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This Is Why Letters Are Disappearing From Signs Around The World

Twenty-one countries have joined the #MissingType campaign calling for new blood donors.

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NHS Blood and Transplant has launched its #MissingType campaign for the second time – and this year it's gone global.

The letters A, B, and O are being dropped from iconic signs and landmarks around the world to raise awareness of the need for donations of these blood types.

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Among the 21 countries taking part in the campaign are Japan, South Africa, Singapore, Canada, the USA, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Belgium.

もし世の中から「A」「B」「O」が消えてしまったらGoogleロゴはこんな姿に…。献血でA,B,Oを守りましょう。詳細は日本赤十字社のページ https://t.co/N41Qw2FXQj をご覧ください。 #MISSINGTYPE

Mike Stredder, director of blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "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."

"Whether it's patients receiving treatment for cancer, blood disorders, after accidents or during surgery, or new mums who lost blood in childbirth, blood is an absolutely essential part of modern healthcare," Stredder said.

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He warned: "We need more young donors to safeguard blood donation for future generations."

Do you have the #missingtype? Help fill the gaps and save lives, book to donate blood at https://t.co/wU6CIu2aLb

"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," Stredder added.

A number of brands and organisations have embraced the campaign, which launched on Tuesday.

Have you noticed? 👀 We have lost our A, O and B in support of #MissingType! More info, here: https://t.co/J5u9gA5BXN

We’ve dropped the O from Tesco to raise awareness for @GiveBloodNHS. #MissingType. See more https://t.co/qIC5JxJjsa https://t.co/tHKcIQUfYJ

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People in the UK can start donating blood from the age of 17. But last year in England only 11% of donors were aged between 17 and 24.

Check out how @BelfastAirport is supporting #MissingType!

Around 3.5% of England's population is black African or black Caribbean but last year only 0.6% of donors were from black communities.

What's up with the @SydOperaHouse sign? It's raising awareness about blood types #missingtype Details @TenNewsSydney

The NHS said barriers to people giving blood included a lack of awareness about the process, less time to give in an increasingly busy world – and the fear of needles.

#MissingType @cityoftoronto @itsinyoutogive where have the O's gone? Patients need blood types A, B and O now!

"Don’t worry if you’ve never given blood before and don’t know what blood group you are – you find out shortly after your first donation," Stredder said.

Waarom wij vorige vrijdag de A, B en O’s uit onze tweet haalden? #missingtype https://t.co/vFa4noXZET

"What’s important is that you register as a donor and book your first appointment to donate," he added.

Did y_u n_tice s_mething weird _b_ _t #7News t_night? We'll reve_l _ll t_m_rr_w _t 6pm. #MissingType @janedoyle7

"We particularly need new A negative and O negative donors, and people willing to become dedicated platelet donors," Stredder said.

You could help others replace their #MissingType and save lives with NHS Blood & Transplant https://t.co/RRx8IP99aB

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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