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Most people think about donating blood. However, very few actually do it. According to experts, though almost 50% of the US population can be counted as potential blood donors less than 10% ever give. What's worse is that even the most consistent ones donate an average of just three to four times during their lifetime. Though these statistics pertain to the US, the situation is similar worldwide. Now the officials in Sweden are trying to to reverse the trend with the help of modern-day technology.
The subtle encouragement to donate again begins shortly after the donor leaves the clinic when he/she receives a "thank you" text. Though that certainly helps them feel appreciated, what is even more gratifying is the text they receive each time their blood is utilized to help someone in need.
Karolina Blom Wiberg, the communications manager at the Stockholm blood center, believes that this small gesture not only results in repeat donors, but also, helps bring in new ones. The innovative program that was launched in Stockholm three years ago has received such positive feedback, that it is now being rolled out across the country.
However, Swedish officials are not stopping there. They are also encouraging local clinics to reveal the exact levels of the different blood groups they have in stock at any given time on their websites. This allows potential donors to realize that their pint of blood can make a difference in saving someone's life.
While all these outreach programs are great, busy residents, even the ones with the best intentions have to be occasionally reminded. In order to jog their memories officials ask individuals for authorization to send them text, Facebook, and e-mail reminders. Though that may sound intrusive, the residents do not seem to mind given that the messages are light-hearted and fun - things like "We won't give up until you bleed."
Though Sweden is currently the only country utilizing modern technology to urge more donations, don't be surprised if more join in, especially if the Nordic country's blood banks start to overflow!
Resources: Independent.co.uk, metro.co.uk, zine.com