African American History | Dr Charles Richard Drew | Blood banking; blood transfusions

Dr Charles Richard DrewCharles Richard Drew  (3 June 1904 – 1 April 1950) was an African-American physician, surgeon and medical researcher. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces.[1] The research and development aspect of his blood storage work is disputed.[2] As the most prominent African-American in the field, Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation, an action which cost him his job.[citation needed] In 1943, Drew’s distinction in his profession was recognized when he became the first black surgeon selected to serve as an examiner on the Drew was born in 1904 into an African-American middle-class family in Washington, D.C.. His father, Richard, was a carpet layer. Drew and his siblings grew up in DC’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood[3] and he graduated from Dunbar High School in 1922.[4] Drew’s athletic achievements helped win him a scholarship to Amherst College in Massachusetts and he graduated in 1926.[5] An outstanding athlete at Amherst, Drew also joined Omega Psi Phi fraternity. He attended medical school at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, receiving his M.D. in 1933 as well as a Master of Surgery degree,[5] and ranked 2nd in his class of 127 students.[5] A few years later, Drew did graduate work at Columbia University, where he earned his Doctor of Medical Science degree, becoming the first African American to do so.

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2 Responses to African American History | Dr Charles Richard Drew | Blood banking; blood transfusions

  1. Ametia says:

    Thank you, Dr. Drew. I had a blood transusioon in 2003. Your invaluable contributions to science and medicine saves LIVES.

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