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1969 W. Ogden Ave. Lower Level
Chicago, IL 60612

Phone: (312) 864-7471

On March 15, 1937, the nation’s first blood bank opened at Cook County Hospital.

The blood bank, which is now housed at John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital, was founded by Dr. Bernard Fantus, an inventive Cook County Hospital physician. The cost to open the blood bank was $1,500 and it helped facilitate 1,354 blood transfusions in its first year. The ability to store and transfuse blood has made modern surgery and resuscitation in critical care, trauma and obstetrics possible.

Today, the blood bank at Stroger Hospital supports more than 15,000 transfusions a year, including over 100 massive (large volume) transfusions for patients with traumatic injuries or hemorrhagic shock from other causes.

Since the establishment of the blood bank, countless lives have been saved thanks to the ready availability of blood and blood products. Each year, nearly 21 million blood components are transfused and there are more 15.7 million blood donations at blood banks around the country.