In 1950, blood was only available to patients
in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, after many steps were taken.
Once a search for donors with the correct blood group and type
were found, their blood had to be cross matched with the patients
blood. During surgery, donors waited by a telephone in the case
they were needed since the two counties had no way of storing
blood that was not used.
Local physicians decided that this was not an
effective way to provide needed blood for surgery.Consequently,
Shiras Jarvis, M.D., Phillip Dohn, M.D., Stanwood Schmidt, M.D.,
and George Watson, M.D. decided to form a community blood bank.
They approached the Eureka Elks Lodge, and under the leadership
of Carl Hansen, the Elks raised the money to start the "Humboldt
Del Norte Blood Bank". The blood bank was incorporated in
1951 and in 2001 we celebrated our 50th Anniversary.
The original blood bank was in the Lloyd building
which is still located on Fifth Street. In the beginning, physicians
took turns drawing blood, but soon after there was permanent staff
hired for those tasks. According to the minutes of original Board
meetings, Aubrey White was the first "Head Technician"
and paid employee of the blood bank.
In the last 50 years the blood bank has needed
additional space. The blood bank traded a parcel of land they
owned on Second street, for the current property on Harrison Avenue,
a blood bank was constructed on the land that was the blood bank
home for 35 years. The current facilty was constructed in 1994.
For the past 50 years, there has been a diverse
group of individuals (too many to name) that have helped the blood
bank thrive. Hundreds of men and women have served as members
of the Board of Directors. For many years the blood bank was part
of the Humboldt/ DelNorte Medical Society and benefited from the
Hundreds of thousands of selfless donors have
willingly and silently come through our doors and to our blood
mobiles to give "The Gift Of Life" for no other reason,
but to do the right thing for someone in need.
In the first year of business, the blood bank
drew just a couple of hundred units. In 2008, the blood bank drew
over 16,000 units of blood, a third was collected at our site on
Harrison Ave and the other two-thirds was collected on our blood mobiles
through out the two counties. The blood bank has grown over the
past 59 years and we are looking to grow with your help.