Cees Th. Smit Sibinga, Yetmgeta E. Abedella


Transfusion medicine has come a long way and has for long been regarded a Cinderella in medicine.

Since the discovery around 1900 by Karl Landsteiner of the ABO blood groups as principle elements for compatibility, the science has been dominated by the laboratory research for immunohematology, microbiology and virology, focused on the test tube and not so much the patient.

Over the 20st century several development eras are to be recognized that contributed to the maturation of transfusion medicine as a bridging science. Twenty Nobel laureates contributed to this development.

The eras recognized are – blood group serology and immunohematology; preservation of blood and blood products; separation of blood components; transmissible diseases; community, donors and ‘soft sciences’; quality management and blood safety; organization, governance and leadership. During each of these eras transfusion medicine bridged with a variety of exact, gamma and ´soft´ sciences.

Today Transfusion Medicine is maturing into a unique multidisciplinary and bridging field. The outbreak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic forced the creating of quality awareness and culture and centered the scientific attention back to the patient expressed by hemovigilance and patient blood management. 


transfusion medicine, bridging science, evolution, multidisciplinary

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