Sweden's blood banks – Blodcentralen – are urging donors with the blood type A or O to get in touch with their nearest outpatient health clinic in the regions Skåne, Uppsala, Gothenburg and Stockholm.
In Skåne, southern Sweden, there is also a shortage of blood type B.
“The shortage could, among other things, be due to the fact that we have had several public holidays, which meant we were not running at full capacity. The blood donors perhaps weren't able to come to us either. We have probably also had a large flow of blood to hospitals,” Enisa Deumic, blood coordinator at GeBlod, the main Swedish network for blood banks, told the TT newswire.
There is however not yet a risk that patients will not be able to receive blood. Blood banks across Sweden coordinate their work to plug the gaps when there is a shortage of blood in some regions.
Swedish donors are some of the most active in the world, according to the World Health Organization and Sweden is self-sufficient in blood products. However, GeBlod (‘give blood') has also noted that the number of active donors is decreasing and that the trend is likely to continue.
In most areas it is currently only possible to give blood if the donor has sufficient knowledge of the Swedish language, and it is up to the nurse to assess the donor's level of understanding.
But a Blodcentralen clinic in Stockholm this year for the first time made it possible for English-speakers to also donate blood, after translating the relevant health declaration documents into English.
All donors must have a Swedish personal number and ID document for tracking purposes, and must also fulfill other requirements including being aged 16-60, weighing at least 50 kilos, and not having recently had a tattoo, for example. Read the full list of requirements here.
International travel can also affect eligibility. In most cases, if you have been to a country outside of Europe you must wait four weeks after returning to Sweden before giving blood. And if you lived your first five years in a Malaria zone and go home briefly to visit, you have to wait three years to donate after returning to Sweden.
give blood – ge blod
cities – städer
hospital – sjukhus
health clinic – vårdcentral
nurse – sjuksköterska
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