Blood study shows shift
Australia’s blood supply faces challenges, as fewer first time donors have negative blood types.
The first analysis of blood groups data since 1993-1994 has shown that the distribution of blood groups has changed, reflecting changes in the demographic characteristics of the Australian population.
The research is based on data for blood donors and for people whose blood type was determined in samples submitted for analysis by hospital-based or private pathology agencies, across all Australian states and territories in the 2019 calendar year.
It finds that the proportion of positive blood group donations is increasing. Close to 86 per cent of patients blood-typed by pathology services during 2019 were positive blood types.
The proportion of blood donors with negative blood types was larger (20.5 per cent) than that of people blood-typed by pathology services (14.1 per cent).
The study was undertaken by Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, which actively recruits people with group O negative blood to meet clinical demand. However, only 16.2 per cent of first-time blood donors in 2019 were negative, suggesting that it may be increasingly challenging to recruit new negative blood type donors.