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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.