Blood is in an enormous amount of species in the world. Mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and more all contain blood. Transportation is the main responsibility for the blood, in the circulatory system. The vessels which carry the blood throughout the body could be stretched out one by one for many miles. There are many components that make up the blood as well. Every human being has their own type of blood. Millions of cells, many miles of vessels, and other responsibilities compose the blood stream.

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Concept #1: Functions and components of blood

The circulatory system is broken down into two main parts; the cardiovascular system and the lymphatic system. The heart is the main organ in the cardiovascular system and plays a huge role in the body. Blood vessels carry the blood to and from the body. The main functions of the circulatory system are transporation, regulation, and protection. The blood transports gases from the respiratory system, molecules that offer nutrition, and wastes. The regulation of the circulatory system is used to regulate the temperature of the body, and to carry hormones to the tissue it needs to effect. Blood clotting and the use of white blood cells by the immune system provide protection for the body. There are many components that make up the blood. Plamsa is a yellowish colored liquid that contains water and solutes that are dissolved. When blood is centrifuged the plasma is found at the top of the test tube. The regulation of plasma in the body is important to make sure it doesn't become to high or low. The plasma contains proteins and they have their own responsibilities in the body. Albumins are the most abundant proteins in plasma and are needed to take water from the tissues and put into the capillaries. This action is very important for the regulation of blood pressure and blood volume. Globulins contain three groups: alpha globulins, beta globulins, and gamma globulins. The gamma globulins' main function is in immunity because they are antibodies made by white blood cells. Alpha and beta globulins are used for the transfer of fat-soluble vitamins and lipids which are produced by the liver. Fibrinogen is also produced by the liver and it's main task is blood clotting. Blood plasma influences blood pressure, which makes it a vital component of blood.

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Concept #2: Formed elements of blood

Red blood cells (erythrocytes/RBC), and white blood cells (leukocytes/WBC) are the two types of formed elements in the blood. The red blood cells are in the most abundance in the blood. In a cubic millimeter of blood in males contains 5.1 million - 5.8 million red blood cells, and 4.3 million - 5.2 million red blood cells in females. Red blood cells are biconcave discs which provides an benefit in transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide. Because red blood cells don't contain a nucleus or mitochondria their life span is usually short, approximately 120 days. On each red blood cell there is approximately 280 million hemoglobin molecules, which also gives the cells it's red color. The bone marrow produces around 200 billion red blood cells every day. Leukocytes, white blood cells, are very small and usually invisible under a microscope unless they are stained. White blood cells main function is to help in the defense against infections. There are many different kinds of white blood cells, and they all have their own tasks and composure. Neutrophils are the most abundant white blood cell and are used for phagocytosis. Eonsinophils secrete enzymes that dissolve clots and also they help to detoxify foreign substances in the body. Basophils are in the least abundance and they release an anticoagulant called heparin. Monocytes are also used for phagocytosis. Lymphocytes are the second most abundant white blood cell which enables clotting. Platelets are the tiniest formed element of the blood and are found in bone marrow. When a blood clot is needed platelets play a huge role in the clotting process. Hematopoises is the process in which blood cells are constantly produced. Erythropoises is the making of red blood cells, and leukopoises is the production of white blood cells. All of these formed elements are microscopic but play such a large role in the body. If you don't have enough red blood cells, or if the white blood cells aren't doing their job correctly, homeostasis is not maintained.

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Concept #3: Blood typing

Each person has their own type of blood that they will have throughout their whole life. You inherit one gene from each parent and that then determines what type of blood you have. On the outside of all cells there are antigens, which are molecules to make all the cells be recognizable by the body. Every cell in your body then shares the same anitgens, and when a forgeign or different antigen is found, the body recognizes it as not itself. The immune system finds the foreign antigen that doesn't belong in the body and then destroys it. If a person has to receive blood from a trauma for example, they need to receive the same antigen that their body has so the body doesn't receive foreign antigens. The system used to typing blood is called the ABO system. Type A blood will have A antigens, and type B blood will have B antigens. Type AB will have no antigens, and type O will have A and B antigens. Your body makes antibodies against the wrong or foreign antigens on cells. For example, if you are type A you will have antibodies against type B. Antigens are like a puzzle piece that needs to have to correct fit in order for no problems. If the wrong size of puzzle piece is put into the blood, agglutination will occur. Agglutination, or clumping, would happen if someone would receive the wrong kind of blood and their antigens would match up with the wrong antibody. Clotting and agglutination are not the same thing. When agglutination happens red blood cells can rupture or they can block small blood vessels. Type O is considered the universal donor because there aren't any antigens on the outside of the cells. Type AB has been called the universal receiver because they don't have antibodies towards A or B. Another antigen that is present on the outside of cells is called the Rh factor. If that anitgen is present you are Rh positive, and if the antigen is not there you are Rh negative. There are many ways that the blood typing system could be put together to make many different kinds of blood types. Every person in the world has a type of blood, and it's important to make sure they would receive the right kind of blood.

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When working in a hospital or a clinic setting, knowing about blood would be common sense. Every patient I would see has blood and a blood type. Each patient also shares some of the same elements and components of their blood. If someone receives the wrong kind of blood, agglutination occurs, and that isn't good. As a nurse, or whatever career I would choose in the field of medicine, I need to know how blood works. In an emergency situation I have to respond as to what blood type we need to give to the patient, or what blood type they are. For example if a patient came in with life threatening injuries and they needed to receive blood, and I shout out the wrong kind of blood type, the patient would most likely die. It's vital as a healthcare worker to understand how the blood works.

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Essential question:

When someone needs to receive blood and they receive the wrong kind, agglutination occurs. Agglutination is not clotting, and can lead to small blood vessels rupturing because the cells clump together. For example type A blood has A antigens on the outside of a red blood cell and it makes type B antibodies. The person with type A blood can not receive type B blood, because the cells would recognize this as foreign and the body would fight against it. Type O blood is considered the universal donor because there are no antigens on the outside of the cells. If someone receives type O blood, the person receiving the blood can't reject it because of the lack of antigens. The only stipulation with type O is that it can only receive type O blood because of the antibodies that type O has. On the other hand, type AB are considered the universal recipients because they don't make any antibodies. When a person with AB blood receives another kind of blood, there isn't any signals showing that the blood received is bad. It's very important that when someone is receiving blood, that they receive what their body won't fight against.



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