history-picIt was August 1947 when Jackson Medical Laboratory and Blood Bank first opened its doors on the second floor of 607 Highland Avenue in Jackson, Tennessee. Business partners Jack and Martha Smythe and Ruby Warner gleamed with pride, with their two other employees as they began their new adventure. Dr. Kelly Smythe, long time family physician in Bemis, was on hand to support his son, Jack, and oversee the operation. This opening was synonymous with the founding meeting of the American Association of Blood Banks in Dallas, Texas. Jack Smythe was at the meeting in Dallas and became a founding member. A sterile, glass, vacuum bottle had recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration with an anticoagulant/preservative for the purpose of collecting Whole Blood, Human. The closed system and improved anticoagulant made it possible for the first time to store blood for transfusion in a refrigerator for 21 days.

The four small hospitals then located in Jackson were the Blood Bank’s first customers, followed by Haywood County Hospital, Milan Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and Gibson County Hospital.

Today, LIFELINE Blood Services serves 19 hospitals in 19 counties.

(excerpt above taken from “The Beginning of the Journey” LIFELINE Blood Services 60 Years of Service to Patients in West Tennessee)