Blood: Questions and Answers

explanatory Essay
1402 words
1402 words

1. What is the function of the blood? What specific materials does it transport? Why are these substances important? Be specific – explain why these substances contribute to homeostasis.

Blood is composed of plasma (clear extracellular fluid) and cellular components, which consist of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Necessary body fluids, nutrients, gases, chemicals, and wastes are transported throughout the body by the blood. The functions of the blood include respiration, waste elimination, thermoregulation, nutrient delivery, immunity and defense, hormone delivery, and water and pH balance.

Blood transports oxygen from the lungs and nutrients from the digestive tract to all cells of the body. Metabolic waste products are transported from cells to sites of elimination; for example, to the lungs for removal of carbon dioxide and to the kidneys for dumping of nitrogenous wastes in urine. Blood additionally transports hormones to their target organs.

Blood regulates an appropriate body temperature by absorbing and distributing heat throughout the body and to the skin surface to support heat loss. Normal pH in body tissues is regulated by blood. Blood proteins and other blood borne solutes act as buffers to stop extreme or sudden changes in blood pH that could endanger normal cellular activities. Blood additionally acts as the reservoir for the body’s alkaline reserve of bicarbonate atoms. Proper fluid volume in the circulatory system is maintained by the blood. For example, salts and blood proteins act to stop extreme loss of fluid from the bloodstream into the tissue spaces. This results in the blood vessel fluid volume remaining ample to assist efficient blood circulation to the entire body.


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...become sticky and accumulate together. In thrombin dilution, clot formation away from the site is prevented by thrombin dilution and antithrombin presence in the plasma. The amount of activated thrombin will decline because of dilution and the activity of antithrombin, which decreases fibrin formation. Natural anticoagulants include antithrombin and heparin. Antithrombin is produced by the liver; it deactivates thrombin before it can act on fibrinogen. Heparin is secreted by basophils and mast cells; it disrupts the creation of prothrombin activation.

Sources used:

Kapoor, Anil. “Hematology/blood.” Phoenix College. PowerPoint presentation. 2014.

Kapoor, Anil. Hematology: Lesson Builder. Phoenix College. Web. 20 March 2014.

Marieb, Elaine, and Katja Hoehn. Human Anatomy & Physiology. 7th ed. San Francisco: Pearson

Benjamin Cummings, 2007. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that blood type is a classification of blood; the abo bloodtype is determined by antigen presence or absence on the surface of the person’s red blood cells.
  • Explains that hemostasis is the homeostatic mechanism that inhibits blood loss due to trauma or blood vessel damage.
  • Explains that a platelet plug is the structure formed when platelets become sticky and clump together when they are stimulated by exposure to the underlying connective tissues.
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