Everyone carries one of four general blood categories: A, B, AB, or O. Within each, blood is labeled either Rh positive or Rh negative. The eight classifications are then commonly referred to as "blood type."
When a patient receives blood, the blood they receive must be compatible with their blood type, meaning the Rh factor is compatible. Generally, Rh negative blood is given to Rh negative patients, and Rh positive blood or Rh negative blood may be given to Rh positive patients.
Type O blood is the universal blood type. Any recipient can receive O negative blood, therefore people who have O negative blood are called universal donors. O positive blood can be donated to those with any other positive blood type.
Click here to learn more about blood types.
From a donated unit of whole blood, Indiana Blood Center processes the donation into its component parts. Donors hear that their unit can save up to three lives. Such is possible because what is transfused to a patient are the individual components derived from the whole blood, not the whole blood itself.
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The transfusion of blood is essential in treating patients recovering from illness, an injury, or an accident. For instance, cancer patients can require several units of blood and blood components throughout their treatment regimen.
Click here to learn common uses of blood utilization.
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