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Biological Sciences
Course Code
Stephen Reid

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CHAPTER 30: HEMATOLOGIC SYSTEM STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONS  Hematology is the study of blood and blood-forming tissues. This includes the bone marrow, blood, spleen, and lymph system.  Blood cell production (hematopoiesis) occurs within the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft material that fills the central core of bones.  Blood is a type of connective tissue that performs three major functions: transportation, regulation, and protection. There are two major components to blood: plasma and blood cells.  Plasma is composed primarily of water, but it also contains proteins, electrolytes, gases, nutrients, and waste.  There are three types of blood cells: erythrocytes (RBCs), leukocytes (WBCs), and thrombocytes (platelets).  Erythrocytes are primarily composed of a large molecule called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin, a complex protein-iron compound composed of heme (an iron compound) and globin (a simple protein), functions to bind with oxygen and carbon dioxide.  Leukocytes (WBCs) appear white when separated from blood. There are five different types of leukocytes, each of which has a different function. o Granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils): the primary function of the granulocytes is phagocytosis, a process by which WBCs ingest or engulf any unwanted organism and then digest and kill it. The neutrophil is the most common type of granulocyte. o Lymphocytes: the main function of lymphocytes is related to the immune response. Lymphocytes form the basis of the cellular and humoral immune responses. o Monocytes: monocytes are phagocytic cells. They can ingest small or large masses of matter, such as bacteria, dead cells, tissue debris, and old or defective RBCs.  The primary function of thrombocytes, or platelets, is to initiate the clotting process by producing an initial platelet plug in the early phases of the clotting process.  Hemostasis is a term used to describe the blood clotting process. This process is important in minimizing blood loss when various body structures are injured.  Four components contribute to normal hemostasis: vascular response, platelet plug formation, the development
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