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Increase in demand for O D negative red cells. Updated guidance published by the National Blood Transfusion Committee

Letter of communication 18 July 2019

O D negative red cell toolkit

Please note that the current International Society of Blood Transfusion terminology for O negative red cells is O D Negative. This terminology will appear in all resources within the Toolkit that were created after June 2016.

Total red blood cell (RBC) usage is falling due to improved surgical techniques and the implementation of Patient Blood Management (PBM) initiatives including the use of alternatives.

However, demand for O D negative RBC is increasing. Stability of the supply chain for universal components such as O D negative RBC remains a challenge for most blood services around the world and NHSBT is working hard to ensure adequate supplies are available when required.

Efforts are primarily focused on improvement of donor marketing to achieve a blood group mix appropriate to clinical demands. Approximately 7% of the UK population is O D Negative, but current average demand is greater than 12%.

As part of their ongoing Action Plan to ensure adequate supplies, the National O D Neg Working Group and NHSBT have launched the following the Save one O D Neg a week campaign. This is designed to encourage Trusts to make a difference and consider a range of initiatives to help conserve this precious resource.

To support this campaign an “O D Neg Toolkit” resource has been produced. It is designed to help clinical and laboratory staff in hospitals to promote the safe and appropriate use of O D negative red cells and reduce wastage of this valuable component. This page will be updated as new resources are produced.


 Save one O D Neg a week campaign - June 2016



These graphics are designed to be used alongside appropriate text in presentations and on other educational resources. The graphics are freely available for every Trust. Please acknowledge NHSBT as the author and let us know how you use them.


Survey and audit


Blood Stocks Management Scheme (BSMS) tools


Sharing examples of good practice

Experiences and initiatives from UK Trusts on successfully managing O D Negative stocks, wastage and appropriate use, please contact the individual Trust for more information.

If you would like to share your Trust's good practice please contact your Patient Blood Management Practitioner or Customer Services Manager.

Examples from: