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July 5, 1965

History of Blood Banking in the United States

Author Affiliations

From the Medical Service, Children's Hospital Medical Center, and the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

JAMA. 1965;193(1):40-44. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090010046012

This history of blood banking is not intended to be a complete review of the formation and growth of blood banks. Such information can be obtained from numerous textbooks and articles to some of which the reader is directed in the list of references.1,2 Instead, this paper will touch on the ideas that led to the development of blood banks, the steps taken to obtain adequate supplies of blood for our increasing medical needs, and the advances in collection, storage, and the use of blood and blood products which all too often have been frustratingly slow. It is hoped that such a review will help correct past mistakes and speed up future progress in this important field.

Blood banking actually should have started when it became possible to store blood in a refrigerator. This became feasible through the introduction of sodium citrate as an anticoagulant in 1914-1915. In this