Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Components Of Blood

The below mentioned data is shared by Mr.Siva Prasad, who is working along with me in our company. I thank him for sharing this valuable information.

Where Blood is Created

Blood cells begin in the bone marrow, the soft, spongy material in the center of most large bones in the body. They begin as a hematopoietic cell, more commonly known as a "stem cell," and either mature in the marrow or travel to other parts of the body where they mature into functioning blood cells. The spleen, liver, and lymph nodes are also involved in the blood cell production process, medically known as hematopoiesis.


Blood is the vital liquid that circulates through the body. It is pumped by the heart through the arteries, veins, and capillaries. It carries nourishment, oxygen, heat, antibodies, hormones, vitamins, and electrolytes to every cell. It carries away from those same cells carbon dioxide (CO2) and other waste products to be disposed of via organs such as the lungs, liver, and kidney. Whole blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma.

Red Blood Cells (RBCs)

Red blood cells, also called erythrocytes, contain a complex iron-containing protein called hemoglobin that gives blood its red color. In every two to three drops of blood there are around one billion red blood cells with an average life span of about 120 days. When there aren’t enough red blood cells in the system, the kidneys release erythropoietin, a hormone that alerts the bone marrow to make more. The average adult male has a hematocrit (percentage of blood volume composed of red blood cells) of about 47%.

White Blood Cells

White blood cells (WBCs) make up the body’s immune system and protect it from bacteria, viruses, and fungus. In the marrow, white blood cells outnumber the red by 2-1, but in the bloodstream the red blood cells outnumber the white by 600-1. There are five types of white blood cells; neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, eosiniphils, and basophils.


Platelets come from special cells called megakaryoctyes. They are the smallest of the blood cells and make up 5%-7% of the blood volume. Platelets have a life span of 9-10 days and are then (like the red blood cells) removed from the body by the spleen. The platelets main function is to form clots to stop bleeding.


Plasma is the liquid portion of blood; a straw-colored, protein-salt solution that is 90% water. The other 10% is composed of inorganic electrolytes and blood proteins such as albumins, globulins, fibrinogens, and hemoglobin. They all contribute to the multiple functions that plasma performs, including maintaining blood pressure and supplying blood-clotting proteins; it is also the transport and storage for important minerals like potassium and sodium.

In order to preserve clotting factors, donated plasma is frozen within hours of donation and can be stored for 1-7 years. It is often used to treat bleeding disorders and used in a plasma replacement process called plasma exchange. Plasma is the most frequently paid-for component of blood and can be collected from a healthy donor up to two times a week.

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