What Is Blood Made Of?
You might not realize that your blood is made up of a lot of different parts. Each part has its own job to do. So, what are the components of whole blood?
Red Blood Cells
Red blood cells are what gives your blood that nice red color. When you look at blood under a microscope, you are going to see that those red blood cells look like donuts and make up the majority of your blood. Unlike other kinds of cells, they don't have a nucleus, which makes them pretty flexible. However, they are also relatively weak and break down after just a couple of months, so your body has to always produce more. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your body.
White Blood Cells
White blood cells are your body's soldiers. They fight off infections and help to keep you healthy. However, they make up a very small portion of your blood volume. There are three basic white blood cells, and they are produced in your bone marrow. Neutrophils are like the first responders, they get in and get everything started. They don't last very long though. T cells and B cells work on regulating your immune systems and fight off infection on a long-term basis.
Plasma is a straw-colored liquid that helps keep your blood moving through your veins. It also helps to move all kinds of things like hormones and nutrients through your blood too. If you are injured, you may see plasma leaking from the wound as its healing. That's because the plasma is carrying things like white blood cells to the area so it can heal.
Platelets are what give your blood its clotting power. If you have a low platelet count, you are going to have a hard time with clotting. They aren't whole cells though, they are bits and pieces of cells that have broken down, and when they get to an injury, they clump up altogether and cause the clot.
Leukapheresis isn't a part of your blood. It is the process in which whole blood can be separated out into its various components. That can allow doctors and scientists to concentrate the blood for whatever reason necessary. For example, blood may go through leukapheresis, and all the red blood cells get separated out. Those red blood cells can be into a pack with a lot of other red blood cells, and when you need a blood transfusion, that pack of red blood cells can be transfused, giving you the blood volume and red blood cells you need.
Your blood is an amazing thing. It does so many things for you. For more information on leukopaks, contact your local medical office today.