The first blood bank opens
March 15, 1937
Dr. Bernard Fantus is often called the “Father of the Blood Bank,” a facility where specimens can be extracted cleanly and stored soundly, preserving blood at any amount of time for patients who needed it. The Hungarian-born doctor was educated at the University of Illinois and became head of therapeutics at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital. It was there that he created a facility that, based on a combination of refrigeration additives, could store blood specimens for up to ten days. Believing a “Blood Preservative Laboratory” sounded too clinical, he called his invention a blood bank. Before Dr. Fantus’ design, transmitting blood was often difficult, ineffective, or dangerous. Needless to say, his development began saving hundreds of lives, and today helps over five million Americans per year. Blood transfusions aid those who are fighting fatal illnesses, or victims of crisis and trauma. Donating blood is one of the easiest and most successful medical efforts that Americans partake in today. Along with establishing the modern blood bank, Dr. Fantus is also credited with his revolutionary pediatric work, creating safe and comfortable conditions for children visiting the doctor. Because even adults know how scary routine check-ups can be!
Why do you think it is important to donate blood?