A resident of Rio Grande da Serra, in ABC Paulista, the diarist Divannin Gregório dos Santos, 59, felt unwell at the end of July this year, went to the Emergency Care Unit (UPA) in her municipality to find out what he had. Immediate diagnosis alerted to anemia, but even with all the treatments indicated by the doctors, she continued to feel a weakness.
Until August 1, Divannin was rushed to the Nardini hospital, located in the city of Mauá. And that’s when his blood test showed a rare blood type, the HR Null, called golden blood by the experts.
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“Before, my mother had already been hospitalized due to anemia. We believed her blood type was O negative. So, the last time she needed a donation, we asked for this type and we got enough to help her at that time”, explains her daughter, Vitória Silva, 16, a student and general assistant. “It’s been very difficult to face all this, I saw in an article that only 43 people in the world have this rare type, RH Nulo”, he says.
The report that the student refers to was made by BBC, which reports that a biomedical investigation found that, in 1961, the RH Null blood type was discovered in an Australian woman. To date, only 43 cases of people with this variation have been registered worldwide.
At first, a donor with the same blood type as Divannin was found, in Minas Gerais, but he withdrew from the action. Now, the diarist runs the risk of amputating both feet if a donor does not appear, which could be anywhere in the world.
To receive more in-depth treatment, the woman was referred to the Mário Covas hospital, in Santo André. “Our hope now is that someone will appear to help us and who is willing to make a donation”, highlights Vitória.
what experts say
Luiza Lapolla, hematologist and general practitioner, explains how the RH blood system works. “In this system, antigens that, in most cases, are proteins that ‘identify red blood cells’ are gathered. Today, we know more than 40 blood groups, composed of antigens that, within themselves, comprise more than 300 variations of proteins and carbohydrates that identify red blood cells”, he explains. “The groups we are used to – A, B, O and RH – are important because they identify the person’s red blood cell and also collaborate in the time of blood transfusions for third parties”, stresses the specialist.
For reasons of immunity, types A, B, O and RH are the most studied by specialists. If there is a difference between donors and recipients, it is possible to have an immune, hemolytic reaction and, therefore, it is important to know if the blood variation is compatible.
“When I say that the person is A+, B+, O+, I am actually saying that this person expresses the RHD protein. But the RH group not only has protein D, it also has proteins C and E, so even RHD negative patients [que não expressam a proteína D] they can still express C and E. In practice, how important is this? The RH Null person expresses neither D, C nor E, so any contact he or she has with red cells that express will generate an immune rejection. This is especially important when we remember that 85% of the world population is RHD+, and even those that are RHD negative can express C and E, to which the patient will also respond against”, he exemplifies.
People with the RH Null blood type have difficulty finding a donor because that type does not produce the RHD protein. Many advise the person to keep blood for themselves in the future, but, due to the validity of the blood, it is not 100% recommended to do this, it is better to donate to another individual who has the same rare genus.
“The big problem for these patients is that they cannot receive blood from any other donor other than RH Nulo, as they will create an immune response against everyone else,” says the expert.
If it is a possible donor, it is necessary to direct the donation to the Mário Covas hospital, in Santo André, where Divannin is under medical care.