Welcome to week two of black history month! My next chosen trailblazer is Dr. Charles Drew. He is who we have to thank if we have ever required a blood transfusion, or need one in the future.
Dr. Drew was born on June 3, 1904 in Washington, DC. He was a famous physician, surgeon and medical researcher who excelled in the area of blood transfusions. Awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship in surgery in 1938 at Columbia University, Drew wrote a doctoral thesis entitled, “Banked Blood.” In his research he discovered that by separating plasma from the whole blood and then refrigerating them separately, blood lasted longer and was less likely to become contaminated.
Dr. Drew is credited in improving methods of blood storage which aided in creating massive scale blood banks during World War II which led to saving the lives of thousands of American Soldiers. Because of Dr. Drew, The American Red Cross Blood Bank was created. He died on April 1, 1950 at Alamance General Hospital in Burlington, North Carolina after being involved in an automobile accident while travelling through the area.
For more information about the ground breaking work of Dr. Drew, feel free to visit https://drewhealthfoundation.org/dr-charles-drew