Charles Drew was born on June 3, 1904 in Washington D.C. In 1928 he moved to Canada and enrolled in McGill University in Montreal. He graduated in 1933 with degrees in Master of Surgery and Doctor of Medicine. In 1935 Charles Drew moved back to the United States and worked at Howard University as a professor of Pathology. While working at the university he was also a resident doctor at Freedman Hospital.
Later enrolled in Columbia University in New York and began doing research on blood and blood transfusions. While at Columbia University he wrote about “banked blood” in his writings he developed a way to preserve blood plasma so blood can be stored for long periods of time. He discovered that by separating the plasma from the blood and then refrigerating the blood and the plasma separately they could be combined up to a week later for a blood transfusion. He also found out that even though people may have different blood types everyone has the same plasma. This was an important discovery because in cases where a full blood transfusion was not needed a plasma transfusion can be given to anyone no matter the blood type.
Before Charles Drew’s important discovery blood could only be kept for 1-2 days. Often times blood was not available to complete blood transfusions . People often died when they lost a lot of blood because blood was not always available. This discovery saved many people’s lives.
Charles Drew died on April 1st 1950 from injuries in a car accident.
Carolyn Strong, BulliesStink Founder & Author
Carolyn Strong, MAT MEd