By Joon Young Lee

The first blood bank opened on March 15, 1937, at Cook County Hospital and it facilitated 1,354 blood transfusions in its first year of existence. The donating of blood would peak during the Cold War era of the ‘50s and the ‘60s as it was understood that the cause of nuclear bombs would destroy white blood cells and wouldn’t have any immunity. 

picture of Cook County Hospital

Recently, due to high COVID-19 cases, the number of blood donors decreased drastically and the Red Cross has been sending out urgent messages to encourage people to donate blood. 

What happens if I donate blood? The answer to that question is very simple. Right after the donation, the blood is processed and scanned into the computer database. Next, the blood gets tested for any infectious diseases and gets stored if there are no problems. Lastly, the blood gets distributed to the people who need them. That is why you are encouraged to donate blood to give back to the society.