The application that encourages us to be heroes

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Dragu Ana-Maria, a 1st year medical student and Mr. Baiu Octavian-Ilarian, a 5th year medical student from Romania. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

One of the biggest threats to the healthcare system of Romania is represented by the lack of blood for medical procedures. Even though one might attribute it to the prevalence of vampires in our country, the real reason for this lack is that only about 2% of our population are blood donors. Comparing that to the 10% in western Europe, it is not hard to understand where the huge gap between offer and demand arises.

There have been many attempts to increase the number of people who donate their blood, some more successful than others. The physical advertising in our country is bordering on nil, most of the publicity that blood donation receives being in the online medium.

One of the most effective and, for that matter, simple technological solutions to the lack of populational participation is currently carried out by the Romanian Federation of Medical Students’ Associations. Our volunteers are carrying out a blood donation campaign every 2 to 3 months, the interval of time that you are required to wait between donations. The premise of the campaign is rather simple, flooding Facebook with infographics about the need for new donors (which, oddly enough, is rather unknown to the general public). In addition to this, our volunteers offer rewards such as snacks, juices and badges to the donors in the transfusion center, after they have finished their donation. The results of these campaigns are astonishing. In the 10 days that the campaign is running, the number of donors increases 10 fold.

The biggest platform in Romania for blood donations is called Donorium. Even though the application is in its early stages of development, we believe that it can become the impulse our country needs. With the app, anyone can find the exact steps they have to take before they donate and moreover the conditions they have to meet in order to be eligible. A particularly remarkable feature of this app is the fact that it provides information about the current blood necessities in the nearby cities, a process that was done by facebook posts before Donorium’s appearance. Moreover, the app provides you with a fast and convenient way of making an appointment and allows (and even encourages) you to invite friends creating a positive experience around the donation.

In this era of technology, we believe that medicine should focus more and more on including technology. We believe that there is much room for improvement in the E-Medicine field in our country, concerning both blood donation and health in general.


About the authors

Dragu Ana-Maria is a 1st year medical student from Romania. She is a part of the Romanian Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (FASMR), a national member organization of IFMSA and being a part of the standing committee of human rights and peace (SCORP)

Baiu Octavian-Ilarian is a 5th year medical student from Romania and a part of the Romanian Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (FASMR), a national member organization of IFMSA, focusing on medical education (SCOME)

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