The tradition of donating blood started during World War I as a way to support wounded soldiers. During World War II, giving blood – like rationing food and fuel – was a way for civilians to contribute to the war effort. This outpouring of generosity was also the inspiration for the founding of Central Blood Bank in 1951 by the Pittsburgh Jaycees and four area physicians.
Central Blood Bank, a not-for-profit organization, was established to serve the transfusion needs of Pittsburgh hospitals. As a 14-staff operation collecting 5,000 units of blood and servicing seven hospitals, that first year Central Blood Bank laid the foundation for a center for excellence in transfusion medicine and an integral partner in the delivery of healthcare in our region.
Over the past 60-plus years, the geographic region serviced by Central Blood Bank has expanded from metropolitan Pittsburgh to more than 10 counties in western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio. Central Blood Bank currently employs more than 330 dedicated employees who annually collect, test and distribute 140,000 units of whole blood to approximately 40 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the tri-state area.
By advancing technologies and state-of-the-art programs related to our values, Central Blood Bank has been a pioneer in the unique space defined as transfusion medicine. The integration of traditional blood services with a reference laboratory for coagulopathies, clinical laboratories and scientific and biotech development led to the establishment of The Institute for Transfusion MedicineSM, an organization providing the community with a coordinated approach to the rapidly expanding field of transfusion medicine.
From the beginning, Central Blood Bank governance has been provided by an independent and volunteer Board of Directors.
Operating in a highly regulated environment, Central Blood Bank is a blood collection establishment licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We are accredited by AABB and licensed by the Commonwealth of the State of Pennsylvania. As such, compliance with regulations and national standards requires process control in all aspects of manufacturing. Click here for our licenses and accreditations.
Our total quality management philosophy emphasizes a commitment to exceed the expectations of our volunteer blood donors and hospital partners. Our aim is to be the highest-value provider of quality transfusion-related products and services available.