Hoxworth Blood Center is one of the oldest community blood centers in the country. Founded in December 1938 by a Cincinnati surgeon, Dr. Paul I. Hoxworth (pictured at right), the blood bank was established as a not-for-profit organization operating under the auspices of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The History of Hoxworth Blood Center
As World War II began to draw to a close, the American Red Cross turned the blood bank over to the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine and was renamed the UC Blood Transfusion Service. In 1973, the Transfusion Service was renamed the Paul I. Hoxworth Blood Center. By 1981, the name was shortened to the Hoxworth Blood Center.
In those early days, the blood bank was a one-room laboratory. The staff consisted of Dr. Hoxworth's wife and three technicians. Dr. Hoxworth and other hospital doctors donated their services.
Dr. Paul Hoxworth holds a pint of blood in 1938.
The blood bank collected approximately 2,000 units of blood annually, providing whole blood primarily for surgery and trauma cases. The blood was collected in glass bottles and could only be stored for five days.
According to an archived caption, "The materials have been carefully cleaned (the bottles into which the drawn blood flows are dried in an oven after washing), but the packed kit will be further sterilized by being kept under 15 pounds steam pressure in an autoclave for 15 minutes."
A volunteer donor gives the "gift of life" in Cincinnati's first blood bank. Today, donors can donate blood at one of Hoxworth's eight Neighborhood Donor Centers, or at mobile blood drives.
More than 260 employees are employed by Hoxworth Blood Center. Hoxworth distributes more than 300,000 total blood components annually to 30 hospitals in a 17-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Hoxworth Blood Center relies on 350 whole blood and 40 pheresis platelet donors daily to meet the needs of Tri-State patients.
Red blood cell storage has been extended from five days in glass bottles to 42 days using specialized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bags.
Individual component therapy replaced whole blood usage in the mid-1970s. This allowed one donor to help as many as three patients. Hoxworth now supplies red blood cells, platelets, fresh frozen plasma and cryoprecipitate to our area hospitals. Automation is now utilized to maximize the collection of platelets and red blood cells from select donors.
From a one-room laboratory to a state-of-the-art facility with eight donor centers, Hoxworth continues to provide the safest possible blood supply for the patients in our community.