A blood shortage in Västra Götland could push elective surgeries back. "Priority will be given to emergency care and severely ill patients. The postponed surgeries involve individuals with relatively good health who require eventual operations, but the current timing is not optimal," explains Anna-Karin Norrman, who leads the transfusion medicine department.
Traditionally, blood donations experience a decline during the summer, partly due to a one-month deferral period after travel abroad. However, this year, demand has surged beyond the norm, leading to a critical situation.
The demand for blood arises from accidents, cancer treatments, and complex childbirths. Given blood's perishable nature with a storage limit of six weeks, a continuous supply is crucial.
In the Västra Götaland region, an urgent call has been extended to registered blood donors, specifically appealing for blood group O-. This universal blood type is invaluable in emergencies and for premature and newborn infants, as it can be transfused to anyone regardless of their blood type.
"We began the day with only around 50 bags of O-, whereas the required amount ranges from 130 to 150 bags. This constitutes a critical shortage," warns Anna-Karin Norrman.
Contrary to this situation, the rest of the country doesn't exhibit the same concerning trend, according to Ge Blod (Give Blood), an organization overseeing blood donations.
"While an acute blood shortage is not currently observed in other parts of the country, ongoing replenishment remains essential to prevent scarcity. Given the ongoing vacation period in Sweden, there is a continued necessity for blood replenishment, particularly in the major metropolitan areas of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Skåne," explains spokesperson Ingrid Johansson.