Why Type O Blood Is So Important

No matter your blood type, it’s important to remember that your blood is needed to save lives. That said, there’s one blood type that is regularly in short supply and high demand: type O.

If your blood type is O, you’ve probably heard that your blood is vitally important for the maintenance of a healthy blood supply. But why? The reasons differ but before delving into the specifics, know that the rumors are true: O donors are rockstars!

People with type O blood, like those with A, B, or AB blood, have a positive or negative signifier attached to their letter that is determined by Rh antigens attached to the body’s red blood cells. Those antigens result in those with O blood either being O-positive or O-negative.

In the section below, you’ll see how O+ and O-neg donors are different, and how both are incredibly important to our communities.

O-positive (O+) Blood Basics

• O-positive is the most common of all blood types. About 38 percent of the population is believed to have this kind of blood.

• O-positive blood donations aid patients with not only O-positive blood, but also AB-positive, A-positive and B-positive.

• Patients with O-positive blood can receive blood transfusions from other O-positive or O-negative donors.

• More than 80 percent of people have a positive blood type, creating a significant demand for O-positive blood. A shortage of O-positive can be common due its demand.

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O-negative (O-) Blood Basics

• O-negative blood is much more rare than O-positive blood. Only about seven percent of the population has O-negative blood.

• Universal donors are those with an O-negative blood type. Why? O-negative blood can be used in transfusions for any blood type.

• During blood shortages, O-negative blood is often the first to run out due to its versatility. Managing the O-negative supply is always a top priority for Our Blood Institute.

• People with O-negative blood can only receive O-negative blood.

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Blood Types 101

Each person has a specific blood type, based on the combination of factors included in their blood. This blood type allows medical facilities to give the right blood to the right patient, as well as helping blood centers find the best donation for your type.

Explore more about different blood types

    Type O blood marketing toolkit

    Use the resources below to help demonstrate the need for Group O blood donors and spread the word about giving blood. Every post and email you share will contribute to lives being saved.

    Also, make sure to follow Our Blood Institute on Facebook (Our Blood Institute), Twitter (@OurBloodInst) and Instagram (@ourbloodinstitute)

    Access the toolkit now