October 1

October 1, 1940 –Dr. Charles Drew “Plasma for Great Britain” Project

On October 1, 1940, famed blood plasma researcher, Dr. Charles 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. Later in 1941, Dr. Drew’s research helped establish the American Red Cross Blood Bank.

Charles R Drew portrait

Dr. Charles R. Drew

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. Dr. Drew is 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. Dr. Charles Drew died on April 1, 1950 at Alamance General Hospital in Burlington, North Carolina after being involved in an automobile accident while travelling through the area.

"After receiving first aid treatment in practice raid in Washington, DC, air-raid `victim' is removed to hospital by a M - NARA - 535826

“After receiving first aid treatment in practice raid in Washington, DC, air-raid `victim’ is removed to hospital by a Medical Corps of the Office of Civilian Defense.” The physician is Dr. Charles Drew. Circa 1941 – 1945