AB positive 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 positive blood?

1 in 50 donors is AB positive

Just 2% of donors have AB positive blood making it one of the rarest blood types in the country.

Who can receive AB positive blood?

Only AB positive people

AB positive red blood cells can only be used to treat people with AB positive blood.

Diagram showing that only AB positive people can accept blood from AB positive donors

What blood can AB positive people receive?

All blood types are safe

People with AB positive blood can safely receive red blood cells from any blood type. This means that demand for AB positive red blood cells is at its lowest level in a decade.

Why is AB positive blood important?

It's rare

Although the need for AB positive red blood cells is falling, the demand for AB positive plasma hasn’t changed.

To avoid wastage while ensuring the correct balance of plasma and red cells from AB positive donors, we manage donations differently to other blood types.

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.

We can generally meet the demand for frozen plasma and most red cells from our male donors, which is good news.

We encourage our male donors to donate as frequently as possible but ask that female donors wait to donate until contacted directly by us.

There are occasions when demand for AB positive rises.

During these times we contact our female donors directly and rely on their support to ensure patients continue to receive the blood and blood products they need.