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Step 2: The components of blood
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To better understand the issues surrounding bloodless medicine, it's important to have a basic understanding of blood. In a given sample of your blood, more than half of the sample is made up of a watery substance called plasma, which contains salts and various proteins such as albumin, immunoglobulins, and clotting factors.

About half of the sample is made up of red blood cells, which contain oxygen-carrying hemoglobin. Less than 1% of the sample is made up of white blood cells (infection-fighting cells) and platelets (sticky little cell fragments that are involved in helping the blood clot). To learn more about how these blood products are used during surgery, click here.


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Review Date: 6/28/2011
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Palm Beach Cancer Institute, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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