Blood Transfusions: A Brief Timeline
- 1818: James Blundell performed the first successful human blood transfusion.
- 1907: Safety was improved by cross-matching and blood typing.
- 1940: The United States began a national blood collection program. The Red Cross enacted a blood donor program for the military in World War II.
- 1948: The Red Cross established the first national blood donation center for civilians, and it grew to include 1,577 centers in the following year.
- 1957: The American Association of Blood Banks formed the Inspection and Accreditation Committee to establish the standards of blood banking.
- 1970: Blood banks in the United States became a volunteer-based donation system. To encourage regular or first-time donation, President Richard Nixon declared January as National Blood Donor Month.
Every two seconds someone needs blood in the United States. Often, these people are accident victims, organ recipients, or cancer patients. Only 10% of eligible people annually give blood. A single donation can help multiple patients, but sometimes a patient can require up to 100 pints of blood. As blood must be used within 42 days of donation, it is often in short supply. You can help meet the high demand by donating every three to four months. Universal blood types are often in high demand and short supply. In the United States, 7% of people are Type O negative and 3% have Type AB positive. Type O negative is the universal red cell blood type; type AB positive is the universal plasma blood type.
4 Easy Steps for Donation
- Register and make an appointment by visiting here.
- You can also download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
- Blood donation has become a simple hour and fifteen-minute long process upon arrival
- Use a drivers license or blood donor card as identification at check in.
- You will have to give some medical history and pass a mini-physical. Donors younger than 18 will have to meet additional height and weight requirements.
- You can now save time at future donations with the RapidPass to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online. This must be done prior to arrival on the day of your donation. Click here to get started.
- Now you are ready to donate. This will take less than twelve minutes. A new sterile needle is used for each donor then disposed of afterward.
- You did it! Enjoy some food and refreshments.