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Robin Coombs

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 22 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1514

Immunologist who devised the Coombs test

Shortly after the discovery of rhesus antibodies in blood, Robin Coombs devised the classic, gold standard test that bears his name. It diagnoses autoimmune haemolytic anaemia and haemolytic disease in rhesus positive babies of rhesus negative mothers. It is also used in cross matching to detect rhesus incompatible blood. These conditions have one thing in common-the production of antibodies that damage red cells, …

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