Blood and Homeostasis

By Logan Nowinski

Characteristics of Blood

  • Blood accounts for 8 % of our body weight.
  • The blood volume in an adult is at an average 5 liters.
  • Red blood cells are 45% whole blood, blood plasma makes up 54.3%, white blood cells make up 0.7%, and platelets finish it all with less than 1%.
  • Blood is produced in bone marrow.
  • Eryhtropoietin controls the production of blood in our body.
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Plasma

  • Plasma is 90% water, it is also the largest component in our blood.
  • Plasma is a liquid, and has a strong yellow color to it.
  • Plasma helps with maintaining homeostasis because it keeps the cells materials inside, and foreign materials out.
  • Plasma also assists in the transportation of fuel, waste, and fluid through controlled avenues.
  • People are paid to give plasma because some of the types of blood have plasma in them that are in a higher demand, allowing people to get paid for giving up their plasma.
  • To give plasma, you go through a screening to see if your blood and plasma is healthy enough to be taken. Once the blood is taken, it is brought to a machine that separates blood and plasma. After the plasma is removed, the remaining blood is returned back into the body of the donor.
  • The process of plasma being separated from the blood is called plasmapherisis.

Erythrocytes (Red Blood Cells)

  • An erythrocyte has a round like shape, with a biconcave indentation on the top and bottom. There are millions of erythrocytes in our body, they are also red in color.
  • Erythrocytes carry oxygen throughout the blood, and transport it through the body.
  • Erythrocytes are vital for homeostasis because oxygen is needed for cell respiration, and if a cell is well and healthy, it can fight disease and injury better, and faster.
  • Without oxygen going to cells the cells will not be able to function and die off, not allowing the said cell to be able to do its job.
  • Hematocrit tests are used to tell if you have too many, or too few red blood cells in your body.
  • A doctor will take a small sample of your blood in a small tube, and then put it in a machine that will spin the blood in the tube rapidly. Once the spinning has stopped and the blood is separated around, the doctor will put the tube up to a chart to see where you are at in blood cell count.
  • Hemoglobin carries oxygen throughout the body, a hemoglobin test tells you the amount of hemoglobin in your blood. If you have low hemoglobin, your red blood cell count is low, which can be from vitamin deficiencies, or bleeding. If the test shows that you have more than normal amounts of hemoglobin, it could be from smoking, dehydration, burns, or excessive vomiting.
  • Anemia is when blood does not have enough red blood cells, or hemoglobin.
  • Iron Deficiency is when there is not enough iron in your body to produce hemoglobin, possible treatments are dietary changes, or taking certain supplements.
  • Hemolytic Anemia is when red blood cells die before their life span is up, depending on the severity of the hemolytic anemia, treatment may not be needed, but in a case that you do need treatment, a blood transfusion may be needed.
  • Hemorrhagic anemia is the sudden loss of blood. One of the most common treatment methods is a blood transfusion.
  • Sickle Cell anemia is when red blood cells are shaped wrongly, and thus break down. There is no real treatment besides over the counter medication to reduce the pain that comes with sickle cell anemia.
  • Pernicious anemia is when red blood cells in the body can't absorb enough vitamin B-12. One form of treatment for pernicious anemia is by taking vitamin B-12 pills, or taking a shot of vitamin B-12.
  • Polycythemia is the increased level of red blood cells in the blood stream. This is passed on genetically, and is treated by reducing the thickness of blood in the bloodstream, which reduces the chance of blood clots that can lead to even more serious problems.
  • To donate blood, you want to make sure you are hydrated, and have a normal amount of iron in your diet. Once you get to where you are donating, you want to make sure you have identification.
  • You should wait at least eight weeks in between donating blood. The blood is used to give to other people who need a blood transfusion of a certain type of blood.
  • Blood is perishable, so it is only good for 42 days.

Leukocytes (White Blood Cells)

  • Leukocytes are small cellular structures in blood, they are produced in red bone marrow.
  • They have the ability to perform phagocytosis by engulfing and digesting foreign materials.
  • Leukocytes help maintain homeostasis by fighting infections in the body.
  • Two categories separate the five different kinds of leukocytes, granulated, and nongranulated.
  • Neutrophils: Help fight against bacterial or fungal infections.
  • Basophils: An anticoagulant, basophils help to stop blood from clotting too fast.
  • Eosinophils: Fight parasitic infections, as well as alergic reactions.
  • Monocytes: The largest of all white blood cells, they are seen in chronic infections.
  • Lymphocytes: Live very long, and help fight against viruses.
  • Here are some conditions related to leukocytes.
  • Leukopenia: is the term used to describe a low number of white blood cells in the bloodstream. Treating this condition is done by stimulating bone marrow so that it can produce more white blood cells.
  • Leukemia: A cancer of blood forming tissues. Treatments for leukemia ranges based on age, and severity of the cancer, your doctor will tell you your best treatment options. Some of them however are chemotherapy, biological therapy, or targeted therapy.
  • Mononucleosis: Another name for this disease is the kissing disease, which causes mono, a sickness that is related to the common cold. Mononucleosis is contagious, and can be transmitted through kissing, or sharing glasses while drinking. For treating mononucleosis, there are no designated antibiotics, sleeping and drinking a lot of liquids are the best known ways to truly fight this disease.
  • Multiple Myeloma: A cancer that attacks plasma cells. Treatment varies, some cases may not need treatment, but in other situations, regular blood and urine tests may be done by your doctor.
How White Blood Cells Work

Thrombocytes (Platelets)

  • Produced in bone marrow, platelets arise from megakaryocytes. Thrombocytes are extremely small, and have small pieces branching off of them.
  • Platelets help the body maintain homeostasis by being the main factor in helping blood clot around an injury.
  • Homeostasis works by having a stimulus make a change in a variable; this change is detected by the receptor, which receives a specific signal, that signal is sent along the afferent pathway to the active effector, which triggers the response to allow homeostasis to continue normally.
  • Hemophilia is when the blood does not clot normally, treating this can mean replacing the blood clotting factors. A blood transfusion is a way that can help treat hemophilia.
  • The differences between the three drugs coumadin, heparin, and aspirin are very simple.
  • Coumadin helps to prevent new blood clots from forming, and the blood clots that may already be there, not get any worse.
  • Heparin is used to prevent blood clots from forming during, or after surgeries, or some medical procedures.
  • Aspirin is the most simple drug, it can be used to reduce heart attacks, it can also treat some pains, fever, inflammation, and arthritis.
What is Blood?

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