New blood drop emoji due to hit smartphone keyboards in the spring

NHS Blood and Transplant instrumental in bringing all three to life

Blood donors can soon use their time in the donation chair to let people know they are saving lives – using a new blood drop emoji.

The long-awaited red blood drop, which was a successful submission to Unicode from NHS Blood and Transplant along with Plan International UK, is on the list of the new symbol-based text due to hit smartphone keyboards in the spring – and NHS Blood and Transplant’s Social Media Manager was instrumental in bringing it to life.

Blood donors often take to social media in their droves to let their followers know they are giving blood in the hope it will encourage others to follow suit, so it’s hoped this emoji will help reinforce the message.

Melissa Thermidor, Social Media Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant had the initial idea for the blood drop emoji and jointly drafted the proposals for this – along with the stethoscope and the plaster as she wanted to make the medical emoji’s more varied and inclusive on keyboards.

She said:

According to the World Health Organisation, 112 million units of blood are collected globally every year and the addition of the blood drop emoji will be a great way for donors and transfusion recipients to spread awareness of the need for blood. The use of emoji has become widespread globally and this a great step forward to continue to help save and improve lives. We hope the blood drop will give a visual message about donating blood to save lives.

What better way to spread the word across our social channels than the identity of the drop of blood which is synonymous in many people’s minds with the act of donating blood.”

Hospitals across England need nearly 6,000 blood donations every day to treat patients in emergency situations or with ongoing treatment for things like blood disorders, cancers or during childbirth. NHS Blood and Transplant need

to recruit almost 200,000 new donors every year to replace those who can no longer donate.

Emoji’s have become part of everyday interaction on social media and in text messages, so it’s hoped that those loyal donors who like spreading the word will do it using the new blood drop.

Unicode – the California-based organization that manages the distribution of emoji’s – has confirmed that the blood-drop shaped emoticon will be made available worldwide this spring.

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