Monday, February 7, 2011

Blood? Platelets? Plasma? What?!

When we go out in the community, people often ask us questions about blood.  Now, working closely with the Chapter means that I don't really hear that much about blood, but since I do work with the Red Cross I SHOULD know the difference between red blood cells, platelets and plasma right? Well, I now do!
Red Blood Cells- help treat anemia or acute blood loss and carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.  Red Blood cells last up to 42 days.
Platelets- help control bleeding; replace platelets destroyed by disease or cancer therapy.  Platelets must be used within 5 days.
Plasma- supplies nutrients to cells, used to replace fluids in shock and burn victims.  Frozen plasma may be kept for up to 1 year.
What else have I learned through my educational journey you ask?
·  An average adult has about 10 pints of blood in their body.
·  Type O negative red blood cells can be transfused to patients of all blood types.  It is always in great demand and often in short supply
·  Whole blood contains: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets suspended in plasma
·  There are 8 common red blood cells types
·  One unit of blood= about 1 pint of blood
If you’d like to learn more about the different blood types, what to expect when donating blood, volunteer opportunities or to find an upcoming blood drive, please visit us online!

1 comment:

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