The Blood is the Life: Facts about Human Blood

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The Blood is the Life: Facts about Human Blood Empty The Blood is the Life: Facts about Human Blood

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Mon May 07, 2012 4:57 pm

4.5 million Americans will a need blood transfusion each year.
43,000 pints: amount of donated blood used each day in the U.S. and Canada.
Someone needs blood every two seconds.
Only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood – less than 10 percent do annually.**
About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood.
One pint of blood can save up to three lives.
Healthy adults who are at least 17 years old, and at least 110 pounds may donate about a pint of blood – the most common form of donation – every 56 days, or every two months. Females receive 53 percent of blood transfusions; males receive 47 percent.
94 percent of blood donors are registered voters.
Four main red blood cell types: A, B, AB and O. Each can be positive or negative for the Rh factor. AB is the universal recipient; O negative is the universal donor of red blood cells.
Dr. Karl Landsteiner first identified the major human blood groups – A, B, AB and O – in 1901.
One unit of blood can be separated into several components: red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate.
Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body's organs and tissues.
Red blood cells live about 120 days in the circulatory system.
Platelets promote blood clotting and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live.
Plasma is a pale yellow mixture of water, proteins and salts.
Plasma, which is 90 percent water, makes up 55 percent of blood volume.
Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets.
Blood or plasma that comes from people who have been paid for it cannot be used to human transfusion.
Granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, roll along blood vessel walls in search of bacteria to engulf and destroy.
White cells are the body's primary defense against infection.
Apheresis is a special kind of blood donation that allows a donor to give specific blood components, such as platelets.
Forty-two days: how long most donated red blood cells can be stored.
Five days: how long most donated platelets can be stored.
One year: how long frozen plasma can be stored.
Much of today's medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from healthy donors.
3 pints: the average whole blood and red blood cell transfusion.*
Children being treated for cancer, premature infants and children having heart surgery need blood and platelets from donors of all types, especially type O.
Anemic patients need blood transfusions to increase their red blood cell levels.
Cancer, transplant and trauma patients, and patients undergoing open-heart surgery may require platelet transfusions to survive.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that affects more than 80,000 people in the United States, 98 percent of whom are of African descent.
Many patients with severe sickle cell disease receive blood transfusions every month.
A patient could be forced to pass up a lifesaving organ, if compatible blood is not available to support the transplant.
Thirteen tests (11 for infectious diseases) are performed on each unit of donated blood.
17 percent of non-donors cite "never thought about it" as the main reason for not giving, while 15 percent say they're too busy.
The #1 reason blood donors say they give is because they "want to help others."
Shortages of all blood types happen during the summer and winter holidays.
Blood centers often run short of types O and B red blood cells.
The rarest blood type is the one not on the shelf when it's needed by a patient.
There is no substitute for human blood.
If all blood donors gave three times a year, blood shortages would be a rare event (The current average is about two.).
If only one more percent of all Americans would give blood, blood shortages would disappear for the foreseeable future.
46.5 gallons: amount of blood you could donate if you begin at age 17 and donate every 56 days until you reach 79 years old.
Four easy steps to donate blood: medical history, quick physical, donation and snacks.
The actual blood donation usually takes about 10 minutes. The entire process – from the time you sign in to the time you leave – takes about an hour.
After donating blood, you replace the fluid in hours and the red blood cells within four weeks. It takes eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating.
You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious disease by donating blood.
10 pints: amount of blood in the body of an average adult.
One unit of whole blood is roughly the equivalent of one pint.
Blood makes up about 7 percent of your body's weight.
A newborn baby has about one cup of blood in his body.
Giving blood will not decrease your strength.
Any company, community organization, place of worship or individual may contact their local community blood center to host a blood drive.
Blood drives hosted by companies, schools, places of worship and civic organizations supply roughly half of all blood donations across the U.S.
People who donate blood are volunteers and are not paid for their donation.
500,000: the number of Americans who donated blood in the days following the September 11 attacks.
Blood donation. It's about an hour of your time. It's About Life.

Facts About Blood
What is blood?

Blood is the life-maintaining fluid that circulates through the body's:


What is the function of blood?

Blood carries the following to the body tissues:


Blood carries the following away from the body tissues:

Waste matter
Carbon dioxide

Anatomy of a bone, showing blood cells
Click Image to Enlarge
What are the components of blood?

The components of human blood include:

Plasma, in which the blood cells are suspended, includes the following:
Red blood cells (erythrocytes)--carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

White blood cells (leukocytes)--help fight infections and aid in the immune process. Types of white blood cells include the following:
Neutrophils (granulocytes)

Platelets (thrombocytes)--help to control bleeding.

Fat globules

Chemical substances, including the following:

Gases, including the following:
Carbon dioxide

Where are blood cells made?

Blood cells are made in the bone marrow. The bone marrow is the soft, spongy material in the center of the bones that produces about 95 percent of the body's blood cells. Most of the adult body's bone marrow is in the pelvic bones, breast bone, and the bones of the spine.

There are other organs and systems in our bodies that help regulate blood cells. The lymph nodes, spleen, and liver help regulate the production, destruction, and differentiation (developing a specific function) of cells. The production and development of new cells is a process called hematopoiesis.

