For more than 60 years, the Australian James Harrison (James Harrison) goes every week to take blood plasma. Honorary Donor long ago won the nickname The Man With The Golden Arm, and it's not just. His right hand, where he had more than 1,000 visits a needle inserted apparatus for plasmapheresis, over the years, he спас more than two million people
Even in his youth, James endured a serious surgery on the chest, his lung was removed. This happened back in 1951 when our hero was 14 years old. The life of a teenager was saved thanks to anonymous donors who donated 13 units of blood (6, 5 l). Then James decided once and for all that he is old enough, and will also become a blood donor.
Shortly after the guy started to donate blood, he was summoned to talk to the doctors.
Doctors said the blood Harrison has the unusual property and can save the life of newborn babies. Until 1967, thousands of children are dying for unknown reasons, usually after a miscarriage. Others are born with irreversible brain damage. Later, the doctors figured out that the reason for Rh incompatibility of mother and child. In this situation, the blood of a pregnant mother's blood cells literally attacks the child. In the worst case, this can lead to brain damage or death.
Incompatibility Rh happens when the mother's blood is Rh-negative antigen D (RhD), and the blood of the child - a positive Rh factor on the same antigen, since he borrowed genes of the father. The disease manifests itself, if the mother is Rh-negative factor is sensitized to RhD-factor, that is, its immune system responds to Rh-positive blood is much stronger than in others (for example, if she earlier transfusions excluding Rh factor). The immune system of a woman produces antibodies that attack the "enemy" the blood of the child. This danger threatens 17% of all pregnant women.
So, in the 1960s, doctors discovered that the blood of Harrison there are rare antibodies that block the formation of "attackers" of antibodies in the immune system. On the basis of the samples of his blood, doctors have created a vaccine called Anti-D, which effectively prevents the formation of RhD antibodies in women during pregnancy.
Australia was one of the first countries in the world, where they found a donor with such antibodies, so at that time it was a revolutionary discovery.
According to the Australian Red Cross, over the past years drug Anti-D blood-based James Harrison saved from death more than two million children. Just because he continued to pass weekly plasma, doctors had the opportunity to make a new batch of vaccine. For decades everything portions Anti-D were made in the country of the blood of one person. James Harrison is considered a national hero in Australia and won numerous awards.
Doctors still do not know why Harrison's blood contains such antibodies, but suggest that this is because most blood transfusion, which he did at the age of 14 years.
Today, doctors have identified 50 people in Australia who have the blood of the same rare type. A few years later 78-year-old James will have to leave to "retire", and doctors are hoping that someone will take his place. In any case, what he has done during these 60 years, people will never forget.