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Charles R. Drew


... trucks equipped with refrigerators, which are still used by the Red Cross today ... 1941 He became director for the American Red Cross Blood Bank in New York and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Charles R. Drew

Charles R. Drew

Charles R. Drew
  • Born on June 3, 1904 in Washington D.C. to
    parents Richard Thomas Drew and Nora Burrell
    Drew- oldest of five children
  • Attended segregated elementary and secondary
    schools in Washington D.C.
  • Graduated from M Street High School in 1922 with
    honors was an outstanding all-around athlete and
    was awarded scholarships which allowed him to
    attend college.

  • After high school he attended and graduated from
    Amherst College in 1926
  • Drew was 1 out of 16 black students to graduate
    from Amherst from 1920-1929
  • He Became a football coach at Morgan College to
    pay for his undergraduate education and to save
    money for medical school.
  • Drew applied to Howard University and was
    rejected for his lack of English credits
  • He then applied to Harvard and was accepted for
    the following year but did not want to wait until
    then so he applied to McGill University in
    Montreal, Canada and was accepted.

Drews Blood Research
  • It was at McGill that Drew began his research on
    blood transfusions.
  • Drew, along with Dr. John Beattie began to work
    on the problem of blood storage.
  • By this time the different blood types had been
    discovered but the problem of keeping blood
    readily available still existed.
  • During this time he graduated from McGill with
    his Medical Degree and Master of Surgery degree
    and interned at Royal Victoria Hospital while
    continuing to work with Beattie.

  • He then accepted a one year residency for the
    next year at Freedmens Medical Hospital in
    Washington DC
  • The next year he accepted a two-year residency at
    Rockefeller Fellowship and continued his blood
    work at Columbia University-Presbyterian Hospital
    in New York until he earned his Doctor of Science
    Degree in 1940
  • Drew was the first African American to earn this
  • Here he worked with Dr. John Scudder on the
    problems associated with blood storage and
  • Drew then returned to Washington DC to take care
    of his family and accepted a position to teach
    pathology at Howard University Medical School

Drews Discoveries
  • Drew began to look at the use of plasma as a
    substitute for whole blood because of the lack of
    red blood cells in plasma-without blood cells
    blood type was not an issue and plasma could be
    administered to anyone
  • Drew then developed a method using dehydration to
    store and preserve plasma so it cold be stored
    for long periods of time and shipped if necessary
  • His discoveries led him to lead the Blood for
    Britain campaign to help the wounded during WWII

  • During Blood for Britain Drew started the use
    of bloodmobiles- trucks equipped with
    refrigerators, which are still used by the Red
    Cross today
  • In 1941 He became director for the American Red
    Cross Blood Bank in New York and was asked to
    organize a blood drive for the U.S. Army and Navy
    consisting of 100,000 donors.
  • However, the military ordered that the blood be
    divided up by race and that African American
    donors be refused
  • Drew and other scientists stated that blood did
    not differ according to race and eventually the
    government allowed African Americans to donate
    although it still remained separated.

  • Ironically, Drew was asked to resign from the
  • Once he had resigned from the project he came
    back to Washington DC to become professor of
    Surgery at Howard University, where he had once
    been rejected 13 years earlier. He also became
    chief surgeon at Freedmens Hospital.
  • In 1943 He became the first African American
    surgeon to serve as an examiner on the American
    Board of Surgery.
  • In 1944 he was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the
  • In 1946 he was elected Fellow to the
    International College of Surgeons

The Death of Drew
  • On March 31, 1950 Drew and some colleagues were
    on their way to a medical meeting in Tuskegee,
    Alabama when Drew fell asleep at he wheel near
    Burlington, NC
  • Drew was taken to the emergency room of Alamance
    General Hospital- a hospital owned by white
    doctors who primarily treated white patients-
    after the accident
  • The doctors recognized Drew and gave him the best
    possible treatment available

The Death of Drew
  • Despite their best efforts, they were unable to
    save him or stabilize him enough to transport him
    to a better facility.
  • Drew was confirmed dead two hours after the
    accident just a couple days before his 46th
  • Drews body was brought back to Suitland,
    Maryland to be buried.
  • His body was displayed at Howard Universitys
    Andrew Rankin Chapel for public viewing and his
    funeral was held April 5th. Hundreds attended,
    overflowing the church.

Drews Memberships
  • Rockefeller Fellow, in Surgery, College of
    physicians and surgeons, Columbia
  • Washington Medical Director (1946-1947)
  • Surgical Consultant, ETO ( Army)
  • Director of the first Plasma Division, Blood
    Transfusion Association, supplying plasma to the
    British (1940-1941)
  • First Director, A.R.C Blook Bank, supplying blood
    to the U.S Forces (1941)

Drews Memberships
  • American-Soviet Science Commission (1944)
  • Distinguished Service Medal, National Medical
    Association (1950)
  • General Education Board Fellow in Surgery
  • Spingarn Medal (1944)
  • U.S. postage stamp issued in his honor (1981)

The Death of Drew
  • An editorial had been in the Washington post
  • Dr. Charles R. Drew,whose life was snuffed out
    in its maturity by an automobile accident on
    Saturday, was among the most gifted of American
    surgeons. He chose to devote his gifts to the
    advancement of medicine rather than to the
    advancement of a personal career or to winning
    the monetary rewards that were easily within his
    reach. In particular, he devoted his gifts to the
    training of young Negro surgeons desperately
    needed for the medical care of their race…He will
    be missed, however, not alone by his own race but
    by his whole profession and by men everywhere who
    value scientific devotion and integrity.