The Terengganu Blood Bank Services recently highlighted a story about a Malaysian woman who is one of only 43 in the world with the rarest blood type, dubbed “The Golden Blood”. This rare blood group was first discovered in an Aboriginal Australian woman in 1961.
In a recent Facebook post, the blood bank said that the woman has Rh null blood, and is also the only Malaysian who possesses that blood type. Staff from the blood bank were overjoyed at the discovery, calling her 'a special one.'
Her blood will be sent to the National Blood Centre in Kuala Lumpur, and stored in a nitrogen-filled container at -80 degrees Celsius, for up to 10 years. If any patients require this particular type of blood, it will be taken from this supply, and diluted for use.
There are four basic blood groups: A,B, AB, and O. These groups are further divided into either Rh-D positive or Rh-D negative. According to MedicineNet, a Rh-D negative person only lacks the Rh-D antigen, whereas people with the rare Rh null blood type have a total absence of all Rh antigens on their red blood cells.
However, those with the Rh null blood can only rely on the incredibly scarce supply of donated Rh null blood.
Hence, people with ‘golden blood’ usually donate their blood to prevent shortages around the world, and it is often frozen for potential life-saving use.