1616: Dr. William Harvey, a leading physician from of England, demonstrates for the first time that blood circulates in the human body.
1657: Sir Christopher Wren injects fluids into the circulation of animals, using equipment developed by Dr. William Harvey.
1665: Dr. Richard Lower of England performs the first recorded successful blood transfusion from one dog to another. This is followed by transfusion of animal blood to human beings by many doctors resulting in loss of lives.
1678: The Pope forbids blood transfusion by a proclamation.
1818: Dr. James Blundell, an obstetrician from England, invents an instrument for transfusing blood, transfuses human blood directly to a dying patient and saves her life. He is the first to propagate that only human blood can be transfused into a human being.
1901: Dr. Karl Landsteiner, a pathologist from Vienna, Austria, discovers the ABO blood grouping system, indicating exactly what the problem has been for 272 years.
1914-18: The increased necessity for blood during the First World War gives birth to two advances. First, in 1914 Dr. Hustin of Belgium discovers blood can be prevented from clotting when outside of the human body by mixing it with a sodium citrate solution. Second, that blood can last a bit longer if it’s put in the fridge.
1916: Francis Rous and J. R. Turner introduce a citrate-glucose solution that permits storage of blood for several days after collection. This allows for blood to be stored in containers for later transfusion, and aids in the transition from the vein-to-vein method to direct transfusion. This discovery also leads to the establishment of the first Blood 'depot' by Oswald Robertson.
1921: The first voluntary blood service is born when British Red Cross members decide to donate blood in King’s College Hospital in London.
1925: An institution for conducting research on blood transfusion is established in Moscow under the leadership of Dr. Alexander Bogdanov.
1930: Dr. Karl Landsteiner is awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of blood groups.
1937: The first blood bank in the world is established in the Country Cook Hospital in Chicago.
1937: Dr. Charles R Drew discovers how to separate plasma and red blood cells from whole blood and preserve them.
1940: Dr. Karl Landsteiner and Dr. Alexander Weiner discover the Rhesus blood group through experiments with red blood cells of Rhesus monkeys.
1950: Carl Walter and W J Murphy, Jr. introduce the plastic bag for blood collection. Replacing glass bottles with plastic bags enables much wider use of blood components.
1925: Imperial serologists set up a Blood Transfusion Center at the School of Tropical Medicine in Calcutta which is capable of vein-to-vein blood transfusion only.
1939: The Indian Red Cross Society forms a Blood Bank Committee which supports the Blood Transfusion Center by supplying equipments and organizing blood donors. As a result it is possible to preserve blood for several hours in the fridge in a container.
1942: Following a government decision Major General W C Patton orders that a blood bank be established in Calcutta. This first real blood bank in India is called the Calcutta Blood Bank and is situated in Calcutta’s Central Avenue. The Red Cross Blood Bank Committee is charged with the management of the bank.
March 6 1942 – May 15 1943: The British collect 39050 units of blood from officers of various British run organizations and members of the aristocracy to meet the needs of the war affected people. Of this, 5458 units are collected at the blood bank.
After the end of the war the management of the blood bank is handed over to the government. But due to lack of any motivational programs for donors it becomes dependent on blood sellers.
Government blood banks are set up in all metropolitan cities in the 40s and all districts in the 50s. Later they too become dependent on professional sellers so the government begins to encourage setting up commercial banks.
1948: The first Blood Bank in Bangladesh is established in Dhaka Medical College.
1954: After blood transfusion saves the life of the son of Leela Moolgaonkar, a member of famous Tata family, following a road accident, she takes up the cause and leads the blood donation movement till her death in 1992.
August 4, 1962: The students and teachers of Jadavpur University organize a month-long blood camp under the leadership of their Rector Dr. Triguna Sen. 301 people donate blood in the camp.
1975: Blood Donation Day is observed for the first time in India on October 1 largely due to the initiative of the Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and Immuno-hematology.
1985: A three-day national seminar and workshop to motivate blood donors is organized in Calcutta for the first time. The National Blood Transfusion Policy is formulated in the Seminar. The monthly ‘Gift of Blood’ is launched to motivate the blood donors.
January 4, 1996: The Supreme Course prohibits the buying and selling of blood effective from January 1, 1998 and orders the government to form State Blood Transfusion Councils to motivate people to donate blood.
1972: National Professor Dr. Nurul Islam formally inaugurates the voluntary blood donation program in Bangladesh by donating his own blood.
1978: Voluntary blood donation movement in Bangladesh starts with the establishment of Shondhani by Dhaka Medical College students.
1981: Bangladesh Red Crescent Society starts its blood bank based voluntary blood donation program.
1982: ORCA, an alumni association for Rajshahi Cadet College Students, starts its voluntary blood donation program.
1996: Quantum Foundation enters the world of voluntary blood donation by forming a mobile donor pool.
1997: Bandhon, an association of voluntary blood donors, is established by Dhaka University students.
2000: Quantum Foundation starts a full fledged blood donation program by establishing Quantum Lab.
2003: Modern equipments such as a blood component separator (Centrifuge Machine), an Elisa Machine for screening, a refrigerator capable of generating temperatures as low as (–) 90 degrees Celsius, and a platelet incubator for storing platelet are added to Quantum Lab. As a result it is possible to separate different components from whole blood.
2010: Quantum Lab is an international standard blood lab equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and capable of supplying 8 blood components in addition to whole blood. The average monthly supply is around 6000 units.