Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15: First Blood Bank

On this date in History ... 1937:
The first blood bank was opened at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Before the technology that preserved blood came along, transfusions had to be done vein-to-vein.  Russians had worked with using cadaveric blood (blood from cadavers) to store and re-use.  Inspired by this work by the Russians, Bernard Fantus at Cook County established the first U.S. blood storage, and thus the term “blood bank” was born.

Some facts about blood donation and blood needs:

·         O-negative blood can be received by anyone of any blood type.  This makes O-negative donors the most valuable blood donor.  Because it has such a high demand, there is frequently a shortage of the O-negative supply.

·         O-negative people can only receive O-negative blood.  This makes O-negative people a very high risk group as, unlike other blood types, they cannot receive any other type of blood except their own type.

·         7% of blood donors are O-negative.

·         There are about 10 million donors in a year to service a population of over 300 million.

·         A single car-accident-victim can use as much as 100 pints of blood.

·         Blood cannot be manufactured … it can only be donated.

·         The American Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood supply.

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