This Day in Black History: April 1, 1950

Medical pioneer Dr. Charles Drew dies at 45.

Posted: 04/01/2012 07:00 AM EDT

Dr. Charles Drew, the surgeon who pioneered methods of processing and storing blood plasma for transfusion, died from injuries resulting from a car accident in Burlington, North Carolina. He was 45. In addition, he directed blood plasma programs in the United States and Great Britain during WWII, but he left his post after the armed forces demanded segregated blood banks despite lacking scientific reasoning to do so. Drew was one of the first African-Americans to be offered membership to the American Board of Surgery and in 1944 received the NAACP Spingarn Medal for his groundbreaking contributions to modern medicine.

Additionally, Clara "Mother" Hale was born on this day in 1905 in New York City. In response to exploding drug abuse issues in her Harlem community, she founded the Hale House, where she cared for hundreds of unwanted babies born with HIV/AIDS or from mothers with drug addictions. The Hale House was known as the first program in the country designed to deal with infants born addicted to illegal drugs. 

BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world.

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(Photo: Wikicommons)

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