What Is the Universal Blood Type?
1 year ago

During times of medical emergencies when patients experience a lot of blood loss, there will not be much time to find the right matching blood group. A medical emergency could be anything like a shortage of matching blood group types, a life-threatening situation of a patient, or an unknown blood group of the patient. In cases wherein the medical staff doesn’t find matching blood group donors, they may use a universal blood group, which is O negative (O -ve) to save the patient.


Blood Group Classification

Blood is categorized into various groups based on a protein in the blood called an antigen. There are two types of antigens called minor antigens and major antigens, which coat the red blood cells. There are four blood groups based on major antigens, which are:

  • Type O

  • Type AB

  • Type B

  • Type A


The classification of blood is also done based on the Rh (Rhesus) factor. If there is no Rh factor in the blood of a person, then it is called "Rh-negative". If there is an Rh factor in the blood of a person, then it is called "Rh-positive". In this way, there is a total of eight blood groups, including O+ve, O-ve, AB+ve, AB-ve, A+ve, A-ve, B+ve, and B-ve.


Blood Transfusion

In normal situations when there is no life-threatening situation or lack of matching blood group, patients are given the same blood group type and same Rh factor. The process of transferring the donated blood to the patients is called a blood transfusion.

Sometimes, the blood of the donor and the recipient are mixed to understand the compatibility with each other before blood transfusion. The mixing of the donor’s and recipient’s blood for compatibility check is called the cross-matching of blood.


O Negative: The Universal Donor Blood Group

The blood group type O negative has the lowest risk of causing any serious complications to the patient. A person with this group can donate blood to any person in the world, which is why he or she is called a universal donor. This is the reason O negative is called the universal blood group and is used more often in cases of emergencies.


Facts about O Negative Blood Group

Here are a few facts about O Negative blood group:

  • O -ve blood group is the most preferred type for blood transfusion in patients without good immunity such as a cancer patient or premature baby.

  • The most in-demand blood group type is O -ve.

  • Only 7 percent of the population in the world have O Negative blood group, making it one of the rare blood groups.


Universal Blood Type for Various Procedures

  • O Negative: Universal Blood Group for RBC Transfusion

Whole blood and double red blood cells are the two blood donation methods preferred for O -ve donors. Patients who require blood can see more impact and effectiveness with the help of these types of blood donation. The O -ve blood group is a universal donor blood group for transfusion of red blood cells and whole blood. But it is not a universal blood group for transfusion of plasma and platelet.


  • AB Negative: Universal Blood Group for Platelet Transfusion

AB Negative (AB-ve) is the universal blood type for the transfusion of the platelet. Only 1 percent population of the world has this type of blood group and that makes it the rarest blood type out of all. Any patient can use the platelets of AB -ve donor when required. People with this blood group are motivated for platelet donation.


  • AB-Positive: Universal Blood Group for Plasma Donor

The universalbloodtypeforplasmadonation is AB-Positive (AB +ve). People with this blood group are only 3 percent in the world. Any patient with any blood group type can receive plasma from donors with AB +ve blood group. People with AB-positive blood type are motivated for plasma donation.


  • AB-Positive: Universal Blood Group for Receiving Blood 

AB Positive is a universal blood type for receiving blood from donors. It means a person with AB positive blood group type can receive a blood transfusion from a donor of any type of blood group type.


What Is the Key for Safe Blood Transfusion?

The key to a safe organ transplant or blood transfusion is matching the correct type of blood. Otherwise, it is risky for the life of the patients. Unmatched blood will be treated as a foreign object and not part of the body. In case of incompatible blood, donated blood cells will not be integrated into the new body and rather will be attacked by the immune system.

Every person needs to know his or her blood group because it helps to act in an emergency. Besides that, knowing the blood group also helps in donating blood in case of medical emergencies.