What is Blood?


Blood is a red colored, viscous liquid, which flows in blood vessels throughout the body. It has two parts. The first part by 55% volume is called Plasma. It is light yellow in color. The second part is cellular (45% by volume) and contains different types cells viz. Red Cells, White cells, Platelets. Red cells are found in millions, Platelets in lakhs and White cells thousands per cubic millimeter.The ratio is found as for 600 red cells, there are 40 platelets and one white cell.


    Life span of Blood Cells:
  • Red cells – 80-120 days
  • Platelets – 9-10 days
  • White cells – days to weeks
  • Plasma – 1 year

Blood Groups:These are determined genetically and are result of antigen present on red cell membrane. There are eight blood groups namely:
  • A pos, A neg, B pos, B neg, AB pos, AB neg, O pos, O neg In general population you find the groups in below order:
  • O (35%) B (35%) A (20%) AB (10%)
  • Rh pos (95%) Rh neg (5%)

What does Blood do?

Blood is the transport system of our body


Red cells transport gases like Oxygen (O2) from lungs to each and every cell of our body and Carbon-dioxide (CO2) produced by the cells is transported back to the lungs to be exhaled out.


Plasma transport food material (glucose, amino-acids, etc.) to the tissues and carries back waste material like creatinine urea to liver and kidneys. Similarly it also transports hormones, vitamins and minerals across the body.


White blood cells in blood fight infections. They act like protectors fighting with foreign elements in blood system.


Platelets in blood help in forming a platelet plug to prevent loss of blood, whenever there is an injury, internal or external they clog that part.

Where is Blood made?

Our blood cells, viz. Red Cells, White cells and Platelets are made by cells called “Progenitor Cells” in bone marrow of few bones like femur (thigh bone),scapula(shoulder bone), Pelvis(hip bone)etc. Bone marrow is a dull red colored tissues present in the central cavity of the bones.


Liquid part of blood called Plasma has mainly water with proteins dissolved in it. These proteins are mainly made by liver.


The life span of red cells is about 120 days, and that of platelets is about 7-9 days in human body. The cells and proteins keep getting replenished inside the body.

How much Blood do we have?

The blood volume is around 70ml/kg body weight. So a young healthy adult of 70 Kg would have 5 liters of blood.(4900ml to be precise).

What are blood components?

As we mentioned earlier blood is a mix of various cells and plasma. Primarily Red Blood Cells (RBC), Platelets and Plasma. These cells and plasma have different functions to perform. A patient never requires whole blood but only particular components. Besides these components have different life span and storage conditions.

The blood is separated into its components through the process of centrifugation. From a single unit of blood, we get one unit each of red cells (RC), platelets (PC), Plasma (FFP).Plasma can be further separated into Cryoprecipitate (CRYO) and Cryo-Poor Plasma (CPP).

What are blood groups?

Blood groups are the results of antigens (large protein molecules) which are present on red blood cells. Primarily there are two such antigens A & B which decide our ABO blood group.

ABO blood groups were first discovered by Dr. Karl Landsteiner in 1900. Rh antigen was discovered forty years later again by Dr. Landsteiner and Weiner. Rh gets it name from Rhesus monkey, in whom it was discovered. On the basis of these antigens or in combination the blood groups are decided as given below.

Antigen A & B Antigen Rh (Yes/No) Blood Group Can Donate Blood to Can receive Blood from
A Yes A+ A+,AB+ A+,A-,O+,O-
B Yes B+ B+,AB+ B+,B-,O+,O-
A & B Yes AB+ AB+ A+,B+,AB+,O+,O-,A-,B-.AB- (Universal recipients)
Neither A nor B Yes O+ A+,AB+,B+,O+ O+,O-
A No A- A+,AB+,A-,AB- A-,O-
B No B- B+,AB+,B-,AB- B-,O-
A & B No AB- AB- A-,B-,AB-,O-
Neither A nor B No O- Everyone A+,B+,AB+,O+,A-,B-,AB-,O- Only O-

 

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Thrissur – 680 631, Kerala, India.
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