Cardiovascular System


Over all blood characteristics

Components of Blood:
- Plasma= 55%
- Erythrocytes (RBC)= 45%
- Leukocytes=1%
- Platelets (Thrombocytes)= 1%

How Much Blood is in our body?

- The volume of blood in a human body makes up approximately 7% of body weight.

- The average adult body with a weight 150-180 pounds will contain approximately 4.7 to 5.5 liters (1.2 to 1.5 gallons) of blood.

Where is blood produced in the body?

Red Bone Marrow

What controls the production of blood in the body?

Hormone that controls red blood cells: Erythropoieten regulates the production of blood.

Hormone that controls white blood cells: Production stimulated by Lymphokins.


What it looks like and its characteristics

- Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood.

- It is a protein-salt solution in which red and white blood cells and platelets are suspended.

- 90% water

What is the function of plasma and how does it help our body maintain homeostasis?

- The nutrients needed and wastes given off by cells are carried in plasma.

- The nutrients leave plasma, and wastes enter plasma at the capillaries.

- Plasma proteins maintain osmotic pressure and buffer the blood.

Water: provides fluid environment

Proteins: create osmotic pressure, aid clotting, and help buffer blood

Nutrients: Required for cellular metabolism

Wastes: Produced by cellular metabolism

Salts: Aid metabolic activity and help buffer blood

Hormones: Chemical messengers

Describe why people are paid to donate plasma. How does this process work? How is the plasma separated from the rest of the blood?

- Obtained by separating the liquid portion of blood from the cells.

- Patients all over the world rely on plasma protein therapies to treat rare and chronic diseases.

- It helps the health of other people that don't produce plasma or have problems maintaining and creating plasma.

  • Plasma is taken by drawing blood.
  • The plasma is then separated from the rest of the blood by spinning at a fast rate creating a layer of plasma separated from the blood.
  • The rest is then returned to the blood stream.

Erythrocytes (Red Blood Cells)

What they look like and their characteristics.

- cellular component of blood

- red, and carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues

- small, round, and biconcave

- flexible and assumes a bell shape as it passes through extremely small blood vessels

- covered with a membrane composed of lipids and proteins

- contains hemoglobin

What is the function of red blood cells and how do they help our body maintain homeostasis?

Function: carry oxygen from the lungs to all of the body tissues and carry carbon dioxide to the lungs

- They help maintain homeostasis by:

  • absorbing and keeping nutrients
  • getting rid of wastes

Describe what a hematocrit test is and how it works.

  • A hematocrit test is done using a sample of your blood.
  • The test indicates whether you have too few or too many red blood cells.

1) A lab technician puts the sample of your blood in a device that spins the blood very quickly in a test tube.

2) The fast rotation then separates your blood into three parts:

- the fluid component (plasma)

- red blood cells

- and other blood cells.

When the blood is separated, the technician can determine what proportion of the cells are red blood cells.

Describe the importance of hemoglobin in red blood cells and what a hemoglobin test is.


- it is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of

the body

- levels indicate the blood’s ability to carry oxygen and iron

- too little iron interferes with vital functions and leads to death

Hemoglobin test:

- a hemoglobin test measures the amount of hemoglobin in a persons sample of blood.

What is anemia?

- a condition marked by a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness

Iron deficiency anemia: too few healthy red blood cells due to too little iron in the body

Treatment- Iron supplements and a focus on any underlying causes

Hemolytic anemia: a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed and removed from the bloodstream before their normal lifespan is over

Treatment- depends on the cause and the severity, includes medication, intavenous immune globulin infusions, immunosupressive drugs and removal of spleen

Hemorrhagic anemia: a condition in which there is reduced delivery of oxygen to the tissues


  • Reducing or stopping the destruction of red blood cells
  • Increasing the red blood cell count to an acceptable level
  • Treating the underlying cause of the condition
  • Treatment will depend on the type, cause, and severity of the hemolytic anemia you have.

