by Isaiah Ogunrinola:
The World War II period witnessed a very noble invention from an African American called Charles Drew. This came at a time where Racism is still the other of the day in the United States of America. In late 1940, before the U.S. entered World War II and just after earning his doctorate degree, Drew was recruited by John Scudder to help set up and administer an early prototype program for blood storage and preservation. He was to collect, test, and transport large quantities of blood plasma for distribution in the United Kingdom. Drew went to New York City as the medical director of the United States’ Blood for Britain project. The refrigerators of stored blood; this allowed for greater mobility in terms of transportation as well as prospective donations.
Drew started what would be later known as bloodmobiles, which were trucks containing refrigerators of stored blood; this allowed for greater mobility in terms of transportation as well as prospective donations.
Drew created a central location for the blood collection process where donors could go to give blood. He made sure all blood plasma was tested before it was shipped out. He ensured that only skilled personnel handled blood plasma to avoid the possibility of contamination. The Blood for Britain program operated successfully for five months, with total collections of almost 15,000 people donating blood, and with over 5,500 vials of blood plasma. As a result, the Blood Transfusion Betterment Association applauded Drew for his work.
Blood for Britain project was a project to aid British soldiers and civilians by giving U.S. blood to the United Kingdom.
In 1941, Drew spearheaded another blood bank effort, this time for the American Red Cross. He worked on developing a blood bank to be used for U.S. military personnel. But not long into his tenure there, Drew became frustrated with the military’s request for segregating the blood donated by African Americans. At first, the military did not want to use blood from African Americans, but they later said it could only be used for African-American soldiers. Drew was outraged by this racist policy, and resigned his post after only a few months.
Coincidently, Doctor Charles Drew was born on this day; 3rd of June in 1904. He died in a Car Accident on his way to the 1950 Annual free Tuskegee Clinic at the John A Andrew Memorial Hospital on 1st of April. He was 45.