Charles Richard Drew was born on June 3, 1904, in Washington, D.C. He was an African American physician who developed ways to process and store blood plasma in “blood banks.”
He directed the blood plasma programs of the United States and Britain during the Second World War but resigned after deciding that African American blood would be extracted. He died on April 1, 1950.
Family and Early Childhood
A pioneer of African American medical research, Ph.D. Charles R. Drew has made several innovative breakthroughs in the storage and processing of blood for transfusions. He also operated two of the largest blood banks during the Second World War.
Drew grew up in Washington, D.C., as the eldest son of carpeting. At a young age, Drew showed great athletic talent. During his elementary years, he won several swimming medals and then moved on to football, basketball, and other sports. After graduating from Dunbar High School in 1922, Drew went to Amherst College on a sports scholarship. It was there that he excelled in athletics and football.
Drew graduated from Amherst in 1926 but did not have enough money to fulfill his dream of attending medical school. For two years, he worked as an instructor and trainer in biology at Morgan College, now Morgan State University, in Baltimore. In 1928, he applied to medical schools and enrolled at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
At McGill University, Drew quickly proved to be an excellent student. He has won awards in neuroanatomy and is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, an association of medical honor. A 1933 graduate, Drew was the second in his class to earn a doctorate in medicine and a master’s in surgery. He practiced and was a resident of the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Montreal General Hospital. Meanwhile, Drew studied with Drs. John Beattie and discussed the problems and problems associated with blood transfusions.
After the death of his father, Drew returned to the United States. He became an instructor at the Howard University School of Medicine in 1935. The following year, in addition to his university work, he attended the Freedmen Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Father of Blood Banks
In 1938, Drew received a Rockefeller Scholarship to study at Columbia University and train at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York. There he continued his research with blood-related to John Scudder. Drew developed a method of processing and storing blood plasma, that is, acellular blood. Plasma lasts much longer than whole blood, which allows it to be stored or “stored” for long periods. He discovered that the plasma could be dried and then redeveloped.
His research formed the basis of his doctoral thesis, Banked Blood, and he received his doctorate in 1940. Drew became the first African American to graduate from Columbia.
As World War II broke out in Europe, Drew was asked to lead a special medical effort known as “Blood for Britain.” He organized the collection and processing of blood plasma from several New York hospitals, and the delivery of these life-saving materials overseas for the treatment of war dead. According to the report, Drew helped collect about 14,500 pounds of plasma.
In 1941, Drew led another banking effort, this time for the American Red Cross. He was working on the development of a blood bank for use by U.S. military personnel. U.U. But soon after his tenure, Drew was frustrated by the military’s request to donate blood donated by African-Americans. The military initially did not want to use African American blood, but then said it could only be used for African American soldiers.
Drew was outraged by this racist policy and resigned after only a few months.
Death and Legacy
After creating the first two blood banks, Drew returned to Howard University in 1941. There he was a professor, managing the university’s department of surgery. He also became chief surgeon at Freedmen Hospital.
Later that year, he became the first African American examiner for the American Board of Surgery.
In 1944, the National Association for the Advancement of People of Color honored Drew with the 1943 Spingarn Medal for “the greatest and noblest achievement of an” African American “during the year or previous years. ” The award was presented in recognition of Drew’s efforts to collect and distribute blood plasma.
During the last years of his life, Drew remained an active and highly respected health care professional. He was then a chief surgeon at Freedmen Hospital and a professor at Howard University.
On April 1, 1950, Drew and three other doctors attended a medical conference at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Drew was driving when his vehicle crashed near Burlington, North Carolina. His passengers survived but Drew died from his injuries. He leaves behind his wife Minnie and their four children.
Drew was only 45 years old at the time of his death, and it is impressive how much he could achieve in such a short time. As Reverend Jerry Moore said at Drew’s funeral, Drew “has had a life that has built up in a few years, so great that men could never forget it.”
Since his death, Drew has received countless posthumous honors. He appeared in the United States Postal Service stamp series in 1981, and his name appears in educational institutions across the country.