March 08, 2022
What is the best donation for your blood type?
BY KirstiAnn Clifford
Cancer patients often need blood and platelet transfusions during their cancer treatment, and MD Anderson depends on our generous blood and platelet donors to fill this critical need.
Whether your blood type is rare, common or somewhere in between, your donations can help our patients, especially those with blood cancers and those in need of surgery.
MD Anderson performs more blood transfusions than any other hospital in the country, and our Blood Bank strives to maintain a regular supply of all blood types to ensure the right blood is available for the patients who need it.
There are eight blood types
There are eight different blood types:
- A positive
- A negative
- B positive
- B negative
- AB positive
- AB negative
- O positive
- O negative
Your parents’ blood types determine which blood type you have.
The best type of donation for your blood type may vary
‘What’s the best donation for my blood type?’ is a common question that MD Anderson Blood Bank receives. However, the answer can vary, as our patients’ needs can change on a daily basis.
“If you’d like to make sure you’re making the biggest impact with your donation, please ask what we need the most when you schedule your appointment,” says Ricardo Civallero, program manager, Donor Operations. “Depending on your blood type, you may be encouraged to donate whole blood, platelets or double red cells.”
For example, O-negative and O-positive donors are most likely to be recruited to donate whole blood or double red cells. Type O negative, often called the “universal” blood, is always in demand because O negative red blood cells can be transfused to anyone regardless of their blood type.
Those with A+, B+, AB+ or AB- type blood are commonly recruited as platelet donors. That’s because platelets in these blood types are crucial in helping blood to clot and are often needed when treating patients with blood cancers.
Here’s a general breakdown of the ideal donations by blood type. Keep in mind, all types of donations from all types of blood are always needed, so don’t feel like you must follow this chart.
If you don’t know your blood type, donating is an easy way to find out. After your donation, log onto the MD Anderson Blood Bank website with your Donor ID as your user name and your birthday (mm/dd/yyyy) as your password to retrieve your blood type.
Schedule an appointment to donate at MD Anderson Blood Bank online or by calling 713-792-7777.
Ask what we need the most when you schedule your appointment.
Program Manager, Donor Operations