Friday, 28 May 2010

Describe the components of plasma and explain their function

Plasma is the liquid component of blood, in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended. Plasma is mostly made up of water around 90-92% this helps with the transport of blood cells around the body, as it can flow easily. Plasma also contains dissolved salts (electrolytes) and proteins; it is a yellow coloured fluid that carries all blood cells.
Albumin is a protein contained in plasma, it helps keep fluid from leaking out of blood vessels and into tissues; this is useful for people that has lost large amounts of blood as it binds to and carries substances such as hormones and certain drugs. Plasma also contains clotting factors, such as fibrinogen, which control bleeding during an injury. (NHS, 2010)
Plasma contains other dissolved substances such as glucose, mineral ions, hormones and carbon dioxide; nutrients such as glucose and mineral irons, which have been digested and not used by the cells, will be transported to the kidneys and excreted as urine. During exercise excess carbon dioxide that has been formed will be transported by the plasma to the lungs and exhaled as a waste product.
figure 4

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