History of Transfusion Medicine

Highlights of Transfusion Medicine History

Derived from the National Blood Data Resource Center founded by AABB to collect, analyze and distribute data on all aspects of blood banking and transfusion medicine.


Y/M/D Description Place
1628/00/00 English physician William Harvey discovers the circulation of blood. Shortly afterward, the earliest known blood transfusion is attempted.
1665/00/00 The first recorded successful blood transfusion occurs in England: Physician Richard Lower keeps dogs alive by transfusion of blood from other dogs.
1667/00/00 Jean-Baptiste Denis in France and Richard Lower in England separately report successful transfusions from lambs to humans. Within 10 years, transfusing the blood of animals to humans becomes prohibited by law because of reactions.
1795/00/00 In Philadelphia, American physician Philip Syng Physick, performs the first human blood transfusion, although he does not publish this information.
1818/00/00 British obstetrician, James Blundell, performs the first successful transfusion of human blood to a patient for the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. He extracts blood from the husband's arm and successfully transfuses the wife.
1825/00/00 Between 1825 and 1830, James Blundell performs 10 transfusions, five of which prove beneficial to his patients, and publishes these results. He also devises various instruments for performing transfusions and proposed rational indications.
1840/00/00 At St George's School in London, Samuel Armstrong Lane, aided by consultant Dr Blundell, performs the first successful whole blood transfusion to treat hemophilia. The Lanesborough, London
1867/00/00 English surgeon Joseph Lister uses antiseptics to control infection during transfusions.
1873/00/00 US physicians transfuse milk (from cows, goats and humans), 1873-1880.
1884/00/00 Saline infusion replaces milk as a "blood substitute" due to the increased frequency of adverse reactions to milk.
1900/00/00 Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian physician, discovers the first three human blood groups, A, B and C. Blood type C was later changed to O.
1902/00/00 Colleagues of Karl Landsteiner, Alfred Decastello and Adriano Sturli add AB, the fourth type, in 1902.
1907/00/00 Hektoen suggests that the safety of transfusion might be improved by crossmatching blood between donors and patients to exclude incompatible mixtures. Reuben Ottenberg performs the first blood transfusion using blood typing and crossmatching in New York.
1908/00/00 Alexis Carrel devises a way to prevent clotting by sewing the vein of the recipient directly to the artery of the donor. This direct method, known as anastomosis, is practiced by such physicians, as JB Murphy in Chicago and George Crile in Cleveland.
1908/00/00 Moreschi describes the antiglobulin reaction. The antiglobulin is a direct way of visualizing an antigen-antibody reaction that has taken place but is not directly visible.
1912/00/00 Alexis Carrel method to prevent clotting by sewing the vein of the recipient directly to the artery of the donor, proves unfeasible for blood transfusions, but useful for organ transplantation, for which Carrel receives the Nobel Prize in 1912.
1912/00/00 Roger Lee and with Paul D White, develop the Lee-White clotting time at the Massachusetts General. Lee demonstrates that it is safe to give group O blood to patients of any blood group, and that blood from all groups can be given to group AB patients. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
1914/00/00 Long-term anticoagulants, among them sodium citrate, are developed, allowing longer preservation of blood.
1915/00/00 At Mt Sinai Hospital in New York, Richard Lewisohn uses sodium citrate as an anticoagulant to transform the transfusion procedure from direct to indirect. A great advance in transfusion medicine, it takes 10 years for sodium citrate use to be accepted.
1915/00/00 Richard Weil demonstrates the feasibility of refrigerated storage of such anticoagulated blood.
1916/00/00 Francis Rous and J R Turner introduce a citrate-glucose solution that permits storage of blood for several days. Allowing for blood to be stored in containers for later transfusion aids the transition from the vein-to-vein method to indirect transfusion.
1927/00/00 1947The MNSs and P systems are discovered. MNSs and P are two more blood group antigen systems - just as ABO is one system and Rh is another.
