Are you an ‘A’, a ‘B’ an ‘AB’ or an ‘O’?


This may be an abstract question, however the answer may one day save your life.

Doctors, Nurses, AHP and HSS candidates will tell you that listed in the title of this post are our four main blood groups.  Phlebotomists can go further still, stating just how blood flows around the body and how, when in times of great medical need, it is always in very short supply.

The NHS Blood and Transplant Service is constantly seeking new blood donors, this is a safe,  simple process that involves registering to give blood, attending an appointment, a quick questionnaire, the donation process itself, and a cup of tea.

In fact the whole process of giving blood takes about an hour.

Blood Types

The four main blood groups expand further to become; A Positive, A Negative, B Positive, B Negative , O Positive, O Negative, AB Positive and AB Negative.

Those who possess AB blood are known as Universal Recipients, meaning that in an emergency they can receive any type of lifesaving blood.

Those who have O Negative blood are very rare, comprising just 12% of the UK population, these are known as Universal Donors as O Negative blood can be given to anybody.  This is especially useful in times of dire medical need, when taking the time to administer a blood test would be impractical.

O Negative blood can even be given to, and is extremely useful for the emergency treatment of newborn babies.

However, those with O Negative blood can only safely receive O Negative blood when they need blood in an emergency.  Therefore O Negative blood is a commodity which due to its usefulness and comparative rarity is very hard to come by even though it is often the difference between life and death.

Giving Blood

Do something amazing, give blood and save a life, you can register to become a donor at