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Blood in short supply as Midsummer approaches

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13:04 CEST+02:00
As the busy Midsummer holiday weekend approaches blood banks across Sweden are crying out for help as blood stocks run short.

The Midsummer weekend is traditionally one of the busiest weekends for Sweden's roads and a busy time for hospitals as road accidents are common. Traffic increases by 50 percent over the holiday weekend as Swedes flee the cities for their country homes.

Blood banks across the country are crying out for donors in order to prepare for the pending increase in demand.

"We need all the help we can get up to midsummer. Every summer the same problems occur - our donors go away on holiday and do not give blood in the same quantities. In Stockholm alone we need 1,000 bags of blood and 20,000 new donors in the coming year," said Lottie Furugård at the Blodcentralen blood bank in Stockholm.

Shortages of blood are being reported at many locations across Sweden as the holiday season approaches.

"We need more than 5,000 additional donors, preferably right now," said Margareta Gord at Blodcentralen in Gothenburg.

The situation in Skåne is critical.

"It is not looking good, we are always battling to keep up stocks of blood and the Midsummer weekend can make the situation critical. We would need at least 1,500 bags, but currently have only 1,200 and need all the help that we can get," said Ingrid Johansson at Blodcentralen in Skåne.

In the case of serious traffic accidents or shooting and stabbing incidents up to 100 bags of blood are needed, equating to as many donors. In the worst case scenario hospitals may become obliged to postpone operations in order to prioritize emergency cases.

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