Blood Cell Definition
Blood cells are cells produced through hematopoiesis and are found mainly in the blood. They are divided into three main types: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. White blood cells help fight infections and diseases, while platelets help with clotting to prevent excessive bleeding.
Blood Cell Types
Blood contains three main types of cells: red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets (thrombocytes). Red blood cells carry oxygen to all cells in the body.
White blood cells help the body fight infection and are part of the immune system. There are several types of white blood cells, including neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes. Platelets help with clotting to stop bleeding.
All of these blood cells come from bone marrow stem cells that mature into these three main types of cells. A full blood count is a test that checks the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. The normal ranges for each type of cell may vary slightly between individuals but generally stay consistent over time if a person is healthy.
Different types of blood cancers can affect different types of blood cells. Understanding the different types of blood cells and their functions can help in diagnosing and treating various medical conditions related to the bloodstream.
Blood Cell Lineage
Blood cells are divided into three lineages: erythroid, lymphoid, and myeloid. Erythroid cells are red blood cells that carry oxygen. Myeloid lineage includes granulocytes, megakaryocytes, monocytes, and macrophages.
All types of formed elements develop from a single cell type called a stem cell or hemocytoblast. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in the bone marrow and have the unique ability to give rise to all different mature blood cell types and tissues.
Before birth, hemopoiesis occurs primarily in the liver and spleen. After birth, most production is limited to red bone marrow in specific regions. However, some white blood cells are produced in lymphoid tissue.
All blood cells originate from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which reside in the bone marrow. Before becoming a white blood cell or red blood cell (erythrocyte), a series of maturation steps takes place where offspring of HSCs progressively develop into the final blood cell.
In summary, all blood cells originate from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) residing in the bone marrow. There are three lineages of blood cells: erythroid, lymphoid, and myeloid. Erythroid lineage includes red blood cells that carry oxygen while myeloid lineage includes granulocytes, megakaryocytes, monocytes, and macrophages.
Blood Cell Function
Blood cells are essential for the proper functioning of the human body. There are three main types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, make up about 40-45% of blood’s volume and are responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues.
They also transport waste such as carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be exhaled. Red blood cells get their bright red color from a protein called hemoglobin that allows them to carry oxygen throughout the body.
White blood cells, or leukocytes, play a crucial role in our immune system by fighting off infections and diseases. There are three main types of white blood cells: lymphocytes, monocytes, and granulocytes.
Lymphocytes produce antibodies that help fight off infections and diseases. Monocytes become macrophages that engulf and digest bacteria and other harmful substances. Granulocytes consist of neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils – each with its own specific function in fighting off infections.
Platelets are small cell fragments that help stop bleeding by forming clots at the site of an injury. They work together with proteins in plasma to form a clot that seals off the wound until it can heal.
In summary, red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body; white blood cells fight off infections and diseases; platelets help stop bleeding by forming clots at the site of an injury.
Red Blood Cell Function
Red blood cells are a type of blood cell that is made in the bone marrow and found in the blood. They are responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to other tissues in the body. Hemoglobin also removes carbon dioxide from the body.
Red blood cells are round with a flattish, indented center, like doughnuts without a hole. They don’t have a nucleus like white blood cells, allowing them to change shape and move throughout the body more easily. Red blood cells get their bright red color from hemoglobin.
Red blood cells are continuously produced in our bone marrow and have a shelf life of up to 42 days, depending on the type of anticoagulant used when they are stored. They can also be treated and frozen for 10 years or more.
Blood transfusions every 2 seconds are needed, all of which must be collected from volunteer donors. One powerful way to help is to donate what the Red Cross calls “Power Red.” By donating Power Red, you double your impact by contributing two units of red blood cells.
White Blood Cell Function
White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, are part of the body’s immune system and help fight infection and other diseases. There are several types of white blood cells, including granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils), monocytes, and lymphocytes (T cells and B cells).
Each type of white blood cell has a specific function in the immune system. For example, neutrophils are the most common type of white blood cell and help fight bacterial infections. Eosinophils play a role in fighting parasitic infections and allergic reactions.
Basophils release histamine during an allergic reaction. Monocytes clean up dead cells, while lymphocytes defend against specific invaders.
White blood cells are made in the bone marrow and stored in the blood and lymph tissues. Stem cells in the bone marrow are responsible for producing white blood cells. A normal white blood cell count ranges between 4,000 and 11,000 cells per microliter of blood.
Practicing good hygiene to prevent infection, taking vitamins to boost your immune system, and treating medical conditions where white blood cell disorders are a side effect can help keep your white blood cells healthy.
In summary, white blood cells play a crucial role in protecting the body from infection and disease. There are several types of white blood cells with specific functions in the immune system. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help keep your white blood cells healthy.
Platelets are tiny blood cells that play a major role in blood clotting. Their primary function is to prevent and stop bleeding. If a blood vessel is damaged, the body sends signals to platelets which cause them to travel to the injured area.
