Since 2004, World Blood Donor Day has been celebrated on June 14. This proclamation serves to raise the public's awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank the many volunteers that provided life-saving gifts of blood. June 14 is also the birthday of Nobel Prize winner: Karl Landsteiner. Dr. Landsteiner discovery of the ABO blood grouping has saved countless lives.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), blood donation rates have declined all over the industrialized world. One country has set forth a novel approach to obtain blood donors. Sweden’s blood service is enlisting new technologies such as social media to help push back against blood shortages. When volunteers donate their blood, they receive a text message thanking them for their donation and a second test message when their blood has been infused into another person. This type of positive reinforcement should create conversation on donating blood and hopefully attract additional donors.