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Donors being texted as Portugal’s rarest blood reserves “will only last four days”

Portugal’s blood institute (IPST) has launched an appeal for rare blood types as supplies are now so low they could only last four days.

The situation is not critical because there are so few calls for O and A negative blood. Nonetheless, things are “more complicated” because people are still on holidays, explains IPST president Hélder Trinidade, and therefore their availability to give blood is reduced.

Thus IPST’s recourse to texting donors, reminding them of where they can give their precious rare-type blood.

Meantime, the institute has seen a welcome spike in donations generally now that the government has reinstated the policy that gives blood donors exemption from having to pay hospital charges.

Since April, when the new rules came in, 15-17% more people have come forwards to give blood, Trinidade told Diário de Notícias.

For more details on how to become a blood donor, see: www.doar.pt