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Rare blood call: Pacific Islander and Filipino donors needed

We’re calling on people of Pacific Island or Filipino background to donate blood in the hope a rare blood type can be found to help several patients in need of a specific match. 

“We currently have several patients of Polynesian and Filipino heritage, who have a rare blood type that is only found in those with similar ethnic backgrounds,” Dr James Daly, Lifeblood Medical Director said. 

“These patients have a medical condition that means they may require multiple blood transfusions over the next few months, including one patient who is undergoing numerous rounds of chemotherapy.”

Blood types consist not only of the commonly recognised groups such as A, B and O, but also include more than 300 other variants. 

We have currently exhausted our supplies of this rare blood type, and because the existing donors with this rare blood type are unable to donate again for almost 12 weeks, we need others to come forward. 

This rare blood type can be found in around one in every 100 blood donors tested who have this background – which is why we need as many people of Polynesian, New Zealand Māori or Filipino background as possible to help.

In order to help donors must:

  • Be of Polynesian, New Zealand Māori or Filipino background
  • Have 'O' or 'A' blood type so we can check if you have the additional rare factor required for this rare blood type (and if you’re not sure of your blood type you can donate we’ll tell you!).

How to get involved

If you have Polynesian or Maori background you can help be registering to become a donor (if you’re not one already) and join the “Pacific Donors” team. If you have Filipino background you can join up to the “Rare Donor Drive” team. Even if you're not of Polynesian or Maori backgrounds you can now update your ethnic ancestry on your online account. Login to your account online and head to Manage Details > Ethnic Ancestry.