Rh blood Typing procedure by Slide Method

Posted: September 6th, 2013

Rh blood Typing procedure by Slide Method







            Rh blood typing refers to a procedure used to identify a person’s blood type according to the absence or presence of antigens on the red blood cells (Lindh et al, 2009). Agglutination of red blood cells occurs when antigens react with antibodies. Therefore, in blood typing, the blood types are observed and evaluated through the process of haemagglutination. Blood typing involves two major categories known as Rh factor and ABO blood group. Rh and ABO typing are performed together because they share certain similarities in relation to the antigen-antibody reaction on the red blood cells. However, the Rh’s antibodies do not occur naturally as in the ABO blood group.


            Materials for Rh blood typing include anti-Rh serum, drops of human blood, mixing stick, pre-heated warming box and a glass slide.


(Estridge et al, 2000)

(The Science Fair, 2011)




(WebstockPro, 2012)

(Globe Scientific Inc, 2012)


  1. On the glass slide, put one big drop of anti-Rh serum.
  2. Add one blood drop and use the mixing stick to stir.
  3. On a preheated warming box, place the slide bearing the mixture then for two minutes; rock the warming box back and forth gently.
  4. Where clumping occurs, record your results as Rh+ and Rh- if there is no clumping.

Test results

            The results of the Rh blood typing can be altered by suppression of the antigen on the red blood cell of an individual. The Rh antigen is lost due malignant conditions such as myelogeneous leukemia. If a mutation occurs in the stem cell, antigen production is either suppressed or lost completely. The Rh blood typing results can also be altered to be inconclusive. This means that the person is neither Rh+ nor Rh-.and in most cases; the test is repeated to ascertain the results. For agglutination to occur during Rh blood typing, the slide must be negative. A positive control slide produces an invalid test result, which must be repeated with the use of an alternative method and reagents (Estridge, Reynolds & Walters, 2000). If the patient’s blood has abnormalities or the serum is contaminated, the results will be invalid. The Rh or D antigen can be weak and therefore altering the result. An abnormal test result shows Rh- despite the fact that the blood sample contains a weak form of Rh (D). A normal test result is a Rh+ when agglutination occurs or Rh- when there is no change. Normal results are possible if the control slide is negative, the blood sample is normal, and the serum is not contaminated.

Two Diseases Related to Abnormal Test Results

            Two diseases related to abnormal results are anemia and hemolytic disease of the newborn (Lund, 2010). The abnormality of the latter is caused when the mother is Rh- and the father is Rh+, creating a possibility of the baby being Rh+. In this case, antibodies are developed, in the mother’s body, to fight the Rh antigen therefore resulting to the destruction of red blood cells in the baby’s body. When the baby’s red blood cells are broken down rapidly, it can suffer from jaundice due overproduction of bilirubin.

On the other hand, an abnormal result can be an indication of anemia, which is caused when red blood cells in the body are destroyed or not produced. If the blood sample has traces of anemia, the result is more likely to be abnormal because there are few red blood cells present, hence weaker Rh (D) antigens. The baby may develop severe anemia due to the destruction of the red blood cells by the Rh- antibodies in the mother’s body (Lund, 2010).


            Concisely, the Rh blood group is also dependent on the antigen on the surface of the red blood cells. An individual is Rh+ if the blood sample and the drop of anti-Rh serum agglutinate because the blood contains traces of Rh (D) antigen. Much precaution has to be taken when performing the tests so that there is no interference with the results. Rh typing is vital before blood transfusion of the Rh antigen takes place to increase compatibility and prevent further health complications. It is also useful for the prevention of the Hemolytic Disease of the New (HDN) that occurs in the wombs of pregnant females who are Rh- while the unborn baby is Rh- (Estridge, Reynolds & Walters, 2000). Nevertheless, HDN can be prevented if the Rh typing is performed in the early stages of pregnancy and Rh (D) immune globulin (RhIG) is administered in the mother’s body. This sensitizes the mother to Rh+ blood, and the production of antibodies is controlled, in her body, to eliminate further risks.










Estridge, H. B., Reynolds P. A. & Walters, J. N. (2000). Basic Medical Laboratory Techniques. Cengage Learning.

Globe Scientific Inc. (2012). Microscope Slides, Single Cavity, Safety Corners. Retrieved from http://www.globescientific.com/microscope-slides-cover-glass-microscope-slides-cavity-c-537_721.html

Lindh, W., Pooler, M., Tamaparo, C. (2009). Delmar’s Clinical Medical Assisting. Cengage Learning.

Lund, A. R. (2010). Rh Factor Disease and Severe Anemia and Jaundice in Newborns. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/rh-factor-disease-severe-anemia-jaundice-in-7405828.html?cat=5

The Science Fair. (2011). Anti-Rh, Anti-D Serum Set (5ml). Retrieved from http://www.thesciencefair.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=KS3-246&Category_Code=bldanalysis

WebstockPro. (2012). Blood Test Stock Photos. Retrieved from http://www.webstockpro.com/Stock-Photos-blood+test/ http://www.thesciencefair.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=KS3-246&Category_Code=bldanalysis


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