April 1, 1950 | Dr. Charles Drew
Dr. Charles Drew died on April 1, 1950 at Alamance General Hospital in Burlington, North Carolina at age 45 after being involved in an automobile accident while travelling through the area. Dr. Charles Drew was born on June 3, 1904 in Washington, DC. Drew was a famous physician, surgeon and medical researcher who excelled in the area of blood transfusions. On October 1, 1940, Dr. Drew was named as the supervisor for Great Britain’s Blood Plasma Project. There was a great need for blood plasma to help in the lifesaving medical efforts going on with World War II in Europe. Drew was recruited to organize and administer a pioneering program in the storage and preservation of blood. The project was based in New York to recruit Americans to give blood to help soldiers and civilians in Great Britain. The program acquired, tested, stored and properly shipped blood from approximately 15,000 people over a five month period. The project was applauded as being very successful.
Dr. Drew is also 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. In 1941, Dr. Drew’s research helped establish the American Red Cross Blood Bank.