About 43,000 pints of blood are donated each day by Canadians and Americans, which help the 4.5 million patients who need that blood transfusions every year. Total donations aren’t adequate to satisfy demand, though, and shortages occur regularly.
When a patient is in need of blood that isn’t available, it becomes a life and death situation. Historically the Red Cross will make efforts to alert the public during a shortage. But there may be a better way – leverage the social networks to get the word out. If shortages of a certain type of blood occur in a certain zip code, having a database of willing donors in that zip code to contact may be the most efficient way to solve the problem quickly.
That’s where Takes All Types (TAT), a non-profit organization, comes in. Users install their just-released Facebook application, tell it their location and blood type, and say how often they are willing to be contacted to donate blood (maximum is every 57 days). If a shortage occurs, they’ll contact you via the methods that you authorize (Facebook, email, text message, etc.)