Mayo Clinic Minute: Does Your Blood Type Matter When Donating Blood?

Donating blood can save lives.

There are different blood types. Do you know yours? You could be one of the people whose blood type is in short supply and high demand at hospitals nationwide. Justin Kreuter, M.D., Director of Mayo Clinic's Blood Donor Program, talks about what blood type is needed most.

One pint of donated blood can save up to three lives. But does your blood type matter when deciding to give blood?

"It all is important," says Dr. Kreuter, but O-negative is often in highest demand.

"Most commonly what you’ll see is a call for either O-negative or just, as a blanket, O blood donors because that’s what’s going to be used in emergency situations. And, so, in those emergency situations, you can go through a lot of blood very quickly.”

There are four major blood groups:  A, B, AB, and O.

Dr. Kreuter says A-positive is a common blood type in demand, too. One in three people have this blood type.

"Most of our patients are A-positive," he says. "And, so, even though that’s a very common blood type, it’s one that we use a lot of."

Whatever your blood type, Dr. Kreuter encourages people to go to their local blood donor program to find out if they are eligible to donate.

"All blood types are really equally and representatively important. It's literally saving lives."

Mayo Clinic News Network

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