1930/00/00 Landsteiner receives the Nobel Prize for Medicine for this discovery in 1930.
1932/00/00 The first blood bank is established in a Leningrad hospital.
1937/00/00 Bernard Fantus, director of therapeutics at the Cook County Hospital, establishes the first hospital blood bank in the US. In creating a hospital laboratory that can preserve and store donor blood, Fantus originates the term "blood bank." Cook County Hospital Administration Building, Chicago
1939/00/00 1939-1940,The Rh blood group system is discovered by Karl Landsteiner, Alex Wiener, Philip Levine and RE Stetson and is soon recognized as the cause of the majority of transfusion reactions.
1940/00/00 The United States government establishes a nationwide program for the collection of blood. Charles R Drew develops the "Plasma for Britain" program, a pilot project to collect blood for shipment to the British Isles.
1940/00/00 John Elliott develops the first blood container, a vacuum bottle extensively used by the Red Cross. Harvard Medical School Quadrangle, Boston
1940/00/00 Edwin Cohn, a professor of biological chemistry at Harvard Medical School, develops cold ethanol fractionation, the process of breaking down plasma into components and products. Harvard Medical School Quadrangle, Boston
1942/01/00 Isadore Ravdin, of Philadelphia, effectively treats Pearl Harbor victims with Cohn's albumin. Injected into the blood stream, albumin absorbs liquid from surrounding tissues, preventing blood vessels from collapsing, a finding associated with shock.
1943/00/00 P Beeson publishes the classic description of transfusion-transmitted hepatitis.
1943/00/00 The introduction by JF Loutit and Patrick L Mollison of acid citrate dextrose (ACD) solution, which reduces the volume of anticoagulant, permits transfusions of greater volumes of blood and permits longer term storage.
1945/00/00 Coombs, Mourant, and Race describe the use of antihuman globulin (later known as the "Coombs Test") to identify "incomplete" antibodies.
1945/00/00 The American Red Cross participates, collecting 13 million units of blood by the end of World War II.
1947/00/00 The American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) is formed to promote common goals among blood banking practitioners and the blood donating public.
1949/00/00 1950The US blood collection system includes 1,500 hospital blood banks, 46 community blood centers, and 31 American Red Cross regional blood centers.
1950/00/00 Audrey Smith reports the use of glycerol cryoprotectant for freezing red blood cells.
1950/00/00 Carl Walter and WP Murphy Jr replace breakable glass bottles with durable plastic bags allowing for the evolution of a collection system capable of safe and easy preparation of multiple blood components from a single unit of whole blood.
1953/00/00 The AABB Clearinghouse is established, providing a centralized system for exchanging blood among blood banks. Today, the Clearinghouse is called the National Blood Exchange.
1953/00/00 Development of the refrigerated centrifuge in 1953 further expedites blood component therapy.
1955/00/00 In the 1950s,in response to the heightened demand created by open-heart surgery and advances in trauma care patients, blood use enters its most explosive growth period.
1957/00/00 The AABB forms its committee on Inspection and Accreditation to monitor the implementation of standards for blood banking.
1958/00/00 The AABB publishes its first edition ofStandards for a Blood Transfusion Service(now titledStandards for Blood Banks and Transfusion Services).
1958/00/00 Oswald Robertson, an American Army officer, is credited with creating the first blood depot by the British during World War I. Robertson received the AABB Landsteiner Award in 1958 as developer of the first blood bank.
1959/00/00 Max Perutz of Cambridge University deciphers the molecular structure of hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen and gives red blood cells their color.
1960/00/00 A Solomon and JL Fahey report the first therapeutic plasmapheresis procedure - a procedure that separates whole blood into plasma and red blood cells.
1961/00/00 The role of platelet concentrates in reducing mortality from hemorrhage in cancer patients is recognized.
1962/00/00 The first antihemophilic factor (AHF) concentrate to treat coagulation disorders in hemophilia patients is developed through fractionation.
1962/00/00 In the US, there were 4,400 hospital blood banks, 123 community blood centers and 55 American Red Cross blood centers, collecting a total of five to six million units of blood per year.
1964/00/00 Plasmapheresis is introduced as a means of collecting plasma for fractionation.
1965/00/00 Judith G Pool and Angela E Shannon report a method for producing Cryoprecipitated AHF for treatment of hemophilia.
1967/00/00 Rh immune globulin is commercially introduced to prevent Rh disease in the newborns of Rh-negative women.
1969/00/00 S Murphy and F Gardner demonstrate the feasibility of storing Platelets at room temperature, revolutionizing platelet transfusion therapy.
1970/00/00 Blood banks move toward an all-volunteer blood donor system.
1971/00/00 Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) testing of donated blood begins.
1972/00/00 Apheresis is used to extract one cellular component, returning the rest of the blood to the donor.
1979/00/00 A new anticoagulant preservative, CPDA-1, extends the shelf life of whole blood and red blood cells to 35 days, increasing the blood supply and facilitating resource sharing among blood banks.
1981/00/00 First Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) case reported.
1983/00/00 Additive solutions extend the shelf life of red blood cells to 42 days.
1984/00/00 Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) identified as cause of AIDS
1985/00/00 Hospital and community blood banks enter the era of transfusion medicine, in which doctors trained specifically in blood transfusion actively participate in patient care.
1985/00/00 The first blood-screening test to detect HIV is licensed and quickly implemented by blood banks to protect the blood supply.
1987/00/00 Two tests that screen for indirect evidence of hepatitis are developed and implemented, hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) and the alanine aminotransferase test (ALT).
1989/00/00 Human-T-Lymphotropic-Virus-I-antibody (anti-HTLV-I) testing of donated blood begins.
1990/00/00 Introduction of first specific test for hepatitis C, the major cause of "non-A, non-B" hepatitis.
1992/00/00 Testing of donor blood for HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies (anti-HIV-1 and anti-HIV-2) is implemented.
1996/00/00 HIV p24 antigen testing of donated blood begins. Although the test does not completely close the HIV window, it shortens the window period.
1997/00/00 US Government issues two reports suggesting ways to improve blood safety, including regulatory reform.
1998/00/00 HCV lookback campaign - a public health effort to alert anyone who may have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) through blood transfusions before July 1992 so they can receive medical counseling and treatment if needed.
1999/00/00 Blood community begins implementation of Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAT) under the FDAs Investigational New Drug (IND) application process. NAT employs a testing technology that directly detects the genetic materials of viruses like HCV and HIV.
2002/00/00 Nucleic acid amplification test (NAT) for HIV and HCV was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration.
2002/00/00 West Nile virus identified as transfusion transmissible.
2003/00/00 First West Nile Virus-positive unit of blood intercepted.
2003/00/00 Guidance on Implementation of New Bacteria Reduction and Detection Standardissued.
2003/00/00 FDA issues final guidance regarding "Revised Recommendations for the Assessment of Donor Suitability and Blood and Blood Product Safety in Cases of Known or Suspected West Nile Virus Infection."
2003/00/00 First-ever National Blood Foundation forum unites leaders in blood banking and transfusion medicine
2004/00/00 AABB receives $2.4 Million CDC grant to reduce transfusion-transmitted HIV in Africa and South America.
2005/00/00 FDA approves the first West Nile virus (WNV) blood test to screen donors of blood, organs, cells and tissues.
2005/00/00 FDAs Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research publishes compliance program guidance for inspection of human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCTPs).
2005/00/00 AABB founding member Tibor Greenwalt dies.
2005/00/00 FDA clears apheresis platelets collected with certain systems for routine storage and patient transfusion up to 7 days when tested with a microbial detection system release test.

Data »

Area of Significance: Science

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