Anatomy and Physiology - Chapter 17 - Blood

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For A&P Students at Christian Life School

Name the three components of blood and their percentages.

Erythrocytes - 45%
Leukocytes/platelets - <1%
Blood Plasma - 55%

Hematocrit definition

Erythrocyte count in the blood

Male Hematocrit


Female Hematocrit


Physical characteristics of blood

Metallic taste
Color varies from deep scarlet to bright red
pH 7.35-7.45
100.4 degrees
8% of body weight

3 major functions of blood


What does blood 'distribute?'

Oxygen & nutrients, wastes, and hormones

What does blood 'regulate?'

Body temperature, pH in tissues, fluid volume of cells

What does blood 'protect?'

Protects from blood loss and from infection

2 Blood Plasma functions

Transport solutes
Distribute heat

Major function of erythrocytes

Transport gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide


Results when oxygen bonds with hemoglobin and iron to go to the tissues


Results when oxygen detaches from the hemoglobin and goes back to the lungs


The process of RBC (erythrocyte) production


General blood cell formation


The hormone that regulates RBC production

What is anemia?

Occurs when blood has a low oxygen carrying ability

For what 3 reasons do anemia's occur?

Insufficient number of RBCs
Low hemoglobin content
Abnormal hemoglobin

Hemorrhagic anemia

An anemia caused by a major loss of blood

Hemolytic anemia

An anemia caused by a premature rupture of the RBC's not allowing them to reach maturity

Aplastic anemia

An anemia caused by the bone marrow not producing RBC's like it is supposed too

Iron deficiency

Insufficient iron due to diet or poor absorption

Pernicious anemia

Caused by a lack of Vitamin B12 in which the erythrocytes grow but do not divide


Occurs when erythrocytes are thin, delicate, and hemoglobin deficient

Sickle cell anemia

Substitution mutation of 1 amino acid in the hemoglobin molecule that changes the shape, flexibility & lifespan of the RBCs; cells take on a pointed shape


A dramatic increase in the RBC count causing blood thickening

Blood doping

Artificially induced polycythemia.

How does blood doping work?

Athletes have blood removed
Blood is separated into its parts and the RBCs are kept in storage for up to 4 weeks
Athlete's body makes more blood to replenish what was lost
Stored blood is put back into the athlete prior to event

Function of Leukocytes

Defend against disease from bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins & tumors


A 'leaping across' action that allows the leukocytes to leave the bloodstream and go where they are needed


Most numerous
50-70% of WBC population
Nuclei contain 3-6 lobes
Active phagocytes


2-4% of WBC population
Nucleus shaped like an old telephone
Defend against parasitic worms and lessens the severity of allergies


.5-1% of WBC population
Nucleus is U or S shaped
Contains histamine which helps blood vessels dilate


25% of WBC population
Found in lymphoid tissues
Have a large dark-purple spherical nucleus
Helps with immunity (T cells) and produces antibodies (B cells)


3-8% of WBC population
Largest leukocyte
Nucleus is U or kidney shaped
Active macrophages


Process of WBC production


Occurs when the WBC count is lower than normal


Means 'white blood'
Causes a major increase in the WBC count
Cancer of the WBC's
All cells are member of one out of control clone

Infectious mononucleosis

"Kissing disease"
Viral disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and produces a large amount of agranulocytes
Symptoms include: tired, achy


Fragments of the cytoplasm of megakaryocytes

Function of Platelets

Help with blood clotting
Forms a temporary plug that seals the damaged area


Hormone that regulates platelet formation


Process of stopping bleeding

Steps of Hemostasis

Vascular spasms
Platelet plug formation

What occurs during Vascular Spasms?

Immediate response is vasoconstriction of vessel
Is more efficient as tissue damage increases
Most effective in small blood vessels
Can last from a few minutes to 30ish minutes

What occurs during Platelet Plug Formation?

Platelets swell up, become sticky, and begin to stick to collagen fibers.
Platelets release chemicals that help in constriction and plug formation until a larger plug is created.

What occurs during Coagulation?

Chemicals are produced and fibrin threads begin to form.
The liquid mass becomes more solid.

Clot retraction

When the platelets contract (get smaller) and pull on the fibrin strands, compacting the clot and bringing the edges of the broken blood vessel together


Removal of unnecessary clots after healing has occurred.
The enzyme plasmin helps in this process.


A clot that develops on an unbroken blood vessel


When a thrombus breaks away and floats in the bloodstream


A thrombus that blocks a blood vessel (pulmonary embolism blocks vessels in the lungs; cerebral embolism blocks vessels in the brain)


Bleeding all over the body from small blood vessels because of a low platelet count


"Bleeder's disease"
People lack a factor that does not allow their blood to clot properly

4 Blood Groups

A, B, AB, O

Blood Types and Blood Transfusions

A can receive A & O
B can receive B & O
AB can receive A, B, AB, & O
O can receive O

Blood Types can Donate

A can donate to A & AB
B can donate to B & AB
AB can donate to AB
O can donate to A, B, AB, & O


Clumping together of different blood types usually after someone being given the wrong blood type


A molecule capable of causing agglutination of antigens; makes sure you only have your type of blood cells in your body


A substance that is recognized as foreign by the immune system and helps activate the immune system

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