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University of Ottawa
Anatomy and Physiology
Jacqueline Carnegie

Chapter 17 BloodComponents of Bloodblood is the only fluid tissue in the bodyappears as a thick homogenous liquid but has both cellular and liquid componentsblood is a specialized type of connective tissue where living blood cells formed elements such as RBCs leukocytesWBCs platelets etc are suspended in a nonliving fluid matrix called plasmadissolved fibrous proteins become visible as fibrin strands during blood clotting in a centrifuge the heavier formed elements are packed down by centrifugal force and the less dense plasma remains at the topmost of the mass at the bottom is made up of red blood cells that transporterythrocytesoxygena thin white layer is present at the erythrocyteplasma junction and is called the buffy coatbuffy coat layer contains leukocytes and plateletsleukemia patients would have a large buffy coat erythrocytes typically make up about 45 of the total volume of blood sample and this blood fraction is known as the hematocritleukocytes and platelets contribute less than 1 of blood volume and plasma makes up the remaining 55 Physical Characteristics of Blood and Volume blood is a sticky opaque fluid with a metallic tastescarlet coloured bloodoxygen richdark red bloodoxygen poor blood is more dense than awter and about 5 times more viscous due to its formed elements blood is slightly alkaline with a pH of 735 to 745 and temperature of 38C always slightly higher than body temperature blood makes up 8 of the body weight with a volume of 56L in makes and 45L in females Functions1 Distributiona delivering oxygen from the lungs nutrients from the digestive system and dissolved gases to all body cellsb transporting metabolic waste products from cells to elimination sites to the lungs for elimination of carbon dioxide and to the kidneys for the disposal of nitrogenous wastec transporting hormones from the endocrine organs to their target organs 2 Regulationa maintaining appropriate body temperature by absorbing and distributing heat throughout the body and tot he skin to encourage heat loss b maintaining normal pH in body tissues many blood proteins and other bloodborne solutes act as buffers to prevent excessive or abrupt changes in blood pH that could jeopardize normal cell activitiesblood acts as the reservoir for the bodys alkaline reserve of bicarbonate atoms c maintaining adequate fluid volume in the circulatory systemsalt ieNaCl and blood proteins act to prevent excessive fluid loos from the bloodstream into tissue spaces the fluid volume in the blood vessels remains ample to support efficient blood circulation to all parts of the body 3 Protectiona preventing blood lesswhen a blood vessel is damaged platelets and plasma proteins initiate clot formation halting blood loss b preventing infectionantibodies complement proteins and WBCs help defend the body against foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses Blood PlasmaPlasma a strawcoloured sticky fluidcontains about 90 water and over 100 different dissolved solutes including nutrients ie glucose carbohydrates amino acids gases ie O2 and CO2 hormones wastes and products of cell activity ionselectroylyes ie sodium potassium calcium chloride bicarbonate proteins ie albumin clotting proteins etc etc plasma proteins account for 8 by weight of plasma volume plasma proteins except for hormones and gamma globulins are produced by the liver most plasma proteins serve a variety of functions but are not taken up by cells to be used as fuels or metabolic nutrients like most other plasma solutes ie glucose fatty acids amino acids Albuminaccounts for 60 of plasma proteinacts as a carrier to shuttle certain molecules through the circulationalbumin is an important blood bufferis the major blood protein contributing to the plasma osmotic pressure which helps keep water in the bloodstream sodium ions are the other major solute contributing to blood osmotic pressure plasma composition is kept relatively constant by various homeostatic mechanisms Formed Elementsformed elements include erythrocytes leukocytes and platelets
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