The Cardiovascular System~ Blood

By. Shelby Murray

Blood Characteristics

Components of Whole Blood
  • 55% Plasma
  • 45% Formed Elements

How much blood is in our body?

  • Males have 5-6 liters of blood
  • Females have 4-5 liters of blood

Where is blood produced in the body?

  • Red bone marrow produces the blood in our body

What controls the production of blood in the body?

  • Hematopoietic stem cells, which are formed in blood marrow through the process of hematopoiesis, control the production of blood in the body
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What does plasma looks like and whats it's characteristics?
  • Plasma is the fluid matrix of the blood
  • It's made up of 90% water
  • Thicker yellow solution, a mixture of: water, sugar, fat, protein and salts

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

  • Plasma helps maintain the blood flow which transports blood cells throughout the body, along with nutrients and waste. It also nourishes and protects tissues and organs. Plasma also distributes heat evenly throughout the body, and this process allows homeostasis to occur
  • The plasma protein Albumin is important for controlling blood volume
  • There are over 30 different kinds of proteins and some help create the immune system and allow clotting to occur

Why are people payed to donate plasma?

  • Plasma is in high demand in the medical field, as plasma is needed for many patients. People need to be continuously donating.
  • The procedure of plasma donation takes time (1 1/2 to 2 hours), and it takes commitment.

How does plasma donation work?

  • During a plasma donation blood is drawn from one arm and sent through an automated machine. The machine collects plasma and other wanted components. Once the plasma is removed from the blood, the blood is circulated back into the person's body.

How is plasma separated from rest of the blood?

  • The automated machine does the work of separating the plasma from the blood. The centrifuge of the machine spins the blood to separate the components, which vary by weight and density.
What does a centrifuge do?
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Erythrocytes (Red Blood Cells)

What they look like and their characteristics?
  • Erythrocytes are biconcave disk shape and have no nucleus
  • They are filled with hemoglobin and have a large surface area
  • A red pigment called hemoglobin gives them their name

What is their function and how do they help maintain homeostasis?

  • The large surface area provides for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the blood and the body's cells
  • They transport the carbon dioxide to your lungs to be removed when you exhale
  • Red blood cells maintain homeostasis by providing an adequate amount of oxygen to all of the organs and tissues of the body and by carrying nutrients and getting rid of waste in the body's bloodstream

Hematocrit Test

  • It is a test that measures the total blood volume made up by red blood cells
  • Whole blood is placed in a tube and than spun down by the centrifuge. The heavier elements will settle to the bottom, and the lighter elements go to the top
  • The test should have about 45% RBC's
  • The test can show if you have problems with your blood composition

Importance of Hemoglobin's

  • Hemoglobin's are the red pigments in the RBC's
  • Hemoglobin's unite with oxygen to form oxyhemoglobin. This allows efficient transportation of large quantities of oxygen to body cells
  • Hemoglobin's also carry a small portion of the CO2 carried by the blood which forms carbaminohemoglobin

Hemoglobin Test

  • Measures the amount of hemoglobin in your blood
  • With an incorrect amount of hemoglobin in your blood proper transfer of oxygen to the body's tissues and organs will not occur, and carbon dioxide would not get back to your lungs. This test will show if you have a blood condition such as anemia.


  • Is the inability of the blood to carry sufficient amount of oxygen to the body cells. Their are a number of different conditions that can occur.

Iron Deficiency Anemia~

  • Occurs when their is not enough iron in your diet and the body cannot produce enough hemoglobin's, as iron is a critical component of the hemoglobin molecule .
  • A negative chain of reactions will occur: less hemoglobin, less oxygen being transported to cells, slower breakdown and use of nutrients by cells, less energy will be produced, and cellular function will decrease.
  • Many people with iron deficiency will complain of always being tired


  • Changes in your diet to include more iron rich foods
  • Take iron supplement pills
  • If the deficiency is coming from bleeding, you need to stop the bleeding, which may need surgery

Hemolytic Anemia~

  • Is when red blood cells are destroyed and removed from the blood stream before their life span is over
  • When blood cells die, the bone marrow makes new cells. However, when the cells die to fast the body is unable to produce the cells fast enough.


