnancy, or that the blood-crossing event is something you would necessarily know about, but both are completely false.

So much for her “unschool science lesson.”

*Note: they have all the blood they need in Orlando, O or otherwise, at least for now.
And another update, thanks to a sharp-eyed commenter.

My mother was AB+

No. That’s impossible, if Nicole is O.  A and B are dominant over O.  Her mother, if AB, has only got one A gene and one B gene.  She has no O gene.  She can’t pass an O gene to Nicole.

The only way for a person to be type O is to have two O genes, one from each parent.  It’s impossible otherwise.

So, for Nicole to be O, her mother’s blood type reported incorrectly, or her mother was not her biological mother. Or a much simpler explanation is that Nicole has no idea what her blood type actually is.

21 thoughts on “Bloody Mess”

  1. Oh my holy flippin’ diety

    Yeah, sure, and exposing an open wound to oxygen eliminates tetanus 😶🙄

  2. exposing an open wound to oxygen eliminates tetanus

    I forgot about that one.

  3. If Nicole’s mother had AB+ blood, how can Nicole have O? Nicole’s mom could only pass on A or B. Even if Nicole’s dad was O,Nicole would still have been either A or B .

  4. If Nicole’s mother had AB+ blood, how can Nicole have O? Nicole’s mom could only pass on A or B. Even if Nicole’s dad was O,Nicole would still have been either A or B

    You are correct. It would be impossible. I am A (not sure if I’m AA or AO). Dave is O (could only be OO). Nathan was AO, and hence expressed as A. Thank you for noticing this. I was so horrified and taken up with “Rh is no problem unless there is an injury” that I didn’t even notice it. I will update the piece.

  5. I am A+ and my ex was O+ my daughter is O-.

    Not knowing anything about blood types when she was born as I was young 22 and did not have medical training back then I flipped out when I saw the negative. I was thinking that I got the wrong baby. LOL

    Come to find out my father is O- so it got passed on to her. My mother is A+.

  6. Since I’m AB-, I’m a universal donor — for plasma. And, since I’ve never been exposed to Rh+ blood, it could, theorietically, be given even to Rh+ positive patients, since I shouldn’t have any antibodies against it.

    Part of the reason I am Rh- is rather sad. My dad is the youngest of his sibilings by sevreal years. His mother had multiple stillbrith, most likely because of Rh incompatability. this was in the 50s, when they knew what the issue was, but couldn’t prevent it. 🙁

  7. This is fascinating, thank you for taking the time to explain it. I don’t know what my type is (am calling the clinic to see if they have it in my chart), but I’ve had the shots after every birth and 1 miscarriage. That would mean that I’m something -, and my husband would be +, is that correct?

  8. That would mean that I’m something -, and my husband would be +, is that correct?

    Yep, it probably does.

  9. In her defense, blood-typing is confusing to a lot of people, and even doctors, in their rush, relay incorrect information. I was typed before a couple major surgeries where me needing blood was (correctly) anticipated. I’m B+. (For the record, getting blood while you’re awake hurts like fuck.) I was told that B+ is the most common blood type so often that I thought the midwife who told me it wasn’t was an idiot. Who does she think she is, telling me something different than a bunch of doctors? But according to the Red Cross, she’s right. http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/blood-types Let’s not get into how many times I relayed incorrect information because a few doctors incorrectly told me so.

    I don’t think Nicole is wrong on purpose here. She goes into enough detail, yes, incorrectly, that I think she either made an effort to learn, which would be evidence for why learning from a professional who takes the time to teach is important, or she was given wrong information by people who should know better and either didn’t know, or were too rushed. Blood-typing is pretty complex, and I’ll give some credit to anyone who tries. But I won’t give a pass on that goat heart. Blood is complex enough that your smart readers still have questions, but it’s pretty easy to understand that blood isn’t made in the heart. It’s just not. That’s super simple to understand.

    Also, you said, “The so-called “universal donor” is O-negative blood.” That’s what Nicole said too. She’s encouraging O- to donate because their blood can be given to anyone Since you wrote “negative” after the hyphen, which may mean you see the hyphen as a hyphen rather than a negative sign (would you write O+ or O-positive?), and a lot of people read the hyphen as “negative,” I wonder if this is an instance of two people saying the same thing, but a difference in writing is causing an honest misunderstanding. Regardless, I do like that she’s encouraging blood-donation rather than condemning the victims for being gay, which is so much more than can be said for the Andersons. The Anderson kids are being homeschooled legitimately in a home with plumbing, but are being pumped full of mind-blowing homophobia and hate. Steve Anderson is his own legitimate hate-group who is praising the murders. Nicole gets a point for trying to help instead.

