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Blood is living tissue made up of liquids and solids. The liquid part, called plasma, contains water, salts, and proteins. More than half of the body is plasma. The solid part of the blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Blood is a renewable tissue of the human body, which means that the bone marrow is manufacturing blood cells throughout life, since they have a limited life span. This "factory", in certain health situations, can increase its production according to needs.

What does blood do?

Blood carries oxygen from the lungs and nutrients from the digestive system to the body's cells. It also takes away carbon dioxide and all the waste products that the body doesn't need. (The kidneys filter and clean the blood.)

It helps keep the body at the right temperature.

It transports hormones to the body's cells.

It sends antibodies to fight infection.

It contains clotting factors to promote blood clotting and healing of body tissues.


Bone marrow

White blood cells

Blood Components

Red blood cells

Blood Types

Blood transfusions

In a transfusion, a person receives whole blood or parts of the blood, such as:

Red blood cells: Cells that carry oxygen to and from tissues and organs

Platelets: Cells that form clots to control bleeding.

Plasma: The liquid part of the blood that helps clot. It may be needed when a person has severe burns, liver failure, or a severe infection.

Complications in blood transfusions


Hemostasis is a defense mechanism that is activated to stop bleeding processes; In other words, it is the ability of an organism to make liquid blood remain in the blood vessels.

Blood problems

Blood problems affect one or more parts of the blood and prevent it from doing its job. They can be chronic or acute. Many blood disorders run in families. Other causes can be other diseases, side effects of medications, and a lack of certain nutrients in the diet.

What affects blood flow through the cardiovascular system?

Some disorders that affect your cardiovascular system are:Aneurysm: Widening or bulging in the wall of an arteryAtherosclerosis: A disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood

Blood clots: Including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Coronary artery disease and carotid artery disease: Conditions that involve narrowing or blockage of an artery. Plaque buildup is usually caused

Raynaud's disease: A disorder that causes blood vessels to narrow when you are cold or stressed

Stroke: A serious condition that occurs when blood flow to your brain is stopped

Varicose veins: Swollen, twisted veins seen under the skin

Vasculitis: Inflammation of the blood vessels

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The most serious reactions areFluid overloadLung injuryDestruction of red blood cells (erythrocytes) due to a mismatch of blood type between donor and recipient

The most common reactions, which occur in 1 to 2% of transfusions, areFeverAllergic reactions

SC.912.L.14.35 Describe the steps in hemostasis, including the mechanism of coagulation. Include the basis for blood typing and transfusion reactions. SC.912.L.14.36 Describe the factors affecting blood flow through the cardiovascular system.

Bone marrow, the spongy material inside bones, produces new blood cells.

Platelets help your blood clot when you get a cut or wound. Platelets live about 6 days.

Red blood cells supply oxygen from the lungs to tissues and organs. Red blood cells live about 120 days.

Very rare reactions includeGraft-versus-host disease (in which transfused cells attack the cells of the person receiving a transfusion)Infections

White blood cells fight infection and are part of the body's immune system. Some white blood cells live less than a day, but others live much longer.