  • Avoid suspect medications that may be attacking your RBC's
  • In severe cases blood transfusions may occur
  • Having the spleen removed can also be helpful

Hemorrhagic Anemia~

  • Develops from a decrease in the number of RBC's caused by a hemorrhage resulting from excesses blood loss such as accidents or bleeding ulcers


  • Immediately stop the source of the blood lose
  • Restore blood volume through IV's
  • Transfusion of new blood

Sickle Cell Anemia~

  • Serve and potentially fatal hereditary disease caused by an abnormal type of hemoglobin
  • Red blood cells become crescent shape because of the genetic disorder
  • The cells break down rapidly causing an insufficient amount of oxygen to reach the body's organs and tissues
  • The cells can also get stuck in vessels resulting in pain
  • This disorder normally affects African Americans


  • Administration of oxygen, pain reviling pills and oral fluids to reduce pain and prevent complications
  • Some doctors may suggest blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants

Pernicious Anemia~

  • Deficiency of RBC's that result from a failure of the stomach lining to produce "intrinsic factor" (the substance that allows vitamin B12 to be absorbed form the foods we eat). The body needs vitamin B12 to make RBC's


  • Shots of Vitamin B12, supplements by mouth or supplements through the nose
  • Eat a well balanced diet and have a life long surveillance


  • This is a disorder of the red bone marrow. It causes too many red blood cells to be produced, and the production of white blood cells and platelets may also be increased.


  • This disorder is caused from a genetic disorder, in gene number JAK2V617F. However the cause of the gene disorder is unknown.


  • The goal of the treatment is to reduce the thickness of the blood and prevent bleeding and clotting
  • Chemotherapy- to reduce the number of red blood cells produced in the bone marrow
  • Phlebotomy- removal of blood until the number of RBC's decreas
  • Take aspirin to reduce the risk of blood clotting

Donating Blood

  • Donating blood is a simple process
  • The nurse will insert a sterile needle for the blood to be drawn. The blood donation bag will take 8-10 minutes to fill . When a pint of blood is collected the donation of blood is complete, and the nurse will bandage your arm.
  • You can donate your whole blood every eight weeks or every 56 days
  • The blood is used for critical injured patients, patients with need of blood transfusions, car crash victims and in and more cases
  • Most red blood cells can be stored for 42 days after the donation process
  • The one time donation of blood can help save 3 people's lives

Leukocytes (White Blood Cells)

What is their appearance and what are their characteristics?

  • Round white cells, the Buffy Coat in the centrifuged blood
  • Some have granules or absence of granules
  • They are able to preform.....
  1. Phagocytosis~ the ability to eat foreign material and digest it
  2. Chemotaxis~ Cells being drawn to an area by chemical release
  3. Diapedesis~ movement of cells through the vessels and tissues

What is their function and how do they help maintain homeostasis?

They specialize in defending against foreign invaders

Leukocytes preform phagocytosis to eat the bacteria present in the body

The number of WBC increase when their is a infection ex. bacteria and parasites

They help maintain homeostasis by defending the body from foreign invaders (bacteria) and prevents the body from becoming sick

Neutrophil Phagocytosis - White Blood Cell Eats Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria

The Five Types of White Blood Cells

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Granules in the cytoplasm that gives color to the cells

Three different types

Short lived


They are the most common types, 60% of the total

They have segmented nucleus, usually containing three lobes

Highly phagocytic, meaning they take the invading bacteria into their own cell bodies and digest the bacteria. This process protects the body from invading microorganisms.

Are present in acute infections ex. the flu and respiratory infections


They have a blobbed nucleus

They serve as weak phagocytes

Only make up for 2% of the total number

They are larger than a neutrophil and stain red/orange color

They fight parasitic infections (ex. worms) and breaks down antibody complex


They have a bilobed nucleus

They stain a dark purple/blue color

Extremely rare, they only make up .0004% of the total number

Involved in the secretion of histame and bradyknin which is released during inflammation reactions

They produce a strong anticoagulant (against clotting) called heparin


Long lived

Are present during chronic infections Ex. HIV, asthma, and multiple sclerosis(MS)


Have a round nucleus

Help protect the body against infections (produce immunity)

