Blood Component Functions

May 31, 2013 at 11:11 am

By Billie Rubin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center

 Each blood component we make has a purpose:

 Red Blood Cells – carry oxygen to the tissues in the body and are commonly used in the treatment of anemia

Platelets – help the blood to clot and are used in the treatment of leukemia and other forms of cancer

White Blood Cells – help to fight infection, and aid in the immune process

Plasma – carries the many parts of the blood through the bloodstream (blood cells, hormones, electrolytes, antibodies, O2, CO2, clotting factors) and helps to maintain blood pressure, provides proteins for blood clotting and balances the levels of sodium and potassium

Cryoprecipitate AHF – a portion of the plasma that contains clotting factors (like factor VIII) that help to control bleeding

In 2008, 28,658,000 blood components were produced in the U.S. (2009 National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey, AABB). And we were part of that!