Rh factor

The surface of red blood cells contains markers that the immune system can recognize—one of these markers is the Rh factor (Rh [D] antigen). A person whose blood contains the Rh factor is Rh-positive (D); a person whose blood does not contain the Rh factor is Rh-negative (d).

Blood type contains information about the presence (+) or absence (–) of the Rh factor. Blood type is indicated by a letter (A, B, or O) and a symbol (+ or –). If a person has B negative (B–) blood, for example, that person is Rh-negative. A person with B positive blood (B+) is Rh-positive.

Last Updated: October 22, 2009

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & William Gilbert, MD - Perinatology

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