They are non phagocytic, instead they fight viruses

Lymphocytes called B lymphocytes contain specialized proteins called antibodies which produce specialized proteins to destroy specific bacteria or viruses

Have a very long life span

Second most numerous with 31%

Monocytes aka. Macrophages

Have kidney shaped nucleus and are largest of all WBC

They are highly phagocytic which means they're big eaters; because of their size they are able to they are enable to engulf larger bacteria and cancerous cells

Are present in chronic illnesses such as Parkinson's Disease

Conditions related to White Blood Cells


Low count of white blood cells in the blood stream

Caused by any disease/ disorder that will disrupt the function or production of cells in the bone marrow

An example is immunosuppressive drugs which temporary deletes the bodies WBC~ Glucocorticoids , chemotherapy, and radiation

Symptoms of headaches, oral blisters, liver abscesses and disturbed behavior


Stimulating the bone marrow to produce more WBC's

Eliminate toxins in the blood stream that may affect the production of WBC's

Put on medication to eliminate infections and may take supplements to ensure proper nutrition


Number of cancerous conditions of the bone marrow that affects the WBC's, causing an increase in inefficient WBCs

May be considered acute or chronic depending on how quickly the symptoms appear after disease begins

Also as lymphocytic or myeloid depending on the cells involved

More common in children than adults


Chemotherapy- uses drugs to kill the abnormal cells

Biological Therapy- used to support the immune system to fight off the cells

Radiation therapy and stem-cell transplants


Caused by Epstein Barr Virus aka. the kissing disease "mono"

Results in rise of WBC counts and may result in liver problems

Symptoms are fatigue, swollen tonsils, skin rashes, and fever


Theirs no specific treatment as mono is a virus

Doctors treat secondary infections Ex. take ibuprofen if you have a fever

Corticosteroids- ease some symptoms such as swollen tonsils

Multiple Myeloma

It's a cancer that affects the plasma cells

Plasma cells multiply and grow out of control, they crowd out healthy cells that keep the bones strong

Over time plasma cells "spill" out of their area and may destroy/damage other organs

The cancer destroys the body's immune system which may lead to anemia and kidney complications


Radiation, chemotherapy, and stem cell transplants

Steroid drugs- can help destroy the faulty plasma cells

Thrombocytes (Platelets)

What they look like and their characteristics

Produced in the bone marrow and Megakaryocyte

These cells are non living and break off from their parent cells

Their are normally 200-500,000/mm3 of these cells

Smaller round circles that act as a Platelet Plug

What is their function and how do they help maintain homestasis?

They are responsible for initiating a clot (stoppage of blood)~ Platelet Plug

Form Prothrombin Activator- the platelets become sticky and accumulate at the open vessel

Characterized by multiple events... Vascular spasm, Platelet plug, and clotting cascade (also called coagulation)

They maintain homeostasis by allowing the cells to clot to seal broken blood vessel and stop the bleeding

Without platelets a simple injury may become fatal

Evants that occur during Homestais

1. Release of clotting factors from both injured cells and sticky platelets at the injury site

2. Series of chemical reactions (Prothrombin Activator) that eventually result in the formation of the thrombin

3. Formation of fibrin and trapping of RBC's to form a clot

~A scab would than form on the broken blood vessel~


Genetic disease were the blood doesn't clot because the blood lacks the clotting protein When a blood vessel breaks, you would bleed longer than normal clotting blood

Internal bleeding can damage your organs and tissues causing major complications

Minor cuts can become fatal

Treatments (Depends on the severity of the case)~

Injection of decompression to stimulate the blood clotting cells

Clotting factor removed from donated blood

Plasma infusions may be needed to stop the episodes

Blood Thinners

Coumadin or Warfarin

Coumadin and Warfarin

Prevents heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in the veins and arteries

Reduces the formation of blood clots

Prevents blood clots from traveling to other parts of the body

Comes in tablets with varying doses


Prevents blood clots from forming in people with certain medical history or people undergoing certain medical procedures

Prevents clots forming within a catheter

Used to stop the growth of already developing clots

Comes in a liquid to be injected into the body


Reduces the substance in the body that causes pain, fever and inflammation

Prevents heart attacks, strokes and chest pain

It's an over the counter medication that comes in tablets

Work Cited

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