The milestones

This is the 70th year of Singapore's blood banking service. Here are some of the historical milestones.

1946: Singapore Blood Transfusion Service (SBTS) is set up in the pathology department at the General Hospital in Outram Road.

1949: The first mobile blood collection unit goes out to residential areas and workplaces to collect blood.

1965: Plastic blood collection bags are introduced to replace the glass bottles and rubber tubing.

1966: Transfusion services are extended to Kandang Kerbau Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Toa Payoh Hospital and Alexandra Hospital.

1973: Documentation for blood collection begins to be computerised and start of screening for hepatitis B virus in donated blood.

1978: The Spyros tanker docked at Jurong Shipyard explodes and results in 162 casualties and 76 deaths. The disaster stretches the blood bank's facilities and manpower to the limit as donors rush in to donate blood.

1986: Hotel New World collapses and SBTS staff work round the clock to collect, process and store the blood from donors. Following the disaster, the first emergency blood collection exercise is held by SBTS and the Singapore Civil Defence Force at Serangoon Gardens Community Centre to familiarise the public with the blood donation procedure during an emergency.

1988: The National Blood Centre run by Health Sciences Authority opens at its current premises in Outram Road.

2000: Start of screening for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes Aids, in donated blood.

2001: The Singapore Red Cross is appointed to recruit blood donors.

2011: Launch of the first satellite blood collection centre at Woodlands Civic Centre.

2012: Another blood bank at Dhoby Ghaut is opened.

2015: A third blood bank is opened at Westgate Tower in Jurong.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2016, with the headline 'The milestones '. Print Edition | Subscribe