Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Learn All About Blood - Anatomy, Physiology, Composition, Functions & Disorders Blood Disorders Before we study about blood disorders, we must know the composition of blood in a healthy individual. Blood is a body fluid in humans and other animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells. In vertebrates, it is composed of blood cells suspended in blood plasma. The blood cells are mainly Red Blood Cells also called RBCs or Erythrocytes, White Blood Cells also called WBCs or leukocytes, and Platelets. Plasma which constitutes 55% of blood fluid is mostly water, 92% by volume and contains dissipated proteins, glucose, mineral ions, hormones and carbon dioxide. All the blood cells families work together and maintain your body so that you are healthy and strong. Red blood cells transport oxygen to your body's organs and tissues. White blood cells help your body fight infections. Platelets are tiny molecules that stick up together and build a clot on bleeding wounds. All three cell types formed in the bone marrow, which is the soft tissue inside your bones. Your body needs millions of blood cells produced by bone marrow to carry out vital functions. But sometimes bone marrow cannot work properly due to certain factors and results in blood cell disorders. A blood cell disorder is a condition in which there's a problem with your red blood cells, white blood cells, or the smaller circulating cells called platelets. Blood cell disorders impair the formation and function of one or more of these types of blood cells. Thalassemia is a group of inherited blood disorders. These disorders are caused by genetic mutations that prevent the normal production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the carrier molecule which carries the oxygen obtained during the process of respiration. When red blood cells do not have enough hemoglobin, oxygen doesn't get to all parts of the body. Organs then do not function properly. These disorders can result in: bone deformities, enlarged spleen, heart problems, growth and developmental delays in children. People who suffer from thalassemia need to undergo regular blood transfusions to maintain healthy RBCs and hemoglobin levels in the body. Leukemia Leukemia is blood cancer in which malignant white blood cells multiply inside your body's bone marrow. Usually, leukemia involves the production of abnormal white blood cells, the cells responsible for fighting infection. However, the abnormal cells in leukemia do not function in the same way as normal white blood cells. The leukemia cells continue to grow and divide, eventually crowding out the normal blood cells. The end result is that it becomes difficult for the body to fight infections, control bleeding, and transport oxygen. What causes leukemia? Is leukemia hereditary? The exact cause of leukemia is not known, but it is thought to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Leukemia cells have acquired mutations in their DNA that cause them to grow abnormally and lose functions of typical white blood cells. It is not clear what causes these mutations to occur. One type of change in the cells' DNA that is common in leukemia is known as a chromosome translocation. In this process, a portion of one chromosome breaks off and attaches to a different chromosome. Most cases of leukemia are not believed to be hereditary, but certain genetic mutations and conditions can be passed along to offspring that increase the chances of developing leukemia. Treatments Treatment for your leukemia depends on many factors. Your doctor determines your leukemia treatment based on your age and overall health, the type of leukemia you have, and whether it has spread to other parts of your body, including the central nervous system. Common treatments used to fight leukemia include stem cell transplant, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Blood Groups and Blood Transfusion Disorders of Blood What is Blood? There are various definitions which defines blood. In simple words it is a red liquid which circulates in arteries and veins. humans and other vertebrate animals carrying oxygen too and carbon dioxide from the tissues of the body. Other defines blood as vital principle of life. It is the mechanism of blood in bodies of living organism which can differentiate one individual from the other based on the presence or absence of specific antigens in blood. This system is called Blood Group. There are four blood groups: A, B, AB and O blood groups. While blood types are 100% genetically inherited, the environment can potentially determine which blood types in a population will be passed on more frequently to the next generation. Blood Type A: If the red blood cell has only "A" molecules on it. Blood Type B: If the red blood cell has only "B" molecules on it. Blood Type AB: If the red blood cell has a mixture of both "A" & "B" molecules. Blood Type O: If the red blood cell has neither "A" or "B" molecule. Blood Group Facts There are eight different common blood types, which are determined by the presence or absence of certain antigens, which are substances that can trigger an immune response if they are foreign to the human body. Since some antigens can trigger a patient's immune system to attack the transfused blood, safe blood transfusions depend on careful blood typing and cross-matching. Now the next turn is to know about an interesting factor known as Rh-factor, which can be either present (+) or absent (-). In general, Rh-negative blood is given to Rh-negative patients and Rh-positive blood or Rh-negative blood may be given to Rh-positive patients. Are you a universal donor? Or a universal recipient? The universal red cell donor has Type O negative blood type. The universal plasma donor has Type AB positive blood type. Blood Transfusion Blood transfusion is a medical term. It means a procedure used to transfer blood, or some products based on blood, from the circulatory system of one human to that of another human. Blood types are very important when a blood transfusion is necessary. In a blood transfusion, a patient must receive a blood type compatible with his or her own blood type. If the blood types are not compatible, red blood cells will clump together, making clots that can block blood vessels causing a potentially fatal situation. Therefore, it is important that blood types can be matched before blood transfusions take place. In an emergency, type O blood can be given because it is most likely to be accepted by all blood types. However, there is still a risk involved. Why Blood Transfusions Are Performed? Loss of blood during surgery or from an injury or an illness, An inability to make enough blood, Some illnesses and treatments can harm the bone marrow's ability to make blood e.g., chemotherapy decreases production of new blood cells., To prevent complications from an existing blood or bleeding disorder, such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, or anaemia caused by kidney disease, haemophilia, or von Willebrand disease. Preparing for a blood donation If your child needs a blood transfusion, the doctor will speak to you about the procedure. If you have questions, be sure to ask. When you feel comfortable with the information and your questions have been fully answered, you will be asked to sign an informed consent form. This form states that you understand the procedure and its risks, and you give permission for your child to have the blood transfusion. If the situation is not a life-threatening emergency, two tests will be done before the transfusion: Blood typing and Cross-matching. Common Myth About Blood Donation "I can't donate because I have low iron" Your red blood cell count doesn't stay low forever. Come in and see if it's improved. Iron-rich food helps promote blood production. Citrus fruit helps your body absorb iron. Dark, leafy-green vegetables are good source of iron. Lean red meat as well as salmon and tuna are good sources of iron. "I can't donate because I am Diabetic." Diabetics may donate blood even if they take medication.