ALEXANDRIA, Va. --- The Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) is asking all AB donors to come forward and give blood! AB donors, as universal plasma donors, possess a unique gift and therefore play a vital role in saving lives. Many do not know that group AB blood is a critical component used to treat patients during times of urgency

Did you know'

- Less than 4 out of every 100 people in the United States have group AB blood.

- Trauma surgeons have noted increased survival rates when plasma is used at the earliest stages of treatment.

- The universal plasma is group AB so it can be given to anyone in an emergency.

"We are asking all eligible AB donors within the military community to please give blood! Our surgeons need this plasma as they fight to save the lives of our men and women in uniform," urges Commander Michael C. Libby, Director of the Armed Services Blood Program.

Take an hour of your time and donate group AB blood today! By donating you help increase the chance of survival for injured Service members.

To find out where you can donate:

Important Notes:

When blood is donated, it is generally separated into three life saving components-plasma, platelets and red blood cells. That means you could save up to three lives each time you donate.

While group AB plasma can be given to anyone, it is always best for a patient to receive his or her exact blood type. As soon as a patient's blood type is confirmed, group-specific blood products are used. Matched group blood is also used for the many planned medical procedures that occur every day. Because blood is perishable, blood donors of all types are in high demand to meet the needs of the military community.

About the Armed Services Blood Program:

Formally established as the Military Blood Program in 1952 by Presidential Order as part of the National Blood Program, today's Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) consists of approximately 81 blood banks and blood donor centers worldwide, including 21 Food and Drug Administration licensed blood donor centers.

The Armed Services Blood Program Office (ASBPO) is a joint health agency charted to monitor the implementation of blood program policies established by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) [ASD(HA)] and to coordinate the blood programs of the military Services (Army, Air Force, and Navy) and the unified commands. The U.S. Army Surgeon General, on behalf of the Secretary of the Army, serves as the Executive Agent for the ASBPO for administrative support and staff supervision. The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), by Memorandum of Understanding, are responsible for the review and provision of guidance in all matters regarding blood support in joint operational planning. The ASD(HA) provides policy guidance to the ASBPO. All of the ASBP components function together to successfully operate the military blood program.