This image highlights the vital components of blood: 55% plasma, 1% platelets and white blood cells, and 45% red blood cells. Plasma is the liquid river that transports every blood cell to its destination. Oxygen-carrying RBCs couldn't move through arteries, veins and capillaries without it. Even though it is a watery, almost clear fluid, plasma contains many important substances, including blood-clotting agents called platelets and protective proteins called antibodies which help us fight infection.
When the clotting agents are removed from blood plasma, it is called serum, which is essential in many life-saving medical situations such as transplant surgery and trauma. Some leukocytes ( WBC or white blood cells ) are produced in the bone marrow, while others are generated in lymph nodes scattered throughout the body. They are far less numerous than their sister RBCs, but leukocytes are the bedrock of the immune system and are the body's front line of defense. Different types of leukocytes fight infections in different ways.
Some target bacterial or fungal infections, while others respond to parasitic threats or allergic eactions. Platelets perform the vital function of clotting blood at wound sites. They are small, even in comparison to the other cells of your blood, but they pack a wallop when it comes to healing a scrape or staunching a more serious wound. When you cut yourself shaving, platelets arrive on the scene like your personal emergency medical team, creating a natural bandage of clotted blood, which eventually forms a scab. 45% red blood cells rbcs or erythrocytes) RBCs are produced in the bone marrow and perform the fundamental task of delivering oxygen to all of the body's cells. The vial is an example of the hematocrit, one of many tests that make up the complete blood count (CBC). Hematocrit measures the volume of RBCs in your blood. A normal hematocrit reading for women is between 36 to 44 percent; for men it's 41 to 50 percent.
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