What Is the Rh Factor?

When a doctor describes your blood type, he’ll probably not only indicate its type, 0, A, B, or AB, but also if it’s “positive” or “negative.” This refers to your Rh factor. If your blood is positive, you have the Rh factor; if it’s negative, you don’t.

A person with the Rh factor has certain substances, called antigens, in his red blood cells. Rh negative persons don’t have them. These antigens don’t do any harm, but it’s important for you to know if you have them.

As when a person with Rh negative blood receives a transfusion of Rh positive blood, the two kinds of blood don’t mix well, and the red blood cells break apart. A person with Rh negative blood should receive only blood that is Rh negative.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

3 thoughts on “What Is the Rh Factor?”

  1. The Rh also stands for Rhesus, as in the Rhesus monkey, as this animal was used extensively in early research due to it’s close similarities to human blood diversity.

  2. This paragraph really helps you to understand what a Rh Factor is. I didnt understand what it was until i read this and it broke it down for me. Thanks

  3. Rh blood was discovered in 1940 by R. Landsteiner and A.S. Weiner. They were researching blood types using the Rhesus Monkey when they found this blood type.

Leave a Comment