The Blood Service is touring Finland: each year more than 1000 blood donation events at over 200 locations
The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service (FRCBS) constantly travels to different towns and cities collecting blood from donors who want to help. This summer is no different, with 4–5 events organised each weekday all over Finland. Mobile operations play an important role in maintaining the blood supply, as almost half of all blood needed in Finland is collected at mobile blood donation events.
Mobile blood donation events have been organised since the 1950s. The Blood Service’s mobile units operate all around the country, with bases in Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Kuopio, Seinäjoki, and Oulu.
The northernmost blood donation events are in Rovaniemi, the easternmost are in Kitee, the southernmost are in Hanko, and the westernmost are in Mariehamn. In addition to public blood donation events, the Blood Service also visits garrisons, large workplaces and educational institutions.
Each year, the Blood Service organises more than a thousand blood donation events. There are almost 100 events every month, more than 20 each week, and 4–5 daily, including throughout the summer. Some places are visited once per summer, but larger towns and cities are visited a few times.
– Between 80 to 100 donors usually attend each event. We use appointment booking to avoid congestion and make the event a pleasant experience, says Paula Korhonen, Regional Manager at the Blood Service’s Kuopio office.
– In some locations, appointments are filled up to a couple of weeks before the event, but there are usually plenty of appointments. Donors may be able to give blood without booking an appointment in advance if there is sufficient capacity at the donation point.
The Blood Service collects blood according to hospitals’ needs, so the number of blood donors needed also varies. In Finland, 700−800 blood donors are usually needed every weekday.
– There is usually a fairly predictable and consistent number of donors at our donation events, because active donors in the community come to donate blood when we arrive. Therefore, blood donation events play a key role in ensuring that blood stocks remain reliable and functional,” Paula Korhonen says.
Blood donation events organised by the Blood Service can be found using a convenient search application at the website. You can also donate blood outside of your home town, for example, if you are travelling during the holidays.