Golden Blood

Properties and dangers of golden blood


By: Mina Woods-Corwin, Journalist

Golden blood, also known as Rh-null blood, is the rarest blood type in the world. Despite the name, the blood isn’t golden in color, but quite worth its weight in gold. The name likely comes from Ancient Greek myths where the gods had golden blood, called Ichor. Only 43 people have been known to have it. The reason the blood is so special is that it can be donated to anybody with a rare blood type that can’t find blood for a transfusion. However, only 9 people are active donors of this blood type, which makes it difficult to get.

Having this ultra-rare blood may seem like a dream, but in reality, it’s extremely dangerous to have this type. Their blood can be given to everybody, but they can only receive blood that is Rh-null. If the hospital doesn’t have access to any, the consequences could be huge. If they got a transfusion of a blood type that’s not their own, it could cause a Hemolytic Transfusion Reaction (HTR). Women who have this also have to be incredibly careful during pregnancy. If they’re Rh-null, and the child is Rh-positive, the women’s immune system could attack the infant and could cause a miscarriage.

There are two major blood type groups; ABO and Rhesus D system. ABO determines if you have AB, A, B, or O. The Rhesus system determines the positive/negative. Positive blood contains the D antigen, among others. Negative blood lacks the D antigen. Rh-null means someone has zero of the around fifty antigens in the group. Only around 1 in 6 million people have this blood type. The only way to get it is if you get two copies of the mutated gene, one from each parent, and then there is a 1/4 chance you have the blood type. If both parents are carriers and give that mutated gene to their child, the child will have golden blood.

Golden blood is an extremely rare, but very dangerous blood type to have. It can save dozens of lives and can provide valuable scientific research. The rarest of all the millions of blood types, it is worth so much and we will continue to learn more and more about it in years to come.

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