BLOOD. Blood makes up around 7% of the weight of a human body . Blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
A blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusion.
The Australian Red Cross blood service collects about a million blood donations a year. Most blood donors are unpaid volunteers who donate their blood for community supply.
Most of this blood is used for people who need treatment that require blood or blood products on a regular basis. Approximately 34% of donated red cells are used to help people with cancer and blood diseases.
Donated blood is divided into separate components so that people can receive the most appropriate treatment. A process centrifuging does this by spinning the blood inside a centrifuge at very high speed. This separated the blood cells from the plasma; it is then stored, refrigerated until it is needed.
The blood that runs through the veins, arteries, and capillaries is known as whole blood, a mixture of about 55 percent plasma and 45 percent blood cells. About 7-8 percent of your total body weight is blood. An average sized man has about 5 litres of blood in his body.
Artificial blood is a life-saving substance that carries oxygen to the body when there is a shortage of red blood cells. Artificial blood has properties that make it more practical to use especially in areas where refrigeration might not be an option, e.g. third world countries and war zones. In addition, artificial blood does not need to be specifically matched for type.
While artificial blood does not perform all the functions of real blood, it carries out the necessary task of bringing oxygen to the cells. Two of the most common types of artificial blood are HBCOs (haemoglobin-based oxygen carriers) and PFCs (perflourocarbons).
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