This website will be unavailable intermittently from 0800-1600 EST on Sunday, May 19 due to system maintenance. Contact the
if you have any questions. Thank you.
Be a Blood Donor
Blood Donor Centers
Subscribe to our eNewsletter
National Blood Donor Month
The Core Four
By Jeffery Diffy, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, North Chicago, Ill.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Rosie I. Lopez. Having served as a hospital corpsman onboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower from 2006 to 2009, she understands the importance of the core four blood types. Lopez now works at the Lovell Federal Health Care Center Laboratory Department as an advanced medical laboratory technician and is still seeing just how important all donors are to the military blood program.
The recruits in Great Lakes, Ill., are the future of the U.S. Navy. Soon, these new sailors will patrol the sea lanes of the world keeping watch over family, friends and American citizens. But that isn’t the only way they will be saving lives. By continually donating blood to the Armed Services Blood Program, they increase the availability of blood products for deployed ships, keeping the fleet ready for any medical emergency that might arise.
Different blood types are used in different situations, and although the Armed Services Blood Program gladly welcomes and collects all blood types, limited space onboard most Navy ships sometimes requires the program to target the blood types that can be transfused to the largest number of patients. Introducing the “core four” seagoing blood types: O-positive, O-negative, AB-positive and AB-negative.
“To balance the limited space with needed resources, these four core blood types are the order of business onboard Navy ships,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Rosie I. Lopez, a hospital corpsman who served on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower from February 2006 to February 2009. Lopez is an advanced medical laboratory technician with experience in shipboard immunohematology.
“The core four blood groups are all type O and type AB donors,” said Lt. Toinette J. Evans, division head of the Blood Donor Processing Division at the Lovell Federal Health Care Center in Great Lakes. “Type O-positive blood can be used in 85 percent of the population and type O-negative is the universal donor, used in any situation."
Evans added that type AB donors are crucial when it comes to plasma transfusions. “AB plasma works on 100 percent of patients in need of a plasma transfusion. We try to transfuse with the recipients’ specific blood type, but if that isn’t possible, we turn to our type O and AB donors.”
Daily blood drives in Great Lakes help keep ill or injured service members, veterans and their families supplied with critically needed blood and blood products at all times. But the need for blood is constant, and so is the need for donors—especially the core four.
For those who might be deferred from donating, there are many other ways to support the program. Visit
to find out more. Also, by using our online registration system,
, donors can stay up-to-date on all of the Armed Services Blood Program’s upcoming blood drives and when your blood type is needed the most.
To find out more about the Armed Services Blood Program or to schedule an appointment, please visit us online:
. To interact directly with some of our staff, see more photos or to get the latest news, visit us here:
Mission & Vision
Contact ASBP Office
Privacy & Security