The History of Blood Donation

Blood is the most important component in the human body. It supplies oxygen and nutrients like glucose, amino and fatty acids to different parts of the body. Blood also removes waste like carbon dioxide, lactic acid and urea, circulates white blood cells and regulates body temperature.

Most patients believe that it is their responsibility to organize donors to meet this need. In other words, the search for blood begins after the need has arisen. This naturally would put a lot of pressure on the patient.This also compromises on the safety of blood. It is an established fact that a voluntary blood donor is the safest source of blood as compared to a donor who responds to the need of a specific individual.

Ideally the blood units should be present in the Blood Bank before the patient is admitted. Voluntary blood donation drives at venues convenient to donors can easily ensure that this objective is met. This is reassuring to the patient, easy for the donor, and, more importantly, ensures availability of safe blood.

We now ask, where will this blood come from?
Blood is not manufactured in any factory. Artificial/synthetic blood is still in the research stage. Animal blood cannot be transfused to human beings.

Blood, is made in only one factory – the human body. Therefore, the only source of human blood is voluntary blood donation by another human being.

It is interesting to browse and know some facts of the history of Blood and its Donation. Read as under:

1657: Dr. Christopher Wren performed experiments of injecting various fluids into the veins of animals.

1665: First documented demonstration of blood transfusion between two dogs by Richard Lower.

1667: First attempt at direct human donor to patient blood transfusion by Jean Baptiste Denis in France. The result was disastrous.

1901: Dr Karl Landsteiner made the landmark discovery of blood groups. He categorized the blood groups as types A, B and O. This provided an answer as to why some transfusions worked and others failed.

1914: Development of Sodium Citrate as anticoagulants for preservation of blood.

1916: Development of Citrate Glucose that allowed blood to be stored in containers for later transfusion.

1916: Establishment of blood depots for storing blood to provide relief wounded soldiers during World War 1.

1930: First blood transfusion carried out successfully from human cadaver to human recipient in Moscow.

1930: Establishment of the first fully functional blood bank at Leningrad, Russia.

1940: Rhesus factor discovered in blood by Dr. Karl Landsteiner and Dr. Alexander Weiner. The ABO system and the Rh system together form the basis of blood transfusion activity.

1940: Development of preservation of Blood Plasma after separation from whole blood.

1950: Introduction of plastic bags to replace breakable glass bottles.


Source: This information has been provided by the Think Foundation