The Korean Society of Blood Transfusion (KSBT) was established in Seoul in 1982 by a group of physicians of clinical pathology (currently laboratory medicine), internal medicine, paediatrics, anaesthesiology, and surgery, who were members of the Korean Society of Hematology, in which they had been actively engaged as transfusion specialists. However, these physicians were dissatisfied with the lack of public recognition of blood transfusion and the unrealistic blood service system and therefore attempted to build an influential organization for improvement of blood services and transfusion medicine. The mission of the KSBT is to advance the science and practice of transfusion medicine. The KSBT advocates for education and research in the fields of transfusion medicine and for safe blood in blood services. The inaugural KSBT conference, with approximately 50 participants, was held in November, 1982; since then, annual conferences and educational workshops have been held regularly once or twice a year. Currently, the KSBT has approximately 800 members, who are practitioners of blood transfusion (holders of M.D.) or staff members of blood services (holders of other professional degrees). The Society also publishes the Korean Journal of Blood Transfusion (first issue published in 1990) and guidelines for blood services. A Society web site (http://www.transfusion.or.kr) was started in 2001, with the hope of increasingly providing information and feedback to members on a real-time basis. The KSBT has been an active participant in international activities. In 1995, the KSBT hosted the Sixth ISBT Western Pacific Regional Congress in Seoul and will host the 33rd ISBT Congress in Seoul in 2014. Since its inauguration, the KSBT has had key roles not only in education and research in the fields of transfusion medicine but also in development of safe-blood services during the last 30 years.