Blood cells formed in the bone marrow start out as a stem cell. A "stem cell" (or hematopoietic cell) is the initial phase of all blood cells. As the stem cell matures, several distinct cells evolve, such as the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Immature blood cells are also called blasts. Some blasts stay in the marrow to mature and others travel to other parts of the body to develop into mature, functioning blood cells.

What are the functions of blood cells?

The primary function of red blood cells, or erythrocytes, is to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide. Hemoglobin (Hgb) is an important protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of our body.

The primary function of white blood cells, or leukocytes, is to fight infection. There are several types of white blood cells and each has its own role in fighting bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections. Types of white blood cells that are most important for helping protect the body from infection and foreign cells include the following:


White blood cells:

Help heal wounds not only by fighting infection, but also by ingesting matter, such as dead cells, tissue debris, and old red blood cells.

Are our protection from foreign bodies that enter the blood stream, such as allergens.

Are involved in the protection against mutated cells, such as cancer.

The primary function of platelets, or thrombocytes, is blood clotting. Platelets are much smaller in size than the other blood cells. They group together to form clumps, or a plug, in the hole of a vessel to stop bleeding.

What is a complete blood cell count (CBC)?

A complete blood cell count is a measurement of size, number, and maturity of the different blood cells in a specific volume of blood. A complete blood cell count can be used to determine many abnormalities with either the production or destruction of blood cells. Variations from the normal number, size, or maturity of the blood cells can be used to indicate an infection or disease process. Often with an infection, the number of white blood cells will be elevated. Many forms of cancer can affect the bone marrow production of blood cells. An increase in the immature white blood cells in a complete blood cell count can be associated with leukemia. Anemia and sickle cell disease will have abnormally low hemoglobin.

Common hematology tests

Some common hematology tests include the following:
Test Uses
Complete blood count (CBC), which includes:

White blood cell count (WBC)
Red blood cell count (RBC)
Platelet count
Hematocrit red blood cell volume (HCT)
Hemoglobin concentration (HB)--the oxygen-carrying pigment in red blood cells.
Dfferential blood count

Because of the intricate complexities involved in the production of blood, and the function of blood to support the entire body, there are many blood diseases that can occur, including bleeding disorders, anemias, and blood cancers known as leukemias.

Blood Fun Facts

Is blood thicker than water? Blood is about twice as thick as water, thanks to all the cells and other bits that float in it.

How long does it take a drop of blood to travel away from the heart and back again? Roughly 20 to 60 seconds.

Why are red blood cells shaped like breath-mint disks with a dent in the middle? The breath-mint design allows cells to twist through capillaries, the tiniest blood vessels. A sphere or cube is less flexible and might get stuck. Also, the dents in the cells add to the surface area, allowing more oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass in and out of the cell.

Why do mosquitos feed on blood? Adult mosquitos actually eat the nectar of flowers. But mosquito babies need protein, not sugar, to grow. So their mothers feed on blood. Bloodsucking mosquito moms find you by sensing your body heat and breath. Then, with their proboscis, they drill a hole through your skin, into a capillary. Their saliva keeps the blood from clotting while they drink.

Is all blood red? No. Crabs have blue blood. Their blood contains copper instead of iron. Earthworms and leeches have green blood - the green comes from an iron substance called chlorocruorin. Many invertebrates, such as starfish, have clear or yellowish blood.

How much blood is in your body? Blood makes up about 10 percent of your body weight. Weigh yourself and divide your weight by 12 - that answer is about how many pints of blood your body has - adults usually have roughly 10 to 15 pints. A newborn baby has about one half pint or one cup of blood.

Did You Know...?

blood is either dark red or bright red, depending on the amount of oxygen in it
donated red blood cells must be used within 42 days
around 40,000 units of blood are used every day in the U.S.
there are more than five trillion cells in your bloodstream
of all eligible donors, only 5% actually donate
red blood cells live about 120 days in the circulatory system
your body has 70,000 miles of blood vessels
blood donors can give as often as every 56 days (8 weeks)
the average adult has 10 pints of blood in their body
you stand a 95% chance of needing blood by age 72
donating blood is safe
blood makes up about 7% of your body's weight
it takes over 400 donations every day to meet the need for blood in our area
every second, your body replaces eight million old red cells with new red cells
one out of every 10 people entering a hospital needs blood
your heart pumps blood through the circulatory system more than a thousand times every day
one unit of blood is roughly one pint
the actual blood donation usually takes less than 10 minutes
A single drop of blood contains millions of red blood cells
A sickle cell patient can use more than 4 units of blood a week
donated whole blood must be used within 35 days
females receive 53% of blood transfused
someone needs blood every three seconds in the United States
less than 7 percent of the U.S. population has O-negative blood
your donated red blood cells are replaced within 3-4 weeks
someone needs blood every six seconds in our area
blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma
one pint of blood can help as many as 3 patients

The Blood is the Life: Facts about Human Blood BlondeVampire_zps37b43458
Aslinn Dhan
Aslinn Dhan

Posts : 2591
Join date : 2011-01-09
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The Blood is the Life: Facts about Human Blood Empty Re: The Blood is the Life: Facts about Human Blood

Post  Guest on Mon May 07, 2012 6:18 pm

Some very interesting facts there. I used to donate all the time when I was an "eligible donor" and I often wish I still could. Its a very worthy cause that really costs nothing to do.

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