Norway imports blood amid donor shortfall

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17:39 CEST+02:00
With blood donors thin on the ground, Norway currently has little option but to import blood from elsewhere in Europe.

Across the continent, only Estonia has fewer blood donors per head of population than Norway, Aftenposten reports.

“The World Health Organisation and the Red Cross strongly recommend that every country ensures it has enough volunteer, unpaid blood donors to meet its own needs,” Professor Hans Erik Heier of Blodbanken told the newspaper.

“Blood should be donated to help other people, not to earn money. Twenty percent of the world’s population uses 80 percent of the blood on the market. If we’re a burden, others will get less,” he added.

According to Heier, around 50,000 patients need blood transfusions every year. Norway is home to 95,000 donors, but 30,000 more are needed to meet demand, he said.

Over the last four years, the donor shortfall has forced Norwegian blood banks to buy blood plasma products from abroad.

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Norway is now in talks with other countries about securing a supply of blood for the coming years.

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