Around the public holidays of spring and longer summer holidays there are fewer blood donors available than the rest of the year. This makes it difficult for the regions to fill up their reserves so that there are sufficient supplies for the summer.
The need is greatest in Skåne, Västra Götaland, Östergötland and Norrbotten. However, Västerbotten is also struggling with supplies running short ahead of summer.
– The situation looks good today but we know that the blood supply will be scarce at the beginning of August, says Vera Bokatova, duty doctor at the donor centre Blodcentralen in Västerbotten. The reason is that not many people come to donate blood during summer when they are on holiday.
The need of blood for the sick and injured remains as urgent in summer as at other times of the year. One blood bag every minute, every day of the year is required within the Swedish healthcare system.
– We’re not there yet but in the worst-case scenario we may find ourselves in a situation where we no longer have enough blood to carry out planned surgery, says Jesper Bengtsson, specialist at Geblod, to TT.
Blood is perishable and can only be stored for six weeks. For those who donate blood on, for example, Monday – before going to the summer house or travelling out of the county – that bag will last until the worst period which is the beginning of August.
– We encourage people to try to come in to donate during their holidays as well so that we can maintain the reserves of blood, says Vera Bokatova.