AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - You may know your blood type and want to donate, but what does it mean to be O+ or AB- when it comes to blood donation?
So who can donate? At this time the Coffee Memorial Blood Center is asking for the most common blood types, which are O+ and O- .
O+ is the most common blood type and can be given to a person in a time of crisis. O- is the universal donor because it is a neutral blood type, lacking any factors that will cause the body to fight the blood.
"O lacks any of the AB antigens and the negative means that it lacks the RH factor," said Joe McCormick, Vice President of Coffee Memorial, "So it is sort of a neutral blood type that can be given to anyone of any blood type, the red cells can."
If you are not sure of your blood type, the easiest way to find out is to donate. Coffee Memorial will then send you a card with your blood type on it to make sure you know what it is in a time of crisis.
When giving blood, your type may determine what parts of the blood you will be asked to donate. There are three different parts of blood that your body needs and Coffee Memorial supplies all three in times of crisis.
Red cells are the transporters of the body, moving oxygen to your organs. However, they are not the only part of the blood necessary to survive. It is important donors also give plasma and platelets. Both help your blood to clot when you are bleeding. This is an important resource when there is an accident or a crisis in surgery. Even though O- is the universal red cell donor, if someone is in need of plasma or platelets, AB+ and AB- are the donors needed to supply them.
"Yes, we do need all those things. Unfortunately we need those things by type and different quantities," said McCormick. "We like for O donors to give red cells, both O positive and O negative and we like for AB donors to give plasma and platelets because those are what's in demand."
This week is the #MissingType campaign at Coffee Memorial and they are in immediate need of A-, B-, O- and O+ blood types. If you are interested in donating, head over to Coffee Memorial Blood Center located at 7500 Wallace Blvd.