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Function of the Blood

The body needs to have enough blood volume circulating in order to keep functioning. The four components of blood are:

  1. Red cells. These are produced in the marrow in the large bones such as the arm (humerus) or thigh bone (femur). There are approximately 260 million red cells in every drop of blood.
  2. White cells help to fight infection. They also produce antibodies, which help the body to resist infection.
  3. Platelets are disc shaped structures in the blood. They are an essential part of the blood’s clotting mechanism because they bind together. Until clots form, bleeding must be controlled artificially.
  4. Plasma is mostly made up of water and because plasma makes up about half of the blood volume, it is essential to maintain blood volume to ensure normal function of the circulatory system.

Blood is circulated around the body through blood vessels. These are arteries, capillaries and veins.

• Damage to an artery will cause the blood loss to be bright red and spurting.

• Damage to veins however will be a darker red and flows.

• Damage to the capillaries is associated with wounds close to the skin and is a bright red and oozes.

What should you do?

We all respond to emergencies in different ways.

Whether trained or untrained, some of us are afraid we will do the wrong thing and make the situation worse.

If you are unsure about what to do, call for an ambulance.

The worst thing to do is to do nothing.