Mission Statement · History · Media Kit · The Donor Newsletter · Financial Information San Diego Blood Bank - History - San Diego Blood Bank


In December 1950 the San Diego Blood Bank was established through the support of the San Diego County Medical Society.  The foresight and dedication of founding fathers Dr. Thomas O'Connell and Dr. Frederick G. Hollander, led us to the San Diego Blood Bank of today, an organization known for excellence in its service to our community.

Prominent San Diegans have taken pride in the San Diego Blood Bank from its earliest beginnings.  Mary Mulvey, R.N., Dr. Edward Levy, Jonas Salk, Allan Klauber, Neil Morgan, John Quimby, William Stephens, Sr., Legler Benbough, Dr. J.B. Askew, Mayor Harley Knox and Councilman Charles C. Dail are among those who supported it during its first two decades.

Throughout the years, the San Diego Blood Bank has stayed in the forefront of transfusion medicine, added donor centers and bloodmobiles to cover all of the region's neighborhoods, diversified the blood bank's donor base and formed lasting partnerships with organizations from all over the San Diego community.  The San Diego Chargers, NBC 7/39, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Barona Casino, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Viejas Enterprises, the Leukemia Society, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, Sempra Energy, Qualcomm, the Southern California Cartoonists Society, the San Diego Padres and numerous local radio stations lead the list of more than 1,000 longtime San Diego Blood Bank community partners who help make blood donations possible.

An independent blood center serving some 50 hospitals in the Southern California Region, the San Diego Blood Bank is a member of America's Blood Centers, www.americasblood.org and the American Association of Blood Banks, www.aabb.org.

The San Diego Blood Bank Responds Quickly and Decisively In Times Of Tragedy

  • On September 11, 2001, with the help of the United States Navy, the San Diego Blood Bank sent 380 pints of blood to New York on the afternoon of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.  On the day of the tragedy and the days that followed, donors lined up to give blood, many waiting in line for several hours.  By the end of the week, over 3,000 blood donations were made at centers and on bloodmobiles.
  • In March 2001, nearly 2,100 pints of blood were donated at San Diego Blood Bank donor centers and on bloodmobiles during the week following the Santana High School shooting.
  • In April 1995, more than 2,000 donors gave blood at San Diego Blood Bank locations within 48 hours of the Oklahoma City Bombing.
  • In 1994 more than 100 pints of blood were sent to Los Angeles-area hospitals in the aftermath of the Northridge earthquake.
  • In 1991 the San Diego Blood Bank responded to a Department of Defense request for weekly blood shipments during Operation Desert Storm. Consequently, the San Diego Blood Bank anticipated that donor response would double and immediately instituted a contingency plan to handle
  • In 1989 the San Diego Blood Bank sent blood to San Francisco in the aftermath of the Bay Area earthquake that injured hundreds.
  • In July 1984, the San Diego Blood Bank responded to an outpouring of more than 1,000 donors in the wake of a massacre at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro that left 21 people dead.
  • In July 1981, thanks to the generous donation of facilities at the Town and Country Convention Center by owner Terry Brown, the San Diego Blood Bank remained able to accept blood donations without interruption after a fire destroyed the donor center.