With the declining blood donation rates all over the developed world, Sweden’s blood service is enlisting new technology to help push back against shortages.
One new initiative, where donors are sent automatic text messages telling them when their blood has actually been used, has caught the public eye. People who donate initially receive a, ‘THANK YOU’ text when they give blood, but they get another message when their blood makes it into somebody else’s veins.
We are constantly trying to develop ways to express the DONORS’ IMPORTANCE. W e want to give them feed back on their effort, and we find this is a good way to do that,” said Karolina Blom Wiberg, communications manager at the Stockholm blood service.
The service says that the messages give donors more positive feedback about how they’ve helped their fellow citizens – which encourages them to donate again.
This program was launched three years ago by Blodcentralen, and thanks to the positive response from the public, other blood donation services around Stockholm and elsewhere in Sweden have been using it.
In some facilities, the public can see a chart that’s updated in real-time to show how much blood is actually left, and the urgency might encourage people to make the effort to donate.
Our challenge is to make the public and especially the blood donators understand just how important their contribution is,” said Blom Wiberg.
We simply can’t ignore the fact that there has been a stark reduction in the number of new donors coming forward, a trend seen across the world. While we can meet the needs of patients now, it’s important we strengthen the donor base for the future,” said Jon Latham from the NHS Blood and Transplant donor services.
Efforts are also being made to get brands, retailers and celebrities in on the movement to encourage blood donations. It shouldn’t be that hard – there’s no greater feeling than when you’ve made a true difference to someone else’s life, let alone saved it, so hopefully we’ll see a whole lot more of those text messages in the future.
via The Independent