The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is encouraging young people to donate blood and help save lives.
Not only that, but SANBS is making sure that people are well-informed on the process and facts about donating blood. Below are interesting facts to know about human blood.
Human blood is an incredibly important fluid. Without this fluid, no human can survive. One of the most important functions of blood is to carry oxygen to different parts of the body. In absence of blood, body will fail to receive any oxygen which will result in death.
Interesting human blood facts 1-20
• Nearly 7% of the body weight of a human is made up of blood.
• Platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells are present in blood.
• Blood consists of a yellow liquid which is known as blood plasma.
• Blood plasma is primarily made up of water- 90% of blood plasma is water.
• Blood plasma also consists of hormones, glucose, proteins, gases, electrolytes and nutrients.
• Platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells are all found floating in blood plasma.
• Blood plasma can be separated using centrifuge device which spins blood at a very high speed. The cells then get collected at the bottom of the tube, separating blood plasma from the cells.
• Only the red blood cells in our blood are responsible for carrying oxygen.
• Red blood cells consist of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is actually a protein that contains iron. Oxygen combines with this iron and gives the characteristic red colour to our blood as well as haemoglobin.
• Unlike red blood cells, the white blood cells in our blood form the defensive system of our body. These white blood cells are responsible for fighting viruses, bacteria and other infectious diseases. They also fight cancer cells and other unwanted material that enter human body.
• Platelets are completely different and are responsible for blood clotting whenever bleeding occurs because of a cut or bruise. This prevents unwanted loss of blood.
• While blood clotting is meant for good, it can become dangerous. If blood clots in blood vessels of heart, one can experience heart attack. Similarly, blood clot in brain can lead to stroke.
• Blood is not just responsible for carrying oxygen to different parts of the body. It also carries nutrients to body cells. At the same time, it also carries away unwanted waste material away from the cells.
• Blood pressure is actually the pressure exerted by blood on blood vessel walls. BP is a vital sign of life.
• High BP implies increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
• Average blood pressure will always vary from one person to another despite the fact that standard considered BP is 112/64 mmHg.
• We have different common blood types A, B, AB and O, which is a part of simplified ABO system.
• An adult body has 100,000 kilometres or 60,000 miles of blood vessels running throughout the body.
• The average volume of blood present in an adult male body is 5.6 litres while an adult female body contains 4.5 litres of blood on an average.
• A new born baby will have around 1 cup of blood in its body.
Most South Africans will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lives. Alarmingly, less than 1% of South Africans regularly donate blood. One person donating blood can save a minimum of three lives.
Adding to this, a whole generation is being lost to the donor community due to aging and accompanying health challenges. With an older generation unable to donate, millennials and younger adults are increasingly crucial to our country’s future blood sustainability.