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Bombay blood group

Date: 11 September 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous


Over the last two weeks, the “Bombay blood group”, a rare blood type, has been gaining attention in Mumbai’s healthcare sector. Demand for the blood type has coincidentally spiked at hospitals, but supply has been scarce.



The four most common blood groups are A, B, AB and O. The rare, Bombay blood group was first discovered in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1952 by Dr Y M Bhende.



  • The hh blood type(Bombay) has an incidence of one in four million all over the world. It has a higher incidence in South Asia and in India, one in 7,600 to 10,000 are born with this type.

  • This blood type is more common in South Asia than anywhere else because of inbreeding and close community marriages.

  • It is genetically passed and a shared common ancestry among Indians, Sri Lankans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis has led to more cases of hh blood phenotype in this region.

  • The hh blood group is confused with the O group. The difference is that the O group has Antigen H, while the hh group does not.

  • The counts for haemoglobin, platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells in hh type are similar to the count of others based on their health index.

  • The individuals with Bombay blood group can only be transfused autologous blood or blood from individuals of Bombay hh phenotype only but  hh blood group can donate their blood to ABO blood types.

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