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Chapter #12. Blood. 12.1. Blood is a type of connective tissue whose cells are suspended in a liquid material. 12.2. Whole blood is: Slightly heavier than water 3 to 4 times more viscous (resistance to flow) Blood cells form mainly in the red bone marrow.

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Chapter #12

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Chapter #12



  • Blood is a type of connective tissue whose cells are suspended in a liquid material.


  • Whole blood is:

  • Slightly heavier than water

  • 3 to 4 times more viscous (resistance to flow)

    Blood cells form mainly in the red bone marrow.

    Blood also contains cells (RBC and WBC) and cell fragments (platelets) called formed elements.

  • The average sized adult has about 5 liters of blood volume.

  • Men have more blood than women.

  • Men 1.5 gallons, women 0.875 gallons.

  • A blood sample is usually about 45% cells (red and white) this is called the hematocrit (HCT).

  • A blood sample is about 55% liquid called plasma (yellow in color).

  • Plasma (nonliving) is a complex mixture of water (92%), amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, hormones, electrolytes, and cellular wastes.

In one drop of blood

  • RBC 5 million, live for 120 days, main job is to carry oxygen.

  • WBC 8,000, live for 10 days, main job is to fight infections.

  • Platelets 250,000, 5 days, main job is to aid in forming clots.

Red Blood Cells

  • RBC or erythrocytes are biconcavedisks, shaped like donuts with no hole.

  • Hemoglobin

  • is the protein that causes blood to be red.

  • carries oxygen on the RBC.

  • Anemia is having too few RBC or too little hemoglobin. A person with anemia feels tired, is short of breath, and looks pale.

  • The production of RBC is dependent on adequate intake of iron, folic acid, vitamin B12.

  • RBC lack a nucleus and thereforecannot synthesize proteins or reproduce.

Sickle Cell

  • Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease in which all the RBC are shaped like sickles.

  • Sickle cell is more common among African-Americas.

  • People with sickle cell have serious health problems.

  • Sickle cells do not carry enough oxygen and can get stuck in blood capillaries.

Destruction of RBC

  • Marcrophages destroy damaged RBC, primarily in the liver and spleen.

White Blood Cells

  • WBC or leukocytes protect against disease.

  • There are 5 types of WBC. They are classified according to size, the nature of their cytoplasm, nuclei shape, and how they stain.

2 Main Groups of WBC

  • Granulocytes are leukocytes with granular cytoplasm. They live only about 12 hours.

  • Agranulocytes are leukocytes without cytoplasmic granules.

5 types of WBC

  • Neutrophils is the most numerous WBC.

  • Eosinophils are WBC that increase in certain parasitic infections and allergic reactions.

  • Basophils release heparin and histamine.

  • Monocytes are the largest blood cells. They are 2 or 3 times larger than RBC.

  • Lymphocytes can live for many years. They form antibodies necessary for immunity to specific diseases.

  • WBC combat infection by phagocytes and antibody production.

WBC diseases

  • Leukemia is a form of cancer characterized by uncontrolled production of WBC.

  • AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is a disease of the immune system. The AIDS virus reproduces in only one kind of WBC.


  • Platelets or thrombocytes are not complete cells.

  • Platelets lack a nucleus.

  • Platelets help close breaks in damage blood vessels and initiate formation of blood clots.

12.3 Blood Plasma

  • Plasma is the clear, straw colored, liquid portion of the blood.

  • Plasma is 92% water.

  • Functions included transporting nutrients, gases, and vitamins. Help regulate fluid and electrolyte balance and maintaining body pH.

Plasma Proteins

  • Plasma proteins are the most abundant of the dissolved substances in plasma.

  • 3 Types of Plasma Proteins

  • Albumins

  • Globulins

  • Fibrinogen

  • Albumins are the smallest of the plasma proteins, account for 60% of these proteins by weight. Made in the liver.

  • Globulins make up 36% of plasma. Produce by lymphatic tissue (Lymphocytes).

  • Fibrinogen make up 4% of plasma. Functions in blood coagulation.

Gases and Nutrients

  • Blood Gases are oxygen and carbon dioxide.

  • Plasma nutrients include amino acids, simple sugars, nucleotides, and lipids absorbed from the digestive tract. Most nutrients found in the plasma were primarily absorbed from the small intestines.

  • Plasma lipids include fats, phospholipids, and cholesterol. Lipids are not soluble in water.

  • Lipids that connect to proteins are called lipoproteins.

  • Lipids are transported in plasma primarily as lipoproteins.


  • (LDL) Low-Density lipoproteins (bad)

  • (HDL) High-Density lipoproteins (good)

  • Nonprotein nitrogenous substances include amino acids, urea, and uric acid.

  • Plasma Electrolytes are absorbed from the intestine. Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, bicarbonate, phosphate, and sulfate ions. Na and Cl are the most abundant.

12.4 Hemostasis

  • Is the stoppage of bleeding.

  • Vasospasm when severed vessel close completely only last up to 30 minutes.

  • Serotonin release which causes smooth muscles to contract that reduces blood loss.

  • Platelets adhere to any rough surface and form blood clots. Clots begin to form when platelets come in contact with a rough surface.

Blood Coagulation

  • Coagulation the most effective hemostatic mechanism, causes formation of blood clots.

  • Fibrin insoluble threads.

  • Prothrombin produced by the liver. In the presence of Calcium ions converts intothrombin which then forms fibrin threads.

Platelet disease

  • Hemophilia- genetic disease in which blood is missing the clotting factor. Blood transfusions prior to 1985 have caused 95% of the hemophiliacs to develop AIDS.

  • Von Willebrand- genetic disease in which a plasma protein in missing causes people to bruise and bleed easily.

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