Thx 4 bld :) Swedish donors sent SMS when their blood saves a life

With blood donation declining across the western world, the Swedish blood service is trying something a little different in an attempt to bolster numbers. When a donor’s blood is used on a patient in need, the donor will receive a text message letting them know, giving them licence to feel warm and fuzzy for the rest of the day.

Previously, donors received a thank-you text after donating, but it is thought that receiving a notification when their blood is zipping around someone else’s veins will make donors’ contributions feel more tangible.

We are constantly trying to develop ways to express [donors’] importance,” Karolina Blom Wiberg, a communications manager at the Stockholm blood service, told the Independent. “We want to give them feedback on their effort, and we find this is a good way to do that.”

It’s one of a number of initiatives the country has taken to boost its blood stocks, including live charts of Stockholm’s blood stocks. Some areas also allow donors to sign a contract encouraging authorities to hound them via text, Facebook and email until they give in. “We won’t give up until you bleed,” reads one of the faux-threatening messages circulated.

Sweden is not the first Scandinavian country to think outside the box in an effort to swell its blood bags. Earlier this year, donors who gave blood in Denmark could claim a free copy of PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne.

In the UK, donors make do with a biscuit, a cup of tea and the feigned admiration of anyone who notices when we ostentatiously display our bandage. It works for us, but it would be nice to know when our blood finds its way back into a body.

Go to www.giveblood.org if you want to find out more about how to donate.

Image: Tommy Sollén under Creative Commons

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