Just 10% of donors have blood group B.
Group B is more common within the South Asian (20%) and black communities (25%) than the white European communities (9%). Encouraging new donors from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities is a priority to ensure we consistently meet patient requirements for this blood group.
South Asian communities are more susceptible to thalassaemia and black communities to sickle cell anaemia. Patients with these conditions can require ongoing multiple transfusions, sometimes for the rest of their lives.
For patients requiring regular transfusions, it is essential that they receive blood that has been more extensively tested to better match their own. Any differences between the patient’s and donor’s blood are identified by the immune system as foreign and result in antibodies being created to protect the patient. This makes finding a suitable match for future transfusions more difficult.
There is currently a very high demand for B positive donations with the subtype Ro. Approximately 2% of donors have this rare subtype and we need more. By increasing the number of B positive donors we increase the chances of finding rare subtypes including Ro and increase the likelihood of patients receiving blood that more closely matches their own.
If you are B negative your donations are immensely important to our lifesaving work. Just 2% of the donor population have this blood type, so it is rare. It's hard to find new donors and even harder to ensure we always collect enough.
B negative donors can help Rh positive and negative patients from groups B and AB - that’s around 1 in 7 patients. We always need more B negative donors, and rely heavily on the support and commitment of these existing donors to ensure patients receive the blood they need.