    And if she’s O- and her mother is AB, perhaps she needs to have a little talk with her parents to find out if there are any secrets being kept from her about her genetic parentage.

  10. I had to note that she also thinks that “[s]ome people believe the different strains have to do with our origin (such as life outside of earth).” which for the life of me I can’t understand. I’m not even sure what she’s trying to say. Unschooling? I think not.

  11. Lol at the tetanus. I just got another tetanus,last I’ve was 13 years ago. Kept getting sore throats. Did you know tetanus helps against more than just “splinter, glass, bites, nails” ???

  12. I think when Nicole writes “O-” blood in the post about donation blood for Orlando what she means is O “negative”. She uses the “-” for Rhs negative as also seen in her other post about her own blood type where she uses O+ and O- to distinguish between the two Rhs factors.

    Also here is something interesting about linkage and recombination when it comes to blood types:
    http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask181
    So sadly it’s not that easy to discern the blood type of the children from the parents and vice-versa.

  13. I don’t think Nicole is wrong on purpose here.

    I don’t either. I don’t think she’s ever wrong “on purpose.” She’s just wrong. And you may be right about the O negative thing. I went back and looked and she did put a dash after it.

    And yes, she gets props for not being anti-gay.

    But being considered slightly better than Steven Anderson is really not much progress.

    However, the rest of the Rh stuff and her analysis of her own blood type is simply wrong. Totally wrong.

    The problem is that Nicole really doesn’t know much about anything, yet she writes these little missives as though she’s an expert. She lectures everyone who reads her crap as though she is teaching them about childbirth, about gardening, animal husbandry, education and life. She knows almost nothing about any of those subjects.

  14. the different strains have to do with our origin

    She’s talking abut crackpot theories that somehow we came from aliens. Seriously, that is what she is talking about. Like life was seeded here by aliens. Is that possible? Of course, it’s possible. The problem is that there is zero, absolutely zero, evidence to support such an idea.

  15. I think when Nicole writes “O-” blood in the post about donation blood for Orlando what she means is O “negative”. She uses the “-” for Rhs negative as also seen in her other post about her own blood type where she uses O+ and O- to distinguish between the two Rhs factors.

    Second person to mention this, and when I look back at it, you all may very well be right. So we’ll give her a pass there.

    She’s very, very wrong about the rest of it.

  16. So sadly it’s not that easy to discern the blood type of the children from the parents and vice-versa.

    That is extremely rare. Very, very rare.

  17. When it comes to Nicole, I differentiate between her being wrong even though she’s made an effort, like with the blood, and wrong because she’s not even trying, like their anti-schooling, and wrong because she’s too stubborn or prideful or ashamed to admit being wrong, like their “compost” pile.

    Anderson is beyond rehabilitating and redemption. I want to think Nicole is not. Yes, she’s made some extremely major errors and make some mind-blowingly bad decisions, but I don’t think she’s willfully malicious because she thinks it’s good, like Anderson. Part of me really wants to see her manage a turn-around. Her business isn’t doing so swell, but it’s an effort, and we’ve seen nothing out of that lump-ass of a husband of hers. I don’t believe for a second that she believes everything is fine. I think she’s trapped, and I have some reasons to suspect Joe may be abusive (some of his words directly to her are creepy as fuck and seem manipulative). Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Nicole-fan by any means, but for the sake of those kids, I’ve got to hope that a turn-around can happen, that Joe will spontaneously combust at the shit-pile and take care of two shit-problems at once, and that the remaining one of their parents isn’t malicious.

  18. I am Rh+ and I had to get the rhogam shot 4 times. Had to get it during my 2nd trimester and after my kids were born.

  19. I’ve always been confused about the positive/negative stuff. I’m AB positive. Finding out that it’s the rarest explains why when I went to donate they still let me even though my iron (I think that’s what it was) was a little low. I suppose that means I should donate more often (donating with low iron was no freaking fun. I felt a bit ill for quite a while so I haven’t done it again).

  20. I’m AB+, didn’t find out until college. All my friends donated plasma for cash but I was the only one of us that got reminder calls. They also gave me a viciously unpleasant vaccine series for something- it meant another $10 per donation (they let you donate every 3 days) so I really didn’t care what it was. I was broke even for a college student.

    I’d say hey, there’s a good job for Joe, it just involves sitting on your ass… but who knows what the hell is in his blood.

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