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The History of Blood Banks

Dr. Charles R. Drew, an African American physician, surgeon, and medical researcher, created the first blood bank in 1941. He and his colleague Dr. John Scudder created the blood bank project, called Blood for Britain, to help wounded World War II soldiers. The project – and indeed all blood banks – would not have been possible without Dr. Drew’s discovery of a new way to preserve blood by freezing the components separately. After his work with Blood for Britain, Dr. Drew founded and became the first director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank.

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