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Biology Blood Essay

2307 words - 10 pages

Question 2 Part B
The 2 blood products I have chosen are platelets and plasma
Platelets are small clear cell fragments about 2-3 µm in diameter. Platelets circulate in the blood of mammals and are involved in hemostasis and lead to the formation of blood clots.
Platelets provide the necessary hormones and proteins for coagulation. Collagen is released when the lining of a blood vessel is damaged. The platelet recognizes collagen and begins to work on coagulating the blood by forming a kind of stopper, so further damage to the blood vessel is prevented.

How platelets are produced?
Platelets are either removed from collected units of whole and pooled to make a therapeutic ...view middle of the document...
The specific situations in which they are used
Platelets are used to help clot the blood and seal wounds in surgical and cancer patients. Leukaemia and chemotherapy treatments can reduce a patient’s platelet count. Chemotherapy helps save lives but it destroys healthy platelets at the same time. Without platelet transfusions, these patients could bleed to death.
Patients suffering from leukaemia and other cancers of the blood are doubly affected. In addition to the effects of chemotherapy, their disease may crowd out or destroy the bone marrow cells that make healthy platelets.
While disease or a genetic disorder can cause a lower number of platelets they can also be depleted because of a specific treatment or surgery. Burn victims, organ transplant patients, marrow transplant patients and those who have undergone heart surgery often require not only blood transfusions but platelet transfusions as well.
Also Platelet Rich Plasma has been used in wound healing


Blood plasma is the liquid component of blood, consisting of around 50% of the total blood volume. It is usually straw coloured, although it can be cloudy or greyish, depending on the health and diet of the plasma’s host. Plasma is made up of about 91% water, with the rest of the 9% being made up of proteins, minerals, waste products, clotting factors, hormones, and immunoglobins. Without plasma, blood cells would have no medium to travel on as they moved through the body. Plasma also performs a number of other useful functions in the body.
How Plasma is produced? The whole blood is drawn from the patient and then placed in a centrifuge. As the blood spins, the heavier blood cells (i.e. red blood cells) settle to the bottom, and the plasma rises to the top. Tests can be performed on the plasma to learn more about the health of the donor, and the blood cells can also be analysed for information. See figure 1 for images of the process.

The specific situations in which they are used
Doctors sometimes use infusions of plasma to treat a variety of medical conditions. Pure plasma contains clotting factors which increase the rate at which blood clots, making it useful in surgery and in the treatment of hemophilia. Also plasma is use to treat Von Willebrand disease.
It used in critical care settings for treatment of shock and burns, during surgery, and for fluid replacement therapy.

Comparison of Platelets & Plasma to Whole Blood
Platelets concentrates are used rather than whole blood because whole blood can be used to make a number of other blood products. Also there is less than 1% of the platelets in whole blood. Using whole blood rather than the blood products would be inefficient and the whole blood could be used for other things.
The red and white blood cells may not be need in its current form when given to a patient that needs platelets or plasma.

(Step 2: The components of blood....

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