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Rare blood call: Pacific Islander and Filipino donors needed

Thursday 25th Mar 2021


Lifeblood is 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. 

Dr Daly said: “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. 

“We expect to find this rare blood type 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 they have the additional rare factor required for this rare blood type. If a donor does not know their blood type, they should still donate to see if they are a possible match.


The best way for people to get involved is to register and book online. Once registered, select 'Teams', and join 'Pacific donors' or 'Rare blood registry'. 

Alternatively, call 13 14 95 and mention 'Rare donor drive' or 'Pacific donors'.

As Australia’s population grows and continues to diversify, Lifeblood has a need for donors specifically from Polynesia, Melanesia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, India, Pakistan and Iran. 

Please note: This call for rare blood donors is a normal response action and is not related to novel coronavirus.