Human Blood

Human blood

What is Blood?

Blood is comprised of elements called cells suspended in a pale yellow fluid known as plasma. Each drop of blood contains primarily three types of cells – about 250 million red corpuscles, 400, 000 white corpuscles and 15 million platelets. Each of them plays a part in keeping the body healthy.

Blood is red in colour. This red colour comes from red blood cells. These cells contain a substance called haemoglobin, a combination of iron and other materials that give them the red colour. Haemoglobin makes it possible for red cells to pick up oxygen from the lungs and to carry the oxygen to all parts of the body. The trillions of cells that make up the body need oxygen to survive. As such, the red blood cell distributes its load of oxygen, it picks up carbon dioxide waste from the body cells and takes it to the lungs to be breathed out. Red blood cells have no power to move on their own. They must be pumped throughout the body in the blood stream. The red cells are manufactured in the bone marrow of the larger bones of  the body. The red cells are continuously at work and they have an average life span of 120 days. New ones are made constantly at a rate of millions per second. Old blood cells are sent to an organ called spleen, where they are taken apart. The wastes are disposed of and iron is recycled to go into new red blood cells. Certain food such as red meat, cereals and green vegetables provide the body with iron. For donating blood one must have at least 12. 5 gm. of haemoglobin per 100 ml of blood.

There are several types of white blood cells. Together these cells provide an active defence to protect the body when it is invaded by bacteria, viruses or other harmful substances. 60 to 70 percent of the white cells have a very simple mission. Their job is to attack and literally eat up bacteria and other harmful substances. They are the body’s first line of defence against infection and many illnesses.

Another very important group of white blood cells protect the body against catching the same disease over and over again. These cells are especially effective against many diseases that are caused by bacteria and viruses

Many common diseases, such as chickenpox, are caused by viruses.The first time one of these diseases is caught, it triggers an immediate reaction from these special white blood cells. They begin to produce a substance called antibody meant to fight the virus. The antibodies are produced too late to prevent the first occurrence of the disease. However, the antibodies are stored away available to prevent the disease from occurring a second time. A different type of specific antibody is produced for each type of virus that causes disease

The white blood cells use the blood stream as a highway in order to rush to the site of an infection or illness. White cells are larger than red cells. They also have the ability to change shape in order to pass through the narrow twisting capillaries. White cells can get through some tight spots. Pus formed is actually the dead bodies of white cells

Platelets are tiny irregular shaped cells and. like red blood cells, are made in the bone marrow. Platelets are sticky. They can and do stick to each other and to the inner surfaces of blood vessels. When a blood vessel cut or punctured, platelets begin to gather at the site of the injury. The platelets stick to each other and to the edges of the injury, forming a plug that reduces the loss of blood. As the plug gets bigger, it becomes more solid and firm. It becomes a clot or scab, stopping the flow of blood and providing a foundation upon which the healing process can take place.

The fluid part of blood called plasma carries all cells. 55% of blood consists of plasma while cells constitute 45% of the blood. Out of the 55% of plasma, 92% is water. The balance 8% of plasma consists of proteins, sugar, fats, vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body cells. In addition, plasma contains antibodies and hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate growth, physical responses to emotions and other body functions.

Blood Donation – A noble cause

One single donation can be separated into three parts: helping, save or improve the lives of patients. Just three teaspoons of blood can save the life of a premature baby. If you donate blood, you can help in saving lives of many patients.

Thousands of patients need blood transfusion for the following conditions :-

  • Patients suffering from haemorrhage due to casualities
  • surgical procedures and labours
  • Haemophilic patients
  • Chronic Anaemia
  • Malignancy Thalassemic patients
  • Bone Marrow transplantation
  • Neonatal jaundice and others

Blood donation is not hazardous and it proves to be a healthy habit that helps blood renewal. The volume of blood donation is 350-450 ml, almost 7.5% of the adult blood volume. It is compensated in a short period of time.

When you donate blood , You will get a medical examination including medical history , hemoglobin estimation and blood group determination. The donated blood will be tested for hepatitis B , C , HIV viruses , syphilis microbe , together with liver function tests also HCV RNA by PCR. You will receive the results confidentially or if you want they can be mailed to you.

  1. Whole blood
  2. Platelets donation by Aphersis machine, needs dedication of the donor who will accept to spend about one hour or more for donating platelets by Aphersis machines.
  3. Autologus blood donor which means that the patient will donate blood for himself.

Major Reasons Patients Need Blood Are

  • Cancer
  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • Disease of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Emergencies such as car accidents and burns Examples; Automobile Accident 50 units of blood, Heart Surgery 6 units of blood 6 units of platelets, Burn 20 units of platelets.
  • Organ Transplant 40 units of blood 30 units of platelets 20 bags of cryoprecipitate 25 units of fresh frozen plasma Bone Marrow Transplant 120 units of platelets 20 units of blood

Voluntary donation

“A voluntary non-remunerated blood donor gives blood, plasma or cellular components of his or her own free will and receives no payment, either in the form of cash or in kind which could be considered a substitute for money. This would include time off work other than that reasonably needed for the donation and travel. Small tokens, refreshments and reimbursements of direct travel costs are compatible with voluntary, non-remunerated donation”

Register as a Donor and keep saving life

Blood Banks

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Necessity of Blood donation

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History of Blood Transfusion

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