Blood supplies the body with oxygen, nutrients and chemicals, vital to the function of tissues and organs. Blood consists of two basic parts: these are blood cells and the fluid – plasma – in which they are scattered. The blood disorders we are talking about mainly refer to blood cell disorders.
Red cells are the most numerous blood cells. Their function is to bring oxygen from the lungs into all parts of the body. They contain a red pigment called hemoglobin, which ”connects” to oxygen in the lungs and gives it to tissues through the capillaries as blood circulates in the body.
White cells protect the body from infection. The most numerous white cells are neutrophils; they attack and devour microbes. Others are lymphocytes, and one of their functions is to create antibodies against the microbes that attack the body. Other (not so numerous) types of white cells also help prevent the spread of infection.
The third type of bloodstream is platelets. They are gathering around injured blood vessel and clog the opening, which is the first stage in the blood clotting process. After that, other substances in plasma contribute to wound closure.
Most of the blood cells are created in the bone marrow through which blood circulates. However, most lymphocytes are created in the lymph glands that are in the neck, under the abdomen, in the groin and in many other parts of the body. The lymph glands, and the channels and lines connecting them, make the lymphatic system. When cells gets old or when their function is disrupted, they are filtered out of the bloodstream and destroyed – which is mainly performed by the spleen and, somewhat, the liver and the lymph glands.
Blood disorders are grouped as follows:
– lack of hemoglobin that causes anemia,
– blood clