There is no documentation
of when the first blood transfusion actually took place. References to
blood transfusion can be found in religious text of most civilizations.
1613- William Harvey
describes the circulation of blood. Following which many speculations
on the possibility of blood transfusion were made.
1665- Perhaps the
first documented public demonstration of blood transfusion was by Richard
Lower, between two dogs. He suggested the appropriateness of blood transfusion
in severe hemorrhage.
1667- Jean Dennis
was likely the first to perform a blood transfusion to a human being.
He successfully transfused a 15 year old boy on June 15,1667.
1667- Jean Dennis
may have been the first to describe, what we now know as a transfusion
reaction. He observed this on one of his patients, who manifested classical
sighs of a hemolytic (destruction of red cells) reaction.
1818- James Bundell
advocated the use of human, rather than animal blood for transfusions,
although only for reasons of practicality rather than on any scientific basis.
1835- The major
problem faced by these early pioneers was that blood clotted within minutes
of storage in a container. Bischoff proposed use of defibrinated blood
to avoid clotting (the body uses fibrin as mesh to trap red blood cells
and form a clot).
The modern era blood
transfusion was initiated by the work of Landsteiner.
1901- Blood groups
(AB) were discovered by Landsteiner, who almost 40 years later discovered
the second most important blood group system, the Rh system.
1907- Reuben Ottenberg
was the first to perform ABO typing on patients and use compatibility
testing before blood transfusion.
1914- By this time
the need was felt for an anticoagulant that would allow blood to be stored
without clotting and citrated blood was soon to become the standard method
for storing blood.
1943- ACD (acid-citrate-dextrose)
was introduced as an anticoagulant as it was simpler to prepare and to
1947- The first
blood center was established in Chicago.
1949- Plastic bags
were slowly replacing glass bottles for storing blood.
1970- Starting in
the early 1970's only volunteer donors were accepted as blood donors.
Donors giving blood for money often had other high-risk activities and the incidence of liver diseases was high from receiving blood.
1971- Testing for
the hepatitis B antigen was implemented, and this together with cessation
of paid donations, reduced the incidence of post-transfusion hepatitis
by more than half.
1980- High- risk
donor deferral/ self-exclusion was initiated in the early 80s . Any donor
who had a high risk behavior for infectious diseases was deferred from donating.
1985- Testing for
HIV was implemented.
1999- The NAT testing
was initiated voluntarily by America's blood centers. This test detects
viral RNA/DNA and reduces the window period in which conventional tests