It’s one of the best ideas I’ve read in a long time – motivating people to donate blood, and telling them when they’re saving lives. Stockholm-based blood service called Blodcentralen has come up with the idea of giving donors an automatic message whenever they save a life.

“We want to give [donors] feedback on their effort, and we find this is a good way to do that,” Karolina Blom Wiberg from Blodcentralen told Jon Stone at The Independent. “It’s a great feeling to know you made such a big difference and maybe even saved someone else’s life.”

Even as blood donations in high income countries have risen by 25 percent over the last decade, most of the world’s hospitals and medical facilities still don’t have enough blood and constantly require more. According to a report released last week by the UK-based NHS Blood and Transplant organisation, there are now 40 percent fewer new blood donors in the UK than there were 10 years ago, and similar trends are reported in Sweden, Netherlands and Germany.

In some facilities, the public can also see a chart of how much blood there is left, and perhaps they will feel motivated to give more.

“The same info as we have internally is shown externally,” said Blom Wiberg. “Our challenge is to make the public and especially the blood donators understand just how important their contribution is.”

This is one of the type of creative ideas we need if we want to encourage people to donate blood – less and less people want to become donors, and the regular motivation simply isn’t working well enough.

“We simply can’t ignore the fact that there has been a stark reduction in the number of new donors coming forward, a trend seen across the world,” Jon Latham from the NHS Blood and Transplant donor services told the press in a statement. “While we can meet the needs of patients now, it’s important we strengthen the donor base for the future.”

Hopefully, we’ll be seeing a lot more messages like this one – and a lot more people giving blood. It saves lives.

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