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Dr. Charles Drew researched blood plasma and transfusions in New York City. During his work at Columbia University he made discoveries relating to the preservation of blood. He found that, by separating the liquid red blood cells from the near solid plasma and freezing the two separately, blood could be preserved and reconstituted at a later date. Dr. Drew’s system for storing blood plasma (blood bank) revolutionized the medical profession. He also established the American Red Cross blood bank, of which he was the first director, and organized the world’s first blood drive, nicknamed "Blood for Britain."

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