The Blood Service is developing its emergency communications

The Blood Service will test emergency communication tools on its website and in its mobile application on 25 January. The test will not require any action from blood donors.

In the event of a major accident or other emergency, the Blood Service will publish status updates on the need for blood donors on its website, social media channels and, if necessary, through press releases. The new Donor app allows important notifications to be sent to app users if an emergency occurs. The application is currently available in Finnish.

The emergency message features which are to be tested are Donor App notifications and the emergency message notification that appears at the top of the website and app. The test messages will be visible to service users on January 24, 2024. The Blood Service will use the test to check that messages are displayed and links work correctly, and it does not require any action from blood donors. The test message will clearly state that a test is being carried out.

In order to receive emergency messages, the user must have the latest version of the application (1.2) and allow notifications sent by the Blood Service.

Here’s how to make sure you receive the Blood Service’s messages about emergencies directly to your phone:

  1. Download the Donor app (in Finnish) or update it to the latest version (1.2).
  2. Allow notifications from the app on your phone.

You can check your phone’s settings to see if you have allowed the app to send notifications. You can also check whether you’ve already updated to the latest version of the app and turn on automatic updates, if you wish.

Voluntary blood donors maintain security of supply for society

The Blood Service constantly maintains a supply of blood products that meets demand for several days. There are also blood products in hospital blood centres. The blood products in these stocks can also be used in acute situations, such as if a major accident occurs.

Nevertheless, in the days following an incident, it is important to replenish blood supplies according to the demand for blood, usually for emergency blood O negative, in particular. Blood donor activity is not only important on the day of the incident, but also on the days following it.

Blood products are made from donated blood to treat patients such as mothers who have given birth, cancer and surgery patients, and accident victims. Every week, we need the help of approximately 3500 blood donors. Red blood cell products remain suitable for use for 5 weeks, and platelet products keep for 5 days. Regular and committed blood donors are the best guarantee for a good blood service.

“Even just one blood donation is a vital contribution to patients. At the same time, it is an easy way to help keep society running,” says Johanna Castrén, Director of Blood Donation at the Blood Service.

The Donor app brings blood donation information directly to your phone

The Donor mobile application was introduced last autumn and provides donors with information about their donations. It can also be used to search for nearby donation sites, to book an appointment, and to complete the health questionnaire required for blood donation before your appointment.

Donors can use the application to check things like the earliest date on which you can next donate, previous visits, previous haemoglobin values, and blood group.

The application will now also include an emergency message feature that allows the Blood Service to inform blood donors of acute critical situations, such as major accidents. The emergency message feature will only be used in exceptional emergencies, and not for routine communication.