Cook County Home to Nation’s First Blood Bank

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The nation’s first blood bank opened at Cook County Hospital on March 15, 1937 under the leadership of Dr. Bernard Fantus. Dr. Fantus’ medical innovations in storing and transfusing blood spread nationally and internationally and made modern surgery as we know it possible. Today, nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year and there are more 15.7 million blood donations at blood banks around the country.

Learn more about the history of the Cook County Blood Bank in this feature by Through the Decades. 

Nation's First Blood Bank