Difference Between Blood and Plasma

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 03, 2023

       

Difference Between Blood and Plasma

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Introduction

Our circulatory system's fundamental elements, blood and plasma, work together to maintain the health of our bodies. Our blood arteries carry blood, a fluid connective tissue that carries nutrients, hormones, oxygen, and waste materials to various sections of the body. Red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma make up its composition.

The majority of human blood is made up of plasma, which is the liquid component of blood. Water, electrolytes, proteins, and other significant materials make up the majority of it. Plasma is a yellowish substance, as opposed to blood, which is red because it contains red blood cells.

One significant distinction is that blood contains platelets and clotting factors, which help stop bleeding when we are injured. These substances are absent from plasma because they are taken out during the separating process. Both substances play important parts in maintaining our health, yet they have diverse purposes within the intricate mechanisms of our bodies.

Plasma vs. Blood

Plasma is the liquid portion of blood, occupying approximately 55 percent of its total volume. Blood is a fluid-filled connective tissue comprising red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma.

While plasma primarily consists of water, electrolytes, proteins, glucose, and waste materials, whereas blood acts as a transport mechanism, bringing oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and immune cells to various body areas.

Plasma proteins, like albumin and globulins, perform a role in controlling blood volume, immunity, and lipids transport, red blood cells in the blood have the responsibility of transporting oxygen from the lungs to body tissues and removing carbon dioxide.

Blood's ability to form clots, thanks to the presence of platelets and clotting factors limits excessive bleeding and promotes wound healing. These substances are absent from plasma due to their removal during plasma separation.

While plasma donations are employed in a variety of medical therapies, including plasma exchange therapy for some immunological illnesses, blood transfusions are used to restore lost blood or its components.

Blood performs critical transportation and autoimmune activities, whereas plasma serves as a carrier for necessary substances, controls blood volume, and helps maintain the body's osmotic pressure. Both blood and plasma are crucial to maintaining biological functioning.

Difference Between Blood and Plasma in Tabular Form

Basis of ComparisonBloodPlasma
DefinitionBlood veins include fluid connective tissue made up of several parts.This refers to the liquid component of blood that remains once the blood cells and platelets have been separated from it.
CompositionWhite blood cells, platelets, plasma, and red blood cells.90% of the human body is made up of water, electrolytes, proteins, carbohydrates, hormones, and waste materials.
FunctionDistributing hormones, nutrients, immunological cells, and oxygen throughout the body.The body transports waste materials, electrolytes, proteins, and nutrients to different parts of the body.
Clotting AbilityPlatelets and clotting elements are present to aid in wound healing and prevent excessive bleeding.The patient is lacking platelets and clotting factors due to their removal during separation.
ColorThe color appears red due to the presence of red blood cells.The colour has a yellowish tint.
ProteinsThere are various types of proteins in the body, including antibodies, albumin, globulins, fibrinogen, and haemoglobin.The three types of proteins found in plasma are globulins, fibrinogen, and albumin.
TransfusionWhen someone loses blood or blood components, transfusions of blood are done to replace them.Plasma from donors is utilized, and any excess components are returned to the donor.
Cellular ComponentsAll three blood components - red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets - are present.Does not include platelets, white blood cells, or red blood cells.
Blood VolumeApproximately 45% of the total volume of blood is composed of this.Approximately 55% of the total volume of blood.
ImportanceIt is crucial for maintaining the overall health of the body, defending the immune system, and delivering oxygen.It is crucial to maintain osmotic pressure, facilitate nutrient transportation, and simplify waste removal.

What is Blood?

Our intricate system of blood vessels is kept alive and healthy by the interesting and essential fluid known as blood, which circulates throughout our body. Imagine it as a busy street that smoothly transports important staff and materials throughout our entire system. Blood is composed of different components, each with a unique function at its core. 

Our body's cells receive oxygen from the lungs through tiny red blood cells that function as delivery vehicles. In addition, they gather carbon dioxide waste that requires elimination. White blood cells act as vigilant security officers, guarding us against dangerous invaders such as germs and viruses.

Types of Blood

Blood type refers to the categorization of blood according to the presence or absence of specific molecules, called antigens, on the surface of red blood cells. The ABO system and the Rh system are the two primary antigen systems utilized to determine blood type.

ABO Blood Group System:

There are four main types of blood categorized by the ABO system: A, B, AB, and O. 

The presence or absence of antigens on the surface of red blood cells is what distinguishes each blood type.

If you have Blood Type A, your red blood cells definitely have A antigens. Additionally, your plasma contains anti-B antibodies.

