What is a Blood Type Chart?

A blood type chart is a reference tool designed to assist individuals in understanding more about their blood type, compatibility, and donor status. As a visual tool, the chart allows individuals and healthcare professionals such as nurses, emergency department doctors, and blood phlebotomy technicians to identify blood types. The chart provides information that can be used to determine how common or rare an individual’s blood type is their compatibility to donate or receive blood, plasma, and platelets for transfusions.

Critically, one in every seven patients admitted to the hospital requires blood donations. Whether this is a red blood cell transfusion to increase hemoglobin and iron levels, platelet transfusions for individuals with cancer, or plasma transfusions for liver failure, blood donation is critical to saving lives (American Red Cross, n.d.). However, blood is constantly needed, particularly for emergency procedures, and not all blood types are compatible (Vitalant, 2023). 

An individual’s blood type is inherited, meaning it is a combination of the DNA from both parents. It also comes from the ABO (blood types A, B, AB and O) and the Rh type system (positive or negative). Depending on the available supply, different blood types may be common or rare. Rare blood types either have a common antigen or a combination of antigens missing, which means it is only present in 1 of 1000 people (American Red Cross, n.d.). 

The blood type chart can be an essential tool for healthcare professionals to determine which blood types may urgently require more donors, which is essential for ensuring blood supplies for rarer blood types and safe blood transfusions (American Red Cross, n.d.). Healthcare professionals and individuals can learn more about their blood type and compatibility with others using this resource.

Printable Blood Type Chart PDF

Access our free Blood Type Chart here

How Does It Work? 

Our Blood Type Chart is an effective resource for finding out more about your blood type, including your compatibility status for blood, plasma, and platelets with others. Here’s how it works: 

Step 1: Obtain the Blood Type Chart

Access our Printable Blood Type Chart, or download the PDF version to use as a reference to document your blood type. 

Step 2: Determine Blood Type

There are numerous ways to find out your blood type. Here are some suggestions:

  • Contact your local healthcare provider to access your patient records
  • Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your blood type
  • Documents such as birth certificates
  • Blood draws or blood tests: you can schedule an appointment following a referral from your general practitioner and request to know your blood type.
  • Blood donation: once you have become a blood donor, you can learn more about your blood type and receive a donor card with your donor ID and blood type. 

Knowing your blood type is essential to understanding more and determining your compatibility with others. 

Step 3: Interpret Compatibility 

Once you have identified your blood type, you can determine your compatibility with others to donate or receive blood, plasma, and platelets. Knowing this information is essential for donating blood and can save lives in critical situations requiring blood transfusions. 

Blood Type Chart Example (sample)

We have carefully constructed an example Blood Type Donation Chart for a fictitious character to show you how our Blood Type Chart works. We recommend you use this chart as your own reference or a client’s blood type charting document. However, this is a general example and should not be substituted for personalized health advice, consultations, or blood type charts. 

You can access our Blood Type Chart PDF here or download the resource to use as a reference in the future.

Download the free Blood Type Chart Example (sample)

Blood Type Chart Example

When Would You Use This Chart?

Practitioners and individuals can use a Blood Type Chart in numerous scenarios, which may include:  

  • Determining compatibility: knowing your blood type can inform whether you are compatible with others needing a blood transfusion. Determining compatibility requires rigorous testing before transfusion, but knowing your blood type can help save time in these urgent situations. Additionally, urgent care facilitators such as emergency department nurses can use the chart to determine blood, plasma, and platelet compatibility. 
  • Blood transfusions: For urgent care practitioners such as emergency department doctors, nurses, or surgeons, this chart can effectively determine blood type compatibility, allowing for an accurate cross-match for safe blood transfusions. This is essential in emergency situations requiring urgent actions to ensure patients' safety and save lives.  
  • Identifying availability: Depending on the antigens and various components in the blood, certain blood types can be common or rare, which may influence the availability of blood for procedures. Individuals with O-negative blood have universal red cells, and individuals with AB blood types are universal plasma donors, which are both essential for saving lives when blood type is unknown.

Testing in pregnancy: It’s essential to identify Rh blood type if you or a patient are pregnant so healthcare providers can reduce the complexities of Rh incompatibility. Rh incompatibility may occur if the pregnant individual is Rh negative, and the other parent is Rh positive (Goel, 2023).

What Do the Results Mean?

Blood Type Identification 

The blood type of you or your patient is genetically inherited from parents, made up of a combination of the ABO system (blood types A, B, AB and O) and the Rh type system (positive or negative). Therefore, individuals are likely to belong to one of the eight main blood types, which are:

  • O positive
  • O negative
  • A positive
  • A negative
  • B positive
  • B negative
  • AB positive
  • AB negative

Blood Type Compatibility

Different blood types are more common and compatible than others. In particular, O-negative red blood cells are universal in that they can be given to anyone requiring a transfusion of red blood cells to increase hemoglobin or iron levels(Australian Red Cross, n.d.). Additionally, AB plasma is accepted by all blood types and thus is essential in emergency plasma transfusions during liver failure, burns, or severe infections (American Red Cross, n.d.; Australian Red Cross, n.d.) 

