The Importance of O Blood

Feb 29, 2016

Category: Target-Your-Type

The Importance of O- Blood

If you’re an O negative donor, you may feel we’re always after you for blood donations, and you might be right about that because you are part of a rare and very critical group of donors.   O- blood isn’t the rarest. An estimated 7% of the population has O- blood type while only 1% of the population has AB- blood, but the red blood cells of O- blood donors can be transfused into patients with any blood type. So when a trauma occurs, doctors are likely to reach for O negative blood to start blood transfusions. Once they determine the patient’s blood type, they can switch to that type of blood, but even then, O- blood is still an option. In fact, O negative blood is often used for premature infants and babies who need blood transfusions.

So, reading this you might be thinking “O negative blood can save the world.” But O negative blood is also important because only O negative red blood cells can be given to people who have O negative blood. So we also need O negative blood donations because when someone with O negative blood has an accident or undergoes surgery, they can only have an O- transfusion.

So, yes, we want your blood donation. And how you donate is equally important. You’re probably familiar with whole blood donation. That’s the type of donation you’ll find on most bloodmobiles. During whole blood donation, a pint of blood is taken from the donor and then later separated into its components – red blood cells, platelets and plasma. But some donors may qualify for double red cell donations. During that type of donation, your blood is separated into its components during the donation process and the platelets and plasma portion returned to you. This process lets us collect more red cells, which are the most critical part of an O negative blood donation.

What to learn more? Watch our Target Your Type video.


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