Blood Donor Program

This group is for people interested in blood donation. Every six minutes, a patient at Mayo Clinic needs a transfusion of blood or blood products. A simple blood donation can save the life of a child with leukemia, restore the strength of a cancer patient, or provide a critical transfusion to an accident victim. There is no substitute for this lifesaving gift, so patients rely upon the caring spirit of blood donors. Join the discussion and learn more about blood donation!

May 16, 2018

What Makes O-Negative Blood So Unique?

By Jackie O'Reilly, @jacquelineoreilly

O negative blood

While all blood types are needed, do you know what makes O-negative blood so unique?

Type O-negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type. And because of that fact, type O-negative blood is often used in emergency situations. For example, Mayo One helicopters each carry a cooler with three units of packed red blood cells with O-negative blood and three units of thawed plasma.

Even though O-negative blood can be used on almost any patient who requires blood, it can be difficult to find donors with this blood type. The American Red Cross estimates that less than 7% of the U.S. population have type O-negative blood. Our hospitals, emergency departments, and trauma teams depend on frequent O-negative donations to ensure it’s always available for patients in need.

Again, all blood types are needed at blood donor centers, but type O-negative donations are necessary for emergency situations when there is no time to determine a patient’s blood type.

To read more stories like this, visit the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program's Blog Page.

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email Or visit our web page

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