Sickle Cell anemia: a group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down

Treatment: medications, blood transfusions, and rarely a bone marrow transplant

Pernicious anemia: a decrease in red blood cells when the body can't absorb enough vitamin B-12

Treatment: vitamin B-12 shots or pills

What is polycythemia?

an abnormally increases concentration of hemoglobin in the blood, through wither reduction of plasma volume or increase in red cell numbers


- rare disorder that occurs more often in men 40+ than in women

- associated with a gene mutation

- the bone marrow production of blood cells is supposed to be tightly regulated

- your bone marrow produces too many red blood cells


- it is a chronic illness that cannot be cured

- only way to treat the disease is through management and prevention

- doctors will treat patients differently based upon their risk for blood clots

Low risk patients

- people under 60 without prior history of blood clots

- people with low blood pressure and low cholesterol

- people who do not smoke

  • Treatment for low risk patients include: regular phlebotomy and low-dose aspirin.
  • Doctor may prescribe low-dose aspirin to thin the blood and prevent blood clots

High risk patients

- a history of prior blood clots

- increasing age

- high blood pressure

- diabetes

High- risk patients require more specialized treatment using hydroxyurea or interferon alpha

The process of donating blood:

Step 1: Registration

- you will sign in and go over basic eligibility and donation information

- you will read information about donating blood, and will be asked to show a donor card, driver's license of other forms of ID

Step 2: Heath History and Mini Physical

- you will answer some questions about your health history and places you have traveled

- a physician will check your temperature, pulse blood pressure and hemoglobin level present in a sample of blood

Step 3: The donation

- a physician will cleanse an area on your arm and insert a sterile needle for the blood draw

- the actual donation takes about 8-10 minutes (certain donation types such as platelets, red cells or plasma can take up to 2 hours)

- when the approximate amount of blood has been collected the donation is complete and a staff person will place a bandage on your arm

Step 4: Refreshments

- after donating you should have a snack and something to drink

- you can leave the site after 10-15 minutes and continue with normal daily activities

How often can it be done?

- you must wait at least 8 weeks between donations of whole blood and 16 weeks between double red cell donations

- platelet donors may give every 7 days up to 24 times per year

How is it used?

- your blood is used to help other patients that have blood diseases, disorders or blood type deficiencies.

- provides patients with red cells, platelets and plasma products

- some plasma from whole blood donations is used for products that are not used directly for patient care but are used for important research.

How long does the blood last?

- donated blood is perishable just like milk is

- red cells last for 42 days

- platelets last for 5 days

- plasma can be frozen for up to a year

Leukocytes (White Blood Cells)

What they look like and their characteristics

- have nuclei and do not contain hemoglobin

- typical concentration is 5,000-9,000 per cubic millimeter

- made in red bone marrow

- part of the immune system

- larger than Red Blood cells


- Phagocytosis: ability to engulf foreign material and digest it

- Chemotaxis: cells are drawn to an area by chemical release (Histamine, Bradykinin)

- Diapedesis: movement of cells through vessels and tissues

- Granulocytes

  • Granules in the cytoplasm give color to the cells
  • Short lived
  • Three types

What is the function of white blood cells and how do they help our body maintain homeostasis?

The five types of white blood cells:

1) Neutrophils

- most common , 60% of the total

- have segmented nucleus (usually three lobes)

- seen in acute bacterial infections

- highly phagocytic

- light purple on a slide

2) Eosinophils

- larger than a Neutrophil and stains red/orange

- bilobed nucleus

- makes up 2% of total number

- fight parasitic infections

3) Basophils

- Rarest cell of all, only .0004%

- bilobed nucleus

- stains dark blue/purple

- involved in inflammation


- long lived

- seen in chronic infections

4) Lymphocytes

- second most numerous, 31%

- round nucleus with very little cytoplasm

- very long life and produce immunity

- non phagocytic, fight viruses

5) Monocytes

- called macrophages in the system

- largest of all white blood cells

- kidney shaped nucleus

- highly phagocytic ( Big Eaters)

- seen in chronic infections

Conditions related to white blood cells and common treatments for each.

