– Most of us have heard of general blood types such as A, B, AB and O.
Bombay blood group, however is one of the world’s rarest blood groups and people who carry this rare blood type can accept blood only from another Bombay blood type individual, and not from anyone who is O, A, B or AB type.
It is estimated that about 1 in 10, 000 Indians and 1 per 1,000,000 individuals in Europe.
The h/h blood group, also known as Oh or the Bombay blood group was discovered in 1952 in Bombay, India by Dr.Y.M.Bhende.
Two patients needed blood transfusion, but none of the blood types known until then worked for them. The moment their blood samples were mixed with any of the above types, the blood coagulated or clumped up.
The Bombay (Oh) phenotype is characterized by the absence of A, B, and H antigens on red cells.
Doctors discovered that hh type (Bombay type people) can accept only from other hh type, and also can receive only from the hh types. This makes the Bombay Blood types a very special and rare category of people.
Given that this condition is very rare, any person with this blood group who needs an urgent blood transfusion will probably be unable to get it, as no blood bank would have any in stock.
The reason shy Bombay blood group is so rare is largely because of extensive inbreeding within the same lineage or close-community marriages. When people who live in very small isolated communities marry and have children the ‘blood type’ or the gene pool is greatly restricted.