If patients receive a blood transfusion that does not match their blood type, the immune system may attack the transfused blood. By using our Free Blood Type Chart, individuals and healthcare providers can accurately safely cross-match blood types, ensuring safe blood and plasma transfusions (American Red Cross, n.d.). 

Rh Incompatibility 

Pregnant individuals may find they are Rh compatible with their fetus, which is fine for the health of themselves and the fetus. However, another result may be Rh incompatibility. 

If this is the case, the fetus may be Rh-positive and incompatible with the mother. 

This may pose health concerns for the fetus, as the pregnant individual’s body may develop antibodies as the types of blood mix, potentially harming the fetus or newborn. This can lead to hemolytic disease for the fetus and newborn, which can cause brain damage, newborn death, or pregnancy loss. 

However, by identifying Rh compatibility or incompatibility, healthcare providers can provide treatment, such as RhoGam, to prevent antibody development to protect the fetus and newborn (Goel, 2023).  

Accessing our free Blood Type Chart here allows you to learn more about what is in your blood.

Why Use Carepatron as your Blood Type App?

Choosing Carepatron as your primary Blood Type Chart app and software allows for a simple, comprehensive interpretation of blood type results and compatibility. As an online platform, our app and software have ongoing access for patients and healthcare providers to the blood type chart, clinical documentation, and electronic patient records that are essential for healthcare professionals and their patients to keep track of their blood type information. The following are a few reasons explaining why Carepatron is the ideal blood type chart app and software for you: 

Patient Access

Our patient portal has a user-friendly interface that allows patients to track their health and quickly access information regarding their blood type, donor status, and compatibility. This is essential for individuals on the go, allowing quick information navigation in emergencies. 

Effective Scheduling

Our healthcare scheduling software allows patients, donors, and healthcare providers to effectively manage their consultations and appointments, removing the time and resources used in traditional appointment scheduling. Furthermore, our patient appointment reminder software gives reminders to ensure you don’t miss your next blood donation or health appointment. 

Healthcare Records

Carepatron allows healthcare providers such as nurses, general practitioners, and emergency departments access to relevant patient health records. This allows for ongoing documentation to keep track of patient notes and progressions. 

As an effective blood type chart app and software, Carepatron provides its users with a seamless, all-in-one experience.

EHR software benefit


American Red Cross (n.d.). Facts About Blood and Blood Types. Redcrossblood.org https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-types.html

American Red Cross (n.d.). Blood Transfusion Process. Redcrossblood.org https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-donation-process/what-happens-to-donated-blood/blood-transfusions/types-of-blood-transfusions.html#:~:text=Plasma%20is%20the%20liquid%20part,severe%20infections%2C%20and%20serious%20burns.

American Red Cross (n.d.). Rare Blood Donor. Redcrossblood.org https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/rare-donors.html

Australian Red Cross (n.d.). Blood Types. Australian Red Cross, Lifeblood.com https://www.lifeblood.com.au/blood/learn-about-blood/blood-types

Canadian Blood Services. What is my blood type? Canadian Blood Services. https://www.blood.ca/en/blood/donating-blood/what-my-blood-type

Goel, A. (2023). Blood Types: What Letters, Positive, and Negative Signs Mean. Verywellhealth. https://www.verywellhealth.com/blood-types-7967031#toc-testing-blood-types-in-pregnancy

Oneblood (n.d.). Why Blood Is Needed. Oneblood. https://www.oneblood.org/about-donating/blood-donor-basics/what-is-blood/why-blood-is-needed.stml

Stanford Blood Centre (n.d.). Blood type Compatibility. Stanford Blood Centre. https://stanfordbloodcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/0318-SouthBay-Center-Infographics_Compatibility-WEB.jpg

Vitalant (2023). Easy-Peasy Blood Type Chart. Vitalant.org https://www.vitalant.org/blog/blood-donation-basics/easy-peasy-blood-type-chart

Who typically requests a Blood Type Chart?
Who typically requests a Blood Type Chart?

Commonly asked questions

Who typically requests a Blood Type Chart?

A blood type chart can be requested by an individual seeking more information about their blood type, donor status or compatibility. It may also be requested by healthcare providers, such as emergency department nurses or doctors, requiring information about a patient requiring a blood transfusion.

When are Blood Type Charts used?

There are many scenarios in which a blood type chart can be used. Common scenarios may include determining compatibility, blood transfusion matching, or Rh compatibility for pregnant individuals.

How are Blood Type Charts used?

Blood type charts provide individuals and healthcare practitioners with a visual representation of blood type compatibility and information regarding the blood type. This allows for blood type documentation that patients and their healthcare providers can easily access.

How long does a Blood Type Chart take?

Once an individual knows their blood type, a blood type chart may only take a few minutes to complete!

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