By: Kelsey Klein


  • components: 55% plasma (7% proteins, 91% water, 2% other solutes like ions, nutrients, wastes, gases), 45% formed elements (platelets, leukocytes, erythrocytes)
  • how much is in our body: between 4 and 6 liters
  • where is blood produced: red bone marrow
  • what controls production of blood: erythropoietin (hormone)
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  • what it looks like/characteristics: liquid part, water with substances dissolved in it, nutrients and salt dissolved in it
  • function: waste that cells get rid of is dissolved in plasma and transported to excretory organs, chemicals that control cells’ activities are also dissolved in plasma, distributes heat in body
  • how does it maintain homeostasis: distributes heat and gets rid of waste
  • how does donating plasma work: first they prick your finger and check your blood to see if your iron levels are high enough, if you’re good then they put a needle in your arm, plasma collected (plasmapheresis), plasma is separated from blood, and blood is returned to your body
  • how is plasma separated from the rest of the blood: put in a centrifuge, it spins and cells collect at the bottom of the tube

Red Blood Cells (Erythrocytes)

  • what they look like/characteristics: caved in so cell has a thin center and thicker edges, mature ones have no nucleus, enormous surface,
  • function: transport CO2 (harmful waste product, moved to lungs), transport oxygen
  • how does it maintain homeostasis: transports oxygen so muscles function

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  • what is a hematocrit test/how does it work: measure of total blood volume made by RBC’s
  • blood placed in hemocrit tube and spun down in a centrifuge

  • heavier elements sink to bottom with RBC’s

  • height of that is then measured in comparison to the whole blood

  • importance of hemoglobin: red pigment that unites with oxygen- creates oxyhemoglobin. makes efficient transport of oxygen in large quantities all possible (also can carry CO2)
  • what is a hemoglobin test: determines how much hemoglobin is in blood

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  • anemia: inability of blood to carry sufficient oxygen to the body cells

  • iron deficiency anemia: worldwide problem, less hemoglobin, less oxygen, slower breakdown and use of nutrients, less energy produced, decreased cellular production
  • treatment: change diet, can take supplements

  • hemolytic anemia: red blood cells are destroyed and removed from blood stream
  • treatment: corticosteroid medication, intravenous immune globulin infusions, immunosuppressive drugs, removal of spleen

  • hemorrhagic anemia: decrease in number of RBC’s caused by a hemorrhage (accidents, bleeding ulcers)
  • treatment: doesn’t need to be treated, or transfusions

  • sickle cell anemia: abnormal type of hemoglobin, RBC’s contain hemoglobin that is less soluble than normal
  • treatment: blood and marrow transplants may help, but no cure

  • pernicious anemia: deficiency of RBC’s that results from failure of stomach lining to produce “intrinsic factor”- substance that allows vitamin B12 to be to be absorbed
  • treatment: injections of vitamin B12

  • what is polycythemia: blood is too thick to flow (heart attacks, strokes)
  • causes: bone marrow produces an excess of RBC’s
  • treatment: medication, need to reduce thickness of blood

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Donating Blood

  • describe process of donating blood: put a needle into your arm that takes out your blood
  • how often can it be done: wait at least 8 weeks (54 days) between donations. 16 weeks (112 days) for double donation. no limit.
  • how is it used: in medical procedures and treatments (organ transplants, open heart surgeries, etc)
  • how long does the blood last: 42 days

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White Blood Cells (Leukocytes)

  • what they look like/characteristics: bigger than RBC’s
  • function: defend body from cancer cells that form in our tissues and from microorganisms that have invaded body
  • how they help maintain homeostasis: protects your body and keeps you from getting sick

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White Blood Cells

  • leukopenia: abnormally low WBC count
  • treatment: stimulate bone marrow so more WBC’s can be created

  • leukemia: cancers affecting WBC’s, elevated WBC count
  • treatment: induction therapy (kills extra WBC’s), Consolidation therapy (kills cells present that didn’t show up in tests. use chemotherapy and stem cell transplant), maintenance therapy (prevents more WBC’s from growing)

  • mononucleosis: abnormally high proportion of monocytes in the blood.
  • treatment: medications, corticosteroids

  • multiple myeloma: causes cancer cells to crowd in bone marrow and crowd out healthy blood cells
  • treatment: targeted therapy (focuses on specific abnormalities), biological therapy (use body’s cells to fight), Chemotherapy, corticosteroids (stop inflammation), stem cell transplant (replace diseased marrow), radiation therapy

Platelets (Thrombocytes)

  • what they look like/characteristics: little prickly things
  • function: helps blood to clot and stop bleeding\
  • how they help maintain homeostasis: if you have a cut, it clots your blood so the cut can heal
  • events that occur during homeostasis: bad stuff can’t get into your body if your blood clots at a wound

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  • hemophilia: blood can’t clot
  • treatment: replacement therapy

  • coumadin or warfarin: anticoagulant
  • treat: Helps to prevent new blood clots from forming, and helps to keep existing blood clots from getting worse

  • heparin: blood thinner
  • treat: Prevents clots in the blood vessels before or after surgery or during certain medical procedures

  • aspirin: anti-inflammatory
  • treat: pain, fever, arthritis, and inflammation, reduce risk of heart attacks