The Cook County Health & Hospitals System is celebrating it’s World’s First Blood Bank 75th Anniversary.
In March 1937, blood transfusions become safe and reliable thanks to the vision of Cook County’s physician Bernard Fantus.
When Dr. Bernard Fantus started the first-ever blood bank 75 years ago at Cook County Hospital, he was merely looking for a way to ensure that patients in dire need of a blood transfusion wouldn’t have to endure a frantic search to find a matching donor.
Patients in those situations often expired before a match could be found. Dr. Fantus, who also pioneered pleasant-tasting medicines for children, coined the term “blood bank.” With the creation of what is believed to be the world’s first blood bank, individuals could make deposits for themselves or for the use of others as needed.
This foresight made modern surgery possible. Procedures that were formally very risky have become routine. Since then, countless lives have been saved thanks to the ready availability of blood and blood products.
Click here to view a list of our blood banking & transfusion medicine physicians.