The establishment of an open-heart surgery program in Lincoln was the motivating factor for the formation of a community-based blood bank by the Lancaster County Medical Society in October 1968. Prior to that time, each hospital was responsible for the collection and testing of the blood that they transfused. Transfusions were a rarity and when blood was needed, a donor would be called to donate, with the blood being given shortly thereafter.

The desire to exceed standards has been part of NCBB's mission since it opened. NCBB was the first blood bank to bring blood drives to Lincoln and surrounding communities, which allowed NCBB to collect more blood and provide resources to more hospitals. By the 1980s, NCBB began component transfusions - splitting blood donations red cells, plasma and platelets, which allowed hospitals to do more with the blood products they received.

A decade later, in 1993, NCBB was the first in the nation to provide hospital customers with leuko-reduced blood products which reduced transfusion reactions and provided a better patient experience. By 2007, NCBB operated out of three donor centers and by 2011, blood donations reached an all-time high of 50,000 units. A merger with long-time laboratory partner Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) in 2012 gave NCBB access to more inventory and specialized units of blood products - ultimately improving accessibility for our hospital partners and decreasing turnaround time. Today, NCBB provides blood to 11 hospital partners and each whole blood donation undergoes more than a dozen tests to assure the potency, compatibility and safety of blood provided to patients in need.

Much has changed; yet one thing remains the same, the Nebraska Community Blood Bank’s commitment to Connecting People, Saving Lives.

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Our History (.PDF, 384.05 KB)