Blood Types

Everyone has a type. You belong to one of four: O, A, B or AB. An additional factor — the ‘Rh factor’ — determines whether your type is positive or negative. Knowing your blood type is important not only because it determines who you can donate blood to, but also who you can receive blood from.

A-positive droplet icon

A-positive blood is the second most common blood type in Canada — 36% of Canadians share this blood type.

Patients who are A-positive and AB-positive can receive A-positive red blood cells and platelets. Maintaining an adequate supply is crucial.

A-negative droplet icon

A-negative blood is one of the rarer blood types — only 6% of Canadians share this blood type.

A-negative blood type contains red blood cells that can be used to save patients with A-negative, A-positive, AB-negative and AB-positive blood types — almost half of all Canadians.

B-positive droplet icon

This blood type is the third most recurring blood type in Canada — only 7.6% of Canadians share this blood type.

B-positive red blood cells can be given to B-positive and AB-positive patients.

B-negative droplet icon

B-negative blood holds tremendous power — only 1.4% of Canadians share this blood type.

B-negative red blood cells can be used to help patients with B-negative, B-positive. AB-negative and AB-positive blood types — nearly 12% of the population.

AB-positive droplet icon

AB-positive patients can receive red blood cells from donors with any blood type and 2.5% of Canadians share this blood type.

Donors who are AB-positive are considered the universal plasma donors because this blood component can be transfused to any patient, regardless of their blood type.

AB-negative droplet icon

AB-negative blood can receive red blood cells from donors with any other Rh negative blood type — only 0.5% of Canadians share this blood type.

Donors who are AB-negative are the universal platelet and plasma donors because these blood components can be transfused to any patient.

O-positive droplet icon

This is the most common blood type in Canada — 39% of Canadians share this blood type.

O-positive red blood cells can be used to treat any patient with a positive Rh blood type, which makes a measurable difference in emergency situations.

O-negative droplet icon

Only 7% of Canadians share this blood type — a small percentage with a huge impact.

O-negative red blood cells are compatible with all other blood types. This means that in critical emergencies — when there is no time to confirm a patient’s blood type — O-negative blood can make a lifesaving difference.