Blood plasma is the majority of blood volume. It suspends the rest of the components in fluid and contains water, electrolytes and proteins.
Many electrolytes and other solutes are essential components that make up plasma.
Proteins are another essential component of plasma. Proteins include albumin, fibrinogen, and globulins.
Albumin is one of the plasma proteins that helps regulate osmotic pressure by being too large to diffuse out of capillaries and maintaining plasma concentration to prevent water from osmotically diffusing out of capillaries.
Fibrinogen is activated to fibrin by thrombin. Fibrin helps blood clot by cross-linking and connecting platelets.
Globulins are also plasma proteins, but they are immune proteins that recognize and bind foreign antigens as part of the process of neutralizing foreign bodies in the blood.
Water is a large component of blood just as it is the entire human body.
Formed elements include white blood cells and red blood cells.
The buffy coat is the third fraction of blood that contains mostly platelets and white blood cells.
White blood cells, or leukocytes, circulate in the blood looking for foreign pathogens to attack and destroy.
Platelets help blood clot by aggregating at sites of damage.
Red blood cells have hemoglobin, used to bind oxygen, and carry oxygen to tissues in the body. They also help return some carbon dioxide back to the lungs for exhalation.
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