Bleed the red fluid

Blood is a red fluid that is pumped through the body via the heart. One thirteenth of the body weight consists of blood.

Functions of the blood

The blood in the body is used for different things:

  • It ensures that oxygen is collected in the lungs and transported to all parts of the body;
  • It wards off infections;
  • It transports food, antibodies, hormones and ensures the removal of breakdown products;
  • It ensures blood clotting in case of injuries.

 

Cells

Blood consists of four parts: white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets and plasma. The body has the most of the red blood cells. The white blood cells defend the body against infections. They can change shape and fight viruses and bacteria by making antibodies or eating them. The red blood cells transport oxygen to all living cells in the body. The platelets ensure that the blood clots if, for example, you have fallen. Blood plasma is a yellowish fluid in which hormones, nutrients, waste products and proteins are dissolved. The body produces 2.5 million new white and red blood cells every second. These are made in the bones in the bone marrow.

Blood type

The blood of two people can be different. You only have the same blood group if the red blood cells contain the same proteins. There are three different blood types. 0, A, B, AB. If you lose a lot of blood in an accident, you can receive donor blood. You must both have the same blood type. If this is not the case, this can be dangerous. The various proteins cause the red blood cells to clot and that can cause a fatal blockage. However, if doctors give you blood group 0, it doesn’t matter because everyone can tolerate it.

Circulatory system

The heart pumps all the blood through the body. This has to happen because organs need oxygen, and blood contains oxygen. The heart pumps 4 liters of blood per minute through the aorta, the largest artery. This means that the heart allows no less than 6,000 liters of blood to flow through the blood vessels every day. This happens at a speed of 2 kilometers per hour. The blood vessels in the body form a large network so that blood can flow everywhere. Every organ in the body has a supplying and removing artery. These veins turn into capillaries again.

Blue blood

It is a myth that people of nobility have blue blood. That nonsense comes from the Middle Ages. The Moors owned the southern half of Spain and the white Christians the north. The white nobles had white skin, because they hardly went outside. Because of their light skin you could see their blue veins very well. It made it look as if they had blue blood. Because the Christians won the battle with the Moors, bluebloods were seen as the better ones.

Anemia

Blood is red because it partly consists of iron. Iron is necessary for oxygen transport. You cannot live without oxygen. If you don’t have enough iron you suffer from anemia. You will then suffer from headaches, dizziness or, for example, overtiredness. You can supplement the iron deficiency by eating meat, spinach or broccoli.

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