Text: You have just saved a life

Text: You have just saved a life

12 June 2015 | Abbie-Jaye Wilson

Getting people to give blood has become a bit like, well like getting blood out of a stone.

Yesterday my colleague championed a scheme that has seen the removal of the letters A, O and B – representing the blood groups most needed to maintain supplies – from street signs and brands across the country.

This stunt is part of a campaign taking place for National Blood Week and is in the nick of time, as according to NHS Blood and Transport the number of new volunteers coming forward to give blood in England and North Wales has dropped by 40% in a decade.

There are lots of reasons this may have happened, from people having less time in their everyday lives to people becoming less aware of how important donating blood really is.

In a bid to highlight the importance of having a regular blood supply available to the health service Sweden has its own way of encouraging blood donors – and it is fantastic.

Donors hand over their mobile phone details when they give blood and receive a thank you text.

Sounds simple. But here comes the science bit, when the blood is used, perhaps to save someone’s life, the donor receives a text letting them know.

This not only reinforces the importance of the donation to the donor and to those around them.

It brings the concept of blood donation into today’s fast paced, on the go world. We want and need information quickly and this buys right into that. It conveys the message – your donation has saved a life.

Finally it’s an excellent PR stunt.

This kind of message gets people talking and for all the right reasons. It’s a positive insight into the whole point of giving blood.

Blood donation really is a life saving service and this has perhaps been forgotten by the 96% of those eligible donors who do not give blood.

Perhaps should they discover that one donation session had helped to save a life these people (including myself) would feel differently – and head to one of the many and local donation sessions in our back yards.