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About blood types

Want to know 'What blood type am I?' Make an appointment and we will tell you!

Best donation by blood type

There are three kinds of donation: blood, plasma and platelets. Your blood type, also known as your blood group, helps determine what kind of blood donation might be best for you to give. 

Australia needs a steady supply of donations, but the specific amounts of each kind change daily. Sometimes that may affect what we need you to donate too.  

Even if you can’t give a certain kind of blood donation for health or other reasons, keep donating what you can. Your donation will still change lives!

Type O POS Blood Type
% of population 40%
Please donate Whole blood, plasma or platelets 
Why?

As an O positive donor, versatility is your strength. Your whole blood, plasma or platelets can all help people battling conditions from cancer to immune disorders.

Because your blood is so versatile, sometimes we may ask you to ‘supercharge’ your donation by changing to another kind needed more on the day.

Type O NEG Blood Type
% of population 9%
Please donate Whole blood or platelets
Why?

In an emergency your blood can save the day. As an O negative donor, your blood is universal. It can be given to anyone with any blood type — making it truly precious.

Australia always needs more O negative donors to keep up with demand from hospitals, so please donate if you can.

Type A POS Blood Type
% of population 31%
Please donate Whole blood, plasma or platelets 
Why?

As an A positive donor, versatility is your strength. Your whole blood, plasma or platelets can all help people battling conditions from cancer to immune disorders.

Because your blood is so versatile, sometimes we may ask you to ‘supercharge’ your donation by changing to another kind needed more on the day.

Type A NEG Blood Type
% of population 7%
Please donate Whole blood, plasma or platelets 
Why?

As an A negative donor, your versatility is your strength. Your whole blood, plasma or platelets can all help people battling conditions from cancer to immune disorders.

Because your blood is so versatile, sometimes we may ask you to ‘supercharge’ your donation by changing to another kind needed more on the day.

Type B POS Blood Type
% of population 8%
Please donate Plasma
Why? 

As a B positive donor, your plasma has serious potential. Even though only 8% of people are B positive, your plasma can be given to almost 60% of patients.

Plasma is a powerful and versatile part of your blood that can be used in 18 different life-giving ways. 

Learn more about plasma.

Type B NEG Blood Type
% of population 2%
Please donate Plasma or whole blood
Why?

Not only is your B negative blood rare, it’s also versatile. You can give either plasma or whole blood to help people battling conditions from cancer to immune disorders.

Because your blood is so versatile, sometimes we may ask you to ‘supercharge’ your donation by changing to another kind needed more on the day.

Type AB POS Blood Type
% of population 2%
Please donate Plasma
Why?

As an AB positive donor, your plasma has serious potential. Why? Because it’s universal — it can be given to anyone with any blood type with conditions from cancer to burns.

Plasma is a powerful and versatile part of your blood that can be used in 18 different life-giving ways. 

Learn more about plasma.

Type AB NEG Blood Type
% of population 1%
Please donate Plasma or whole blood 
Why? 

As an AB negative donor you’re the rarest type. Plus, your plasma has serious potential — it’s universal and can be given to anyone with conditions from cancer to burns.

Not only that, but you can give whole blood too, if you like. Because your blood is so versatile, sometimes we may ask you to ‘supercharge’ your donation by changing to another kind needed more on the day.


How do blood types work?

You inherit your blood type from a mix of your parents’ genes. There are eight main blood types, organised through two combined systems. These systems are ABO (blood types A, B, AB or O) and Rh type or group (positive or negative).

Your blood type is a combination of these two systems. For example, by percentage of population, the most common blood type in Australia is O positive and the least common is AB negative.

Why are blood types important?

When someone is given a blood transfusion, it’s best to give them blood that’s the same type as their own. If that isn’t available, they can be given certain other compatible blood types depending on their own blood type.

Some blood types are ‘universal’, which means they can be given to anyone. O negative red cells can be given to anyone, and are often used in emergencies. AB plasma, positive or negative, can be also given to anyone.

Blood type compatibility

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