CME INDIA Presentation by ⚜ Dr. M. Gowri Sankar, MD, Senior Assistant Professor, Dept. of General Medicine, Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore.

Today’s History Feature:

Dr. Karl Landsteiner

(Jun 14,1868 – Jun 26,1943)

💠Austrian Physician & Immunologist

💠Father of Blood Grouping & Modern Blood Transfusion

His contributions…

🔸Dr. Karl Landsteiner was born in a suburb of Vienna in a middle-class family. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and graduated in the year 1891. He envisioned that the future of medicine was in research.

🔸Hence he interacted with many European scientists and got trained. Then he returned to Vienna University in 1897 and started his research in the emerging field of Immunology.

🔸At the Institute of Pathological Anatomy in Vienna, he performed nearly four thousand post-mortem examinations and published over seventy-five articles. Out of 75 articles, 55 are serological studies. He also studied the interactions between red blood cells and serum in different healthy individuals.

🔸After an extensive research, he announced his discoveries of three major blood group A, B, C (C was later called as O) in 1901. Subsequently, one of his students discovered the fourth blood group – AB – in 1902.

🔸He was the first to describe that the human blood contains different antigens and immune properties and also confirmed that blood clumping was an immunological reaction.

🔸Further, he had made another scientific breakthrough by discovering the Rh-factor in blood, which he named after Rhesus monkeys that he used for research.

🔸His ABO blood group system was quickly adopted and saved many injured soldiers of the First World War by blood transfusions.

🔸In addition, he extended his support in identifying the pathological organism causing Poliomyelitis by conducting an autopsy of a patient who died of polio and discovered that virus is responsible for the disease, not the bacteria. He also introduced dark-field microscope to identify the causative organism of Syphilis.

🔸In 1920s, he became the Emeritus Professor at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City, where he continued his research in immunity.

🔸In 1930, he was honoured with Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for his great discovery of major Blood groups and creating the ABO blood group system.

🔸He compiled his contributions in medicine and published a book, “The Specificity of Serological Reactions” in 1936, which was a classic textbook that helped to establish the field of Immunochemistry.

🔸His birthday (June 14) was declared as World Blood Donor Day. The theme of 2022 is “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives.”

A Day to Commemorate…

The Dissector of Blood

Dr. Karl Landsteiner 🙏

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