The transfer of blood from a healthy person to another person is called blood transfusion. Blood transfusion is done, whenever there is loss of a lot of blood from the body due to an accident or during surgery. The healthy person who gives blood is called donor while the other person who receives blood is called recipient.
Care should be taken before blood transfusion that the bloods of both donor and recipient must match with each other. If the bloods of two persons do not match, the blood of the patient will agglutinate which may cause death of the patient. Agglutination may be defined as the sticking together of red blood cells to form large clumps. The cause of agglutination was discovered by a scientist named Landsteiner. Landsteiner discovered that the cause for mismatching of blood was the reaction between antigens present on the red blood cells of donor and antibodies present in the plasma of recipient. Two different antigens were discovered and named ‘A’ and ‘B’. Their corresponding antibodies which react and clump the blood were termed ‘a’ and ‘b’ respectively.
Test Your Understanding and Answer These Questions:
- What is agglutination?
- What are antigens and antibodies?
- What do you mean by blood transfusion?
- Who discovered the cause of agglutination of blood?
- Name the antigens and antibodies found in human beings.
- How many types of antigens and antibodies are present in human blood?