Black History Month Moment

February 20, 2017

Dr. Charles Drew was an African-American surgeon who pioneered methods of storing blood plasma for transfusion and organized the first large-scale blood bank in the U.S.

The beginning of World War II prompted for a large demand and need for ways to preserve large amounts of blood for transmission. Dr. Drew was selected as the full-time medical director of the Blood for Britain project. He supervised the successful collection of 14,500 pints of vital plasma for the British.

Charles Drew

In February 1941, He was appointed director of the first American Red Cross Blood Bank, in charge of blood for use by the U.S. Army and Navy. As a civil rights activist, he pushed for the integration of African American blood into the collection banks and in 1942, Drew resigned after the armed forces ruled that the blood of African-Americans would be stored and administered separately.

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