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Blood Groups Components of blood

Nisha's picture

Components of blood

Blood isnt just blood

It can be divided up into four major components which are:

Red blood cells (the little guys who carry oxygen around to
the body cells)

White blood cells (your body's defence mechanism)

Platelets (these help blood form clots)

Plasma (where all the proteins live)

When we receive your donation, it gets put in a machine called a centrifuge, spun around a lot and the blood gets separated so it can be put to its individual uses.

But why?
And what for?
Let's find out.Whole blood
This is your blood in its natural state, and something we very rarely use. It's much more useful to us to have it separated into components.

Red blood cells
This is what everybody usually associates with "blood" (ie, it's red). It's widely used to replace lost blood during surgery, or when people haemorrhage. Its main function is to carry oxygen to the tissues, using a substance called haemoglobin. Anaemia is when your haemoglobin levels are lower than normal. (Try saying that fast.) There are of course different ways of treating red cells. Generally they're all filtered to remove the white blood cells. Frozen red cells are (wait for it) frozen, to be used at a later date. This is actually an extremely expensive and time-consuming process for us, so we only adopt it for rare blood groups.

White blood cells
Think of these little guys as being like a ready-made army who go into battle against any viruses or infections that threaten your system. They get used on patients suffering from life-threatening infections whose normal defence mechanisms don't seem to be responding to antibiotics

These tiny cells are crucial in helping your blood to clot. If your platelet level is low then you probably suffer a lot from bruising and bleeding.
More information.

Everybody thinks that blood is red but the truth is that it's only the red blood cells that make it appear that way. Take them away (and the other cellular components) and you're left with plasma, the fluid that carries all your blood cells. Which happens to be yellow. We process this to extract other products such as:

This protein is really useful when treating anyone who's been severely shocked or burned, or anyone who's lost large amounts of blood.

Clotting factors
One of the major agents in plasma is Factor VIII. It may sound like sunblock, but it actually helps anyone whose blood doesn't clot properly. And if your blood doesn't clot, you keep on bleeding.

But guess what?

That's not all. Let's talk Immunoglobulins.

These are protective antibodies which form when you're recovering from an infection or have received some immunisation.

Basically they're proteins generated by your white blood cells which attack whenever any foreign proteins enter your body. They're like the emergency services who come rushing to the aid of your body when it's being besieged by foreign nasties, helping to fight them off faster.

Non-specific immunoglobulin products contain the antibodies to treat deficiencies of immunoglobulin. You know, the kinds associated with certain diseases or inherited conditions (hope you're taking notes at this point). This helps in preventing any unpleasantness like hepatitis A, and is made from the plasma from normal donors, many of whom already have antibodies to hepatitis A.

Specific immunoglobulins contain specially selected antibodies, chosen to treat a specific infection. Which probably explains why they're called specific.

For example, donors who have had chicken pox will have high levels of chicken pox antibodies. So their plasma will be ideal for children with leukaemia who have been exposed to chicken pox, and also to prevent any potentially life-threatening diseases.

And then there's the anti-D immunoglobulin which is given to pregnant women.

Full attention here, please.

If a Rh negative woman is pregnant with a Rh positive baby, some of junior's blood may enter her system during birth. Her blood may then start producing anti-D (or anti-Rh) antibodies. And if her next baby happens to be Rh positive, then her blood will go on the attack. This can be neutralised by giving her an anti-D immunoglobulin injection straight after the birth of her first baby

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Trojanhorse's picture
Heloo friend......I guess this is a Food channel and not a Health one.More food related blogs are welcomed
Nisha's picture
Well arent food and health interlinked??moreso when food is the main element which directly is interlinked with blood?i would like the admin's & the rest of the members to give in their count about the postings about health??should it be stopped if so y is health a topic under blog category??I feel its more important that health awareness is created amongst people..Also, i would take the liberty to suggest to you my dear friend,that you could always read the food blogs and the recipes and not the health blogs.It's always your choice.
Joe.Bush's picture
I agree with you Nisha. Food and Health are intertwined. We eat fore taste but more importantly we eat for health. Any health study relates to food and any food study relates to health. You written absolutley amazing blogs. I love them. ifood is a community and people's opinion will differ about length and content of things, but they must respect author's freedom. We in America are all about freedom of speech. Great blogs and great recipe, carry on the good work.
foodlover's picture
Joe, I rarely agree with you, but this time you are right. Perhaps some bloggers are not able to keep pace with Nisha and they are trying to slow her down. They should meet Nisha's challenge positively by trying to write more and better blog. You go full speed Nisha, we read the valuable information you provide. I like the comprehensive and detailed work you have done. When I need First Aid information I know where to come.
khau.khan's picture
ya in the name of freedom of speech - lets talk about laloo yadav food habits or compare him with the bigger bush.
Nisha's picture
Not just laloo we could as well discuss your mindset and though process too at the same time your food habits and how it is affecting your brain!!!
khau.khan's picture
i am pretty ok - you probably didnt get the humour there. Perhaps our blood groups are incompatible (and looks like yours boils quite fast too). Take a chill pill.
khau.khan's picture
yes food and health are definitely interlinked and i guess that is why the ifood team put health as a blog category. if you post something like trans fat is bad for your health , then it definitely should be here. Then your argument about fod and health being intertwined comes out valid. But i think talking about blood groups takes the idea too far. Ofcourse, you are can write what you want - perhaps even about some politicians speech. But keeping things within the food context would keep the focus on food. I am sure you can write a lot on food related topics too. Why dont you ask the ifood people if they plan to start a health channel :-)
Nisha's picture
Wow friends!This gives me a real high! thanks for your support. I shall, as usual keep up with what ever i've been doing.Thanks a lot again.
Nisha's picture
well i never knew that blood related topics arent interlinked or interwined with food i always tot blood and food are very much interlinked..anyways if thats the case that u guys dont agree with what i say please ask the moderator to delete the posts that are not related to the community.All i wanted is general awareness amongst people..yeahi do agree blood groups dont have anything to do with food but then its got to do with blood and it is a part of series so added it...
khau.khan's picture
well blood is definitely related to food - for example, if you dont eat iron rich foods you can get anemia or lack of iodine causes goitre - perhaps you may want to focus on such topics. similalrly, you can talk about unhygienic food on health. I didnt suggest your post should be brought down - my point was to ask you to blend things in with food :-) but feel from to express yourself!
Nisha's picture
Khau khan please dont contradict your ownself !!!!  @ everyone on the group-Friends y dont you make your choice of reading and let others read what they want...Its ridiculous to know people seem to be so biased..and selfish that they consider only their priorities..may be few dont need health related topics -right but then others might want it..whats wrong with this????
Blood Groups Components Of Blood