Blog Post

How O Negative Blood Can Help Everyone

26 March 2018

While only about 7% of the population has O negative blood – people with this blood type have a particularly unique ability to help people in emergency situations.

Indeed, individuals whose blood type is O negative are known as ‘universal donors’. That’s because their blood can be transfused to almost any patient in need.

Which explains why it’s the most preferred blood group for emergency transfusions.

In these instances where doctors need to give someone a blood transfusion immediately and can’t afford wait or spend time on checking the blood group of the patient in need – donors with blood type O negative can come to the rescue.

In fact, this blood type is even considered as the safest option for babies who need blood transfusions – or for instances when a specialised procedure needs to be conducted on unborn babies.

The reason why O negative is such a desired blood group in blood banks is because it lacks three antigens - A, B and Rh. Antigens that, if present in the red blood cells, will cause the immune system to respond.

For example, if your blood type is A positive, it will have both A and RH antigens present. So, if a B positive donor gives you his blood, your immune system will try to eliminate the B antigen of the B positive blood type - because this antigen is foreign to your body.

But if you are given a transfusion from an O negative blood donor, the lack of antigens means your immune system won’t generate a fight response and accepts the blood transfusion.

Unfortunately, however, an O negative recipient can only receive blood from a donor who is also O negative.

So, now you know why demand for O negative blood donations is so high. And why this incredibly important blood group is particularly essential for accident and emergency departments.

To smooth out the process of blood transfusion, Lorne Labs offers quality laboratory equipment and a leading service within the medical industry. View our range of Blood Transfusion supplies including blood grouping reagents and blood transfusion equipment. Alternatively, if you would like further information about the benefits of O negative blood for transfusions, e-mail the Lorne Labs team.

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