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Who Discovered The Blood Groups?


I have taken your blood type quiz several times and conclude that there is a "trick question." I think it is about who discovered the ABO blood groups. Was it Landsteiner or Jansky?


Jan Jansky, born in 1873, graduated in the Medicine Faculty of the Carolina University of the Prague, specializing in Neurology and Psychiatry.

Dr. Jan Jansky dedicated himself to the investigations of laboratory, with the aim of clarifying a relationship between the mental upheavals and the composition of the blood. He analyzed more than three thousand samples of the blood of its patients.

The doctor wanted to find out if the serum of the psychotic patients, especially schizophrenic, differs by its coagulation characteristics from the one from the normal people. Interestingly, this was proved with more sophisticated methods almost a sentury later (1). With the coagulation of the blood, Dr. Jan Jansky established in 1907 four blood groups that nowadays we call A, B, O and AB.

With his discovery it made possible to make the transfusions without the danger that the patient died when receiving the blood of an inadequate donor. The Dr. Jansky published its discovery in the titled work "Hematologic Studies in Mental patients". In 1921 it accepted the definition of the blood groups established by the Dr. Jansky the Association of the North American doctors.

Dr. Jan Jansky passed away of a cardiac disease before turning the 50 years of age, as a result of ailments undergone in trenches of World War I. Jansky knew in life neither glory nor great honors and is only now being recognized as the true discoverer of the blood groups.

1. Dintenfass L, Zador I. Blood rheology in patients with depressive and schizoid anxiety. Biorheology. 1976 Feb;13(1):33-6.

The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.

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