Leukopenia: an abnormal reduction of circulating white blood cells, especially the granulocytes


there are so many causes of Leukopenia so the treatments for this disorder are varied.

1) Try prescribed Steroids

2) Remove Causative agents

3) Increase Essential Vitamin intake

4) Promote White Blood Cells growth

5) Use Antibiotics to prevent infections

Leukemia: A cancer of blood-forming tissues, hindering the body's ability to fight infection


- depends on the type of leukemia, certain features of the leukemia cells, the extent of the disease and prior history of treatment, and the age of the patient

- most patients are treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or bone marrow transplantation

Mononucleosis: Often called mono or kissing disease, an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus

Transmitted through saliva, cough or sneeze, or by sharing food or beverages with someone who has mono

Treatment: rest, fluids, and easing symptoms

Self treatment:

- anti-inflammatory: Ibuprofen (Advil)

- other treatments: Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Also common:

Soothing remedies-

- bed rest and throat lozenge

  • Complications of the virus can be serious and include spleen and liver conditions

Multiple Myeloma: a cancer of plasma cells

Also called Kahler's disease



- Chemotherapy by injection

- Steroids

- Other treatments: Interferon alfa-2b by injection, Zoledronic acid by injection, Pamidronic acid by injection

Procedures: Blood transfusion, Autotransplantation, Radiation therapy, Stem cell transplantation

Other treatments: Immunotherapy

Thrombocytes (platelets)

What they look like and their characteristics

- a platelet

- crucial to normal blood clotting

- they are fragments of a large cell called a megakaryocytic

What is the function of platelets and how do they help out body maintain homeostasis?

- produced in the bone marrow

- arise from the megakaryocytic

- cells are non living

- pieces break off from the parent cell

- number is usually around 200-500,000 mm3

- responsible for initiating a clot (stops blood clots)

- platelet plug

Describe the events that occur during hemostasis

- Stoppage of blood (clotting)

- Characterized by a flow of events

1) vascular spasm

2) platelet plug (temporary seal)

3) clotting cascade also called coagulation

Describe what hemophilia is and how it is treated

Hemophilia: a disorder in which blood does not clot normally

How it is treated: injections of a clotting factor or plasma


- Tranexamic acid by mouth or by injection, Desmopression by injection, by mouth or nasally, Aminocaproic acid by injection or by mouth

- IV fluids

Differentiate between the following blood thinners and what they are used to treat.

Coumadin or warfarin: an anticoagulant (blood thinner), reduces the formation of blood clots


- used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in veins and arteries

Heparin: an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that prevents the formation of blood clots.


- used to treat and prevent blood clots in the veins, arteries, or lung

- used before surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots

Asprin: a salicylate; reduces substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation.


- used to treat pain, and reduce fever or inflammation

- sometimes used to treat or prevent heart attacks, strokes, and chest pain


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  • "Hemophilia." Definition. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
  • "Coumadin (warfarin) Uses, Dosage, Side Effects -" Coumadin (warfarin) Uses, Dosage, Side Effects - Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
  • "Polycythemia Vera." Healthline. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
  • "Polycythemia: Get the Facts on Causes and Treatment." EMedicineHealth. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
  • "Heparin (Injection) Uses, Dosage, Side Effects -" Heparin (Injection) Uses, Dosage, Side Effects - Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
  • Ing, Vincent. "The Etiology and Management of Leukopenia." Canadian Family Physician. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
  • "Leukemia: Get Facts About Symptoms and Treatment." MedicineNet. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
  • "Leukopenia |" Leukopenia | Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
  • Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
  • "Blood Donation Facts and Information | BloodCenter of Wisconsin." Blood Donation Facts and Information | BloodCenter of Wisconsin. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
  • Notes from notebook