Because not everyone who is eligible to give blood ever donates, there are periodic shortages, which have become more frequent. The Red Cross declared one on Sept. 11, 2023, which it attributed to “back-to-back months of almost constant climate-driven disasters” that made it harder for people who might otherwise have donated blood to be able to do so.
Chronic shortfalls can lead hospitals to postpone transfusions and surgeries.
Unfortunately, some donated blood is discarded rather than used in transfusions and other medical procedures. We plan to discover whether and how organizations that collect donated blood should tell donors when that happens with their blood.
We also aim to analyze whether telling regular donors repeatedly about their blood’s use will make more or less of a difference over time.
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The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.