It seems that it’s about time for me to focus my panic on a whole new problem, and I’ve got one lined up and ready to go: I have no fucking clue what my blood type is. What if I got into some type of accident, and the paramedics were like, “You’re bleeding to death! You need a blood transfusion pronto! Quick, what’s your blood type?!” I would honestly just have to die right then and there.
Really, what am I supposed to do to remedy this? Is it written down somewhere? Should I call my mom?
Knowing your blood type really isn’t all that urgent, with the exception of the most dire situations where you need blood without being able to get to a hospital in time. Were you to go to the hospital and need a blood transfusion, your blood type would be tested anyway. There are some benefits of knowing it for your own use, though: While so-called “blood type diets,” wherein you eat specific foods according to your blood type, have been largely disproven, there is increasing evidence that people with blood type AB may be at higher risk for COVID-19 complications than others. We still don’t know enough about this to say definitively that people need to treat COVID differently according to their blood type, but it might be worth having that info in your noggin.
Per Healthline, learning your blood type is “relatively simple.” They cite three main options: having your doctor order a blood test, donating blood and asking for the information or taking an at-home test. So basically, the three options are to probably pay a stupid amount of money to get your blood drawn by a doctor, have the Red Cross drain my entire body or attempt to DIY it by cutting myself open and putting my blood into some little vials.
All things considered, the home-test options don’t look that bad. Some have you place your blood onto a little tester card instead of into vials, which sounds marginally easier. Some of the tests are also weirdly cheap — the top one on Amazon is only $7.47 and has one-day shipping. I might actually order it right now.
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Perhaps the biggest benefit of most home-test options is the fact that you don’t need to send it anywhere to get your results. This isn’t some weird AncestryDNA plot to harvest your blood data. Apparently, you just prick your finger with a lancet, make your finger produce four drops of blood onto sticks, apply the sticks onto the card, “stir” for two minutes and then wait for results, which allegedly takes less than six minutes total.
The reviews are largely positive, though there are a few one-star reviews in the bunch from disgruntled customers who found the materials inadequate, the instructions confusing and/or the results inconclusive. A particular such review begins with, “I will preface this by stating that I’m a physician,” which is exactly how I would preface my own one-star review were I not actually a doctor and just liked pretending to be one on Amazon.
While I can’t verify the efficacy of these cheap home tests, it does seem like finding out my blood type is easier than I imagined. However, this will only increase my shame further when I do inevitably bleed to death because I still don’t know my own blood type, despite home tests only costing $7 and taking six minutes.