The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service (FRCBS) was founded on 1 January 1948 to satisfy hospitals' blood demand. Just like 75 years ago, blood plays a leading role in saving and improving the quality of life.
In Finland, donating blood has always been voluntary and donors do not receive payment in exchange for blood. The Scouts brought the idea of voluntary blood services from England to Finland in the 1930s, founding the Blood Association of the Guides and Scouts in 1935. The Association had approximately four hundred members when it was at its largest.
Before the Winter War, blood transfers were conducted on a relatively small scale at Finnish hospitals, with the donors being mostly the patients’ relatives. Scouts donated blood when no relatives were available for donation.
During the war years, the need for blood increased. The Blood Service of the Finnish Defence Forces continued the work that the scouts had started, assuming responsibility for recruiting blood donors and for the collection of blood during the period from 1930 to 1944. During the Winter War of 1940, the practice of donating blood into glass bottles was assumed, in order to avoid cumbersome direct transfusions. During the war years, a total of 190 000 bottles of blood was donated.
During WWII, the blood service was the responsibility of the Blood Service of the Finnish Defence Forces.
The staff of the Investigating Central Police donating blood 1956.