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Universal Blood Types

Universal Blood Donors and Recipients by Blood Type

There are three universal blood types that each play an important role in saving lives. 

Universal Blood Donor is O-Negative (O-)

Blood donors with type O-negative (O-) are referred to as universal donors and their red blood cells can be given to any other blood type (A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-). However, O-negative blood types can ONLY receive O-negative blood. Only seven-percent (7%) of the U.S. population have type O-negative blood. However, the need for O-negative blood is the highest because it is used most often during emergencies and traumas. 

Universal Blood Recipient is AB-positive (AB+)

Blood donors with blood type AB-positive (AB+) are referred to as universal recipients and can receive red blood cells from any other blood type (A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-). Less than four-percent (4%) of the U.S. population have type AB-positive blood.

Universal Plasma Donor is AB-negative (AB-)

Blood donors with blood type AB-negative (AB-) are universal plasma donors and can donate plasma to any other blood type (A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-). Less than one-percent (1%) of the U.S. population have type AB-negative blood, making it the least common blood type among Americans.