AB negative blood type

Your blood type is determined by genes inherited from your parents.

Whether your blood type is rare, common or somewhere in between, your donations are vital in helping save and improve lives.

How rare is AB negative blood?

1 in 100 donors is AB negative

AB negative is the rarest blood type in the ABO blood group, accounting for just 1% of our blood donors.

In total only 3% of donors belong to the AB blood group.

Who can receive AB negative blood?

AB negative and AB positive people

You can receive AB negative red blood cells if you are: 

  • AB negative
  • AB positive

Diagram showing that AB negative donors can donate to AB postive and AB negative people

What blood can AB negative people receive?

Any Rh negative blood type

People with AB negative blood can receive donations from:

  • AB negative donors
  • O negative donors
  • A negative donors
  • B negative donors

Find out how the RH system works

Why is AB negative blood so important?

It’s the rarest blood type

AB negative donations are extremely versatile, but because it is the rarest blood type finding new donors can be a challenge.

Plasma from AB negative donations can help treat patients of all blood types, however fresh frozen plasma is only produced from male donations. This is because female donors (especially those who have been pregnant) can develop antibodies that, while no danger to themselves, can prove life threatening to patients transfused with their plasma.

To avoid waste and to achieve the balance of plasma and red cells required by patients, we manage AB negative donations differently to other blood groups.

We encourage our male donors to donate as frequently as possible while asking female donors to wait to donate until contacted directly by us.

As the scarcest blood type, relatively small changes in the number of donations collected or requested by hospital can have a dramatic and immediate effect on the amount of AB negative we store.

At these times, we rely on the support of all AB negative donors to help prevent waste and ensure patients continue to receive the blood and blood products needed to save and improve lives.

We are looking for AB negative blood donors to switch to giving platelets. Each time you donate you could help up to 3 adults or 12 children.