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Blood

 

Blood has many functions. These include:

  • Transportation: The blood carries other substances around the body inside Arteries, Veins and Capillaries. These include gasses (Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide), waste products (water, urea), hormones, enzymes and nutrients (glucose, amino acids, vitamins and minerals). The blood flows through the Circulatory System.
  • Maintaining Homeostasis: Altering the blood flow to the skin can help to reduce body temperature. Transportation of enzymes which are used to maintain our internal environments.
  • Immunity and defence: White blood cells fight infection and platelets help repair damage and clot the blood

Constituents of blood

Blood is made up of a number of types of cells:

  • Plasma: Plasma is a straw-coloured fluid in which blood cells are suspended. It is made up of approximately 90% water as well as electrolytes such as sodium and potassium and proteins.
  • Red Blood Cells (Erythrocytes): The main function of red blood cells is to carry oxygen. RBC's contain a protein called Haemoglobin. This combines with oxygen to form Oxyhaemoglobin. Each RBC has a lifespan of approximately 120 days before it gets broken down by the spleen. New RBC's are manufactured in the bone marrow of most bones. There are approximately 4.5-5 million RBC's per micro-litre of blood.
  • White Blood Cells (Leucocytes): There a number of types of white blood cells, although the function of all of them is to help fight disease and infection. They typically have a lifespan of a few days and there are only 5-10 thousand WBC's per micro-litre of blood.
  • Platelets (Thrombocytes): Platelets are disc shaped cell fragments which are involved in clotting the blood to prevent the excess loss of body fluids.

Blood cells

 

Now Test Yourself:

1. List the three main functions of blood











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1. List the three main functions of blood



  • Transportation of gasses, waste products, hormones, enzymes and nutrients
  • Maintaining homeostasis
  • Immunity and defence





Next Card >

2. List the four main constituents of blood











Flip Card >

2. List the four main constituents of blood



  • Plasma
  • Red blood cells
  • White blood cells
  • Platelets



Next card >

3. Where are new red blood cells made?











Flip Card >

3. Where are new red blood cells made?



  • Bone marrow







Next card >

4. What is the function of white blood cells?











Flip Card >

4. What is the function of white blood cells?



  • To help fight disease and infection







Next card >

5. What is the function of platelets?











Flip Card >

5. What is the function of platelets?



  • To clot the blood






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