Once the platelets arrive at the site, they clump together to form a clot that helps stop bleeding. Platelets form in the bone marrow and circulate in our blood for 5-7 days.
Platelet transfusions can help save the lives of patients with low platelet counts or platelets that aren’t functioning correctly. There are also some conditions that can cause the body to destroy platelets faster than they can be renewed which can lead to thrombocytopenia.
Platelet disorders such as thrombocytopenia and thrombocytosis affect normal platelet function. Thrombocytopenia occurs when there are too few platelets in the blood, while thrombocytosis occurs when there are too many platelets in the blood. Medicines such as aspirin can also cause poor platelet function.
To increase or maintain healthy platelet levels, one can take a low dose of aspirin daily, remove platelets from their blood (platelet pheresis), or treat any underlying medical conditions. It’s important to know which medicines affect platelets and consult with a healthcare provider before taking any medication that may affect normal platelet function.
Blood Cell Count
A blood cell count is a measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. A complete blood count (CBC) is a common blood test that measures many different parts and features of your blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
The CBC does many tests to measure and study these components. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body while white blood cells are part of the immune system and help fight infection. Platelets help the body clot.
The normal range for a red blood cell count varies depending on age, sex, and other factors. For men, it is 4.7 to 6.1 million cells per microlitre (cells/mcL), while for women it is 4.2 to 5.4 million cells/mcL. An RBC count can be used to diagnose conditions such as iron deficiency anemia where there are fewer red blood cells than normal.
A CBC test can detect a variety of disorders including infections, anemia, diseases of the immune system, and blood cancers. However, a CBC usually doesn’t give all the answers about a diagnosis as results outside the expected range may or may not need follow-up.
If any levels are abnormal, it doesn’t always mean you have a medical condition that needs treatment as diet, activity level, medicines, menstrual period or not drinking enough water can affect results. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider to learn what your results mean.
Normal Blood Cell Count
A complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. The normal range for red blood cell count is 4.5 to 5.5 million cells/mm3 for males and 4 to 5 million cells/mm3 for females.
Another source states that the normal range for red blood cell count is 4.35 trillion to 5.65 trillion cells/L for males and 3.92 trillion to 5.13 trillion cells/L for females. A third source reports that a normal RBC count would be around 4.0 to 5.9 x 10*12/L for men and 3.8 to 5.2 x 10*12/L for women.
The normal range for white blood cell count is between 5,000 and 10,000 cells/mm3 or between 3.4 billion and 9.6 billion cells/L. The typical range for platelet count is between140,000 to400,000/mm3 or between 135 billion to317 billion/L for males and 157 billion to 371 billion/L for females.
It’s important to note that a CBC test doesn’t give all the answers about a diagnosis, but it can tell your doctor a lot about your overall health. Results outside the expected range may or may not need follow-up, depending on other factors such as symptoms or medical history.
Elevated Blood Cell Count Causes
A high blood cell count can refer to either a high red blood cell count or a high white blood cell count. A high red blood cell count can be a sign of several health conditions, including heart disease, lung disease, kidney tumors, and dehydration.
Certain drugs such as anabolic steroids and erythropoietin shots can also boost the production of red blood cells. Symptoms of a high red blood cell count include numbness and tingling, nosebleeds, and an increased risk of blood clots.
A high white blood cell count is usually indicative of an infection or inflammation in the body. The bone marrow produces extra white blood cells to fight off infection or inflammation.
Other causes of a high white blood cell count include abnormalities in the bone marrow, smoking, chronic lung disease, immune disorders, allergic reactions, and physical or emotional stress.
A high red or white blood cell count does not always indicate an underlying health problem. Health or lifestyle factors such as living at high altitudes can also cause a high red blood cell count. If you have concerns about your blood test results, it is recommended to talk to your healthcare provider for further evaluation and diagnosis.
Low Blood Cell Count Causes
A low blood cell count can be caused by various factors. A low hemoglobin count can be due to diseases and conditions that cause the body to produce fewer red blood cells than normal, such as thalassemia, bleeding in the digestive tract, frequent blood donation, and heavy menstrual bleeding.
Low iron levels in the blood, cancer, cancer treatments, chronic kidney disease, sickle cell disease, blood loss, major organ failure, and malnutrition can also cause a person to have a low red blood cell count.
A low white blood cell count is called leukopenia and can be caused by many reasons. For example, it may be due to life-saving cancer treatment that lowers the white blood cell level or some medications like antipsychotic medicines or medicine for an overactive thyroid.
Some cancers like leukemia or lymphoma can also cause a low white blood cell count. Without enough white blood cells including enough neutrophils (a type of white blood cells), a person is more vulnerable to developing infections.
It is important to consult with a healthcare provider if experiencing symptoms of a low white or red blood cell count.
Symptoms of a low white blood cell count are not direct but when these cells are low it causes the immune system to be weak. Symptoms of a low red blood cell count include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath during physical activity, and pale skin color.