Dr. Charles Drew: Doctor, Surgeon

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Charles Drew: Doctor, Surgeon (1904-1950) Charles Drew was a successful surgeon, teacher, and researcher. He was responsible for the founding of two of the world's largest blood banks. Because of his research into the storage and shipment of blood plasma, he is credited with saving the lives of hundreds during World War II. He was director of the first American Red Cross effort to collect and bank blood on a large scale. In 1942, a year after he was made a diplomat of surgery by the American Board of Surgery at Johns Hopkins University, he became the first African American surgeon to serve as an examiner on the board. Charles Richard Drew was the oldest of five children. He was born on June 3, 1904, in Washington, D.C. His father was Richard T. Drew, a carpet layer, and Nora Drew, a school teacher and graduate of Miner Teachers College. As a student, Drew excelled in academics and sports, winning four swimming medals by the age of eight. In 1922 he graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, where he received the James E. Walker Memorial Medal in his junior and senior years for his athletics in sports, including football, basketball, baseball, and track. Drew attended Amherst College in…show more content…
In 1930 he won the annual prize in neuroanatomy and was elected to Alpha Phi Omega, the school's honorary medical society. During this time, under the influence of Dr. John Beattie, a visiting professor from England, Drew began his research in blood transfusions. The four different types of blood had recently been discovered. Doctors knew what type of blood they were giving to patients and were avoiding the negative effects of mixing incompatible blood types. However, because whole blood was highly perishable, the problem of having the appropriate blood type readily available still existed. In 1930 when Drew and Beattie began their research, blood could only be stored for seven days before it began to

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