Image via @neighbours on Twitter
You may have noticed something a little off with business signs, newspaper names, and show titles over the last few days.
It’s a small but significant change: The letters A, B, and O have been disappearing from signs, front pages, and websites in an effort to raise awareness for blood donation around the globe.
The campaign, run by NHS Blood and the London-based PR agency Engine Group, is asking business around the globe “to ‘drop’ the letters of the main blood groups to show support for blood donation and register to give blood.” So far the campaign has attracted the support of blood donation centers in 21 countries and has companies like Microsoft, Boots, and Manchester City backing it up.
We’ve dropped the O from Tesco to raise awareness for @GiveBloodNHS. #MissingType. See more https://t.co/qIC5JxJjsa https://t.co/tHKcIQUfYJ— Tesco (@Tesco)1471331984.0
What's up with the @SydOperaHouse sign? It's raising awareness about blood types #missingtype Details @TenNewsSydney https://t.co/EMDHRMPU0Z— Kimberley Soekov (@Kimberley Soekov)1471324867.0
#MissingType @cityoftoronto @itsinyoutogive where have the O's gone? Patients need blood types A, B and O now! https://t.co/1rqZwlokBU— Michael Betel (@Michael Betel)1471307218.0
Beyond businesses, NHS is also asking citizens around the globe to show their support on social media using the hashtag #MissingType.
Mike Stredder, director of blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, told Buzzfeed, “Every donation can help or save up to three patients and last year in England alone 900,000 people gave blood—helping up to 2.7 million patients.” Stredder added, “It’s vital the blood donor community reflects the diversity of the population because blood types vary across communities and patients need well-matched blood.”
The need for more blood donation around the globe is staggering. As the World Health Organization notes, only 33 people per 1,000 donate blood in high-income countries, 1.7 people per 1,000 donate in middle-income countries, and 4.6 people per 1,000 donate in low-income countries. WHO also reports, “In total, 74 countries collect over 90 percent of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors.”
According to NHS, last year’s Missing Type campaign encouraged more than 30,000 people to register to donate. Click here to learn how you can donate blood in your neighborhood.