If you have blood type B, your plasma and red blood cells contain anti-A antibodies and B antigens.

Individuals with blood type AB have plasma that does not contain anti-A or anti-B antibodies. Additionally, their red blood cells are universal recipients as they possess both A and B antigens.

If you have blood type O, your plasma has antibodies for both A and B antigens. However, your red blood cells can be donated to anyone since they don't have A or B antigens.

Rh Blood Group System:

The Rh Blood Group System categorizes blood into Rh-positive (Rh+) and Rh-negative (Rh-) groups.

The classification is based on the presence or absence of the D antigen, also called the Rh factor.

If a person's blood is Rh positive, it means that the Rh antigen, also known as the D antigen, is present in their red blood cells.

Red blood cells that do not have the Rh antigen are called Rh-negative (Rh-).

The Rh factor is crucial in certain medical situations, especially during pregnancy. In some cases, when a mother has Rh-negative blood and her baby has Rh-positive blood, there is a risk of hemolytic disease in the newborn (HDN). Medical intervention may be necessary to prevent complications.

What is Plasma?

Please keep in mind that approximately 55% of the blood's total volume is made up of plasma. Once the blood cells and platelets are removed, what remains is a pale yellow liquid. Imagine a blend of red and white blood cells, platelets, and various biological elements that make up blood, all floating in a liquid solution - that’s plasma!

About 90% of the plasma is made up of water, and it also includes additional vital elements, including electrolytes, proteins (including albumin, globulins, and fibrinogen), glucose, hormones, and waste materials. It serves as a carrier, delivering these essential nutrients to various body regions and assisting with general physical activities.

Types of Plasma

The liquid portion of blood that is left over after blood cells and platelets are removed is referred to as plasma in the sense of blood, and there is normally only one type of plasma. However, plasma can be further divided into groups depending on whether it was produced through plasma or the process of a conventional blood donation.

  1. Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP): To maintain its clotting factors, FFP is acquired from blood from individual donors and is frozen right away. It is utilized in a variety of medical conditions to replace lost blood volume after major trauma or surgery or to help individuals with bleeding issues regain their ability to clot.
  2. Source Plasma: During a specialized procedure termed plasma apheresis, source plasma is obtained by separating the plasma from blood donated by the individual while returning the remaining components to the donor. This kind of plasma is largely utilized to make medicines that save lives, like immunoglobulins, clotting factors, and albumin.
  3. Recovered Plasma: Red blood cells, plasma, and platelets are routinely separated from whole blood during the process of recovering plasma, which is made from plasma that was collected during that process. It is employed in the production of numerous medicines generated from plasma.

Main Differences Between Blood and Plasma in Points

Two vital elements of the circulatory system are blood and plasma, each with unique functions and properties.

The only fluid connective tissue in the body, blood is special because it carries vital nutrients throughout the body. Immunoglobulins (antibodies), which are crucial for the body's immune defense against infections, are among the many proteins found in plasma.

The normal adult has 4-6 liters of blood, which accounts for 7-8% of their body weight. Blood serves as a reservoir for electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and helps to maintain the right ion balance necessary for nerve and muscle function.

Plasma plays a crucial role in the blood coagulation process by supplying clotting agents and fibrinogen, which are necessary for producing blood clots. Blood plays a critical role in maintaining acid-base balance (pH) in the body, ensuring the correct functioning of organs and enzymes.

Plasma proteins transport lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides. Blood pH has to stay between 7.35 to 7.45 for good health. Deviations can cause serious problems.

Blood clots, plasma doesn't. Hemostasis stops bleeding by clotting blood, creating platelet plugs, and narrowing blood vessels.

Blood transfusions can be necessary for surgeries, emergencies, and blood-related treatments. Plasma and plasma-derived products can benefit patients with certain medical conditions.

Blood types are determined by antigens on red blood cells, and plasma contains antibodies against foreign antigens.

In summary, both blood and plasma are essential parts of the circulatory process, with blood serving as a flexible carrier of oxygen, nutrients, and immune cells, and plasma acting as an agent for essential substances and playing a key role in coagulation and immune defense. They are essential for preserving general health and treating a variety of medical disorders because of their special qualities and functions.

Conclusion

Blood and plasma are crucial for a healthy circulatory system. Blood carries nutrients, hormones, and immune cells while also regulating temperature and acid-base balance. It's critical to know what's different between blood and plasma for beneficial applications, blood transfusions, and preserving general health. These intricate and intertwined parts are crucial for maintaining life and well-being since they guarantee the appropriate operation of the body's systems.


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"Difference Between Blood and Plasma." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 15 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-blood-and-plasma-3>.



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