Can I give blood?

What are rare types?

We all know the most common blood types: A, B, AB and O and their Rh+ and Rh- variations. But did you know there are over 300 blood groups worldwide?

One in 10,000 people have a blood type that no-one else has. It's what we call a rare type. However, 1 in 10,000 people have a very special blood type. This is known as rare blood. This means that between 0.01 and 0.1% of the population have special blood and need an equally special donor.

The Banc De Sang i Teixits is looking for people with very uncommon blood, known as rare blood.

The blood types from Sub-Saharan Africa

People from the same geographical area share similar blood types. This is why rare blood types are easier to find among people from that sample place.

For instance, the U-negative blood type is found in Africa. People from there could have this rare blood type. In recent years, with more people of African origin living in Catalonia, the need for blood transfusions of rare types from Sub-Saharan Africa has increased.

When a patient needs to receive a transfusion of rare blood, time is crucial. Patients can't wait. Due this, we are now looking for new donors from subs-aharan Africa who we ring whenever a patient needs it.

Rare blood types donors in the world

The Banc de Sang i Teixits has located 500 donors with rare blood types, who we ring whenever a patient needs it. 

There is also an international network of centres specialising in rare blood, which the Banc de Sang i Teixits in Catalonia is a member of. Worldwide, there are 60 centres in 26 different countries ready to help each other.

Nevertheless, we need to add more people to the register of rare blood donors to meet the growing need for this type of blood.

What can I do if my family or I are from Sub-Saharan Africa?

To find out if you have a rare blood type, you should go to a hospital with a blood bank (see the list on the back) and tell the staff that you are interested in joining the register of rare blood donors.

The hospital will take a sample of your blood to find out if it's rare. If you want, you can also make a conventional blood donation.

If your blood is rare, we will let you know and ask you to donate blood only when a person with the same type needs it.

If you have any doubt you can write us at atencioaldonant(ELIMINAR)@bst.cat or call us at 93 557 35 66.

You know that...

  • The blood circulating around the body contains red blood cells. On the surface of the red blood cells there are some proteins, antigens. Having some or other antigens determines blood groups.
  • The blood group is inherited, like the color of the eyes or the skin, that is why most people share the same groups.