Are antibodies bad?
September 12, 2007 6:53 AM Subscribe
What causes someone to develop antibodies in their system, and how important is it that their physician know about this?
posted by cleo to health & fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Last Sunday a good friend of my parents was admitted to the hospital for many ailments. She also suffered a minor stroke within the last few weeks. She was also in the hospital for a week last month and prior to that hadn't seen a doctor in many years. My parents have been going to her house every day to feed the cat and look after her garden, as well as do some cleaning. My mother came across a letter, that was on the floor, from the Canadian Blood Services. My mother brought it home to see if I could understand what it meant. I tried googling, and couldn't come up with anything that made sense to me. It's been many years since I took Biology. I'm hoping that someone could shed some light as to what this means.
The letter states:
Your physician requested that a sample of your blood to be sent to Canadian Blood Services in CITY for routing testing. At that time an antibody was identified in your blood sample. This letter will provide you with some information about antibodies and contains an antibody card for you to carry.
You may have already some knowledge about blood groups such as A, B, O and Rd D positive or negative groups. In addition to these there are many other blood groups on human red blood cells. During pregnancy or following a blood transfusion a person may encounter red cells of a different blood group than their own and this sometime results in the formation of blood group antibodies. Seven percent of the population may develop antibodies in this manner. Antibodies are proteins in blood which don't normally cause any harm to the individuals who posses them. If blood, which is not matched for these blood groups, is transfused to a person with antibodies, it may cause a problem.
Attached is an antibody card which states your blood group and antibody you have formed. Please remove the card and keep it with you. Show it to the admitting department at the hospital and your doctor or nurse whenever you need medical attention that may require a transfusion.
Can someone explain this to me so that I can relate it to my parents? My initial reaction to this was that in the past she had a blood transfusion and was given the wrong blood type and she developed antibodies.
Should they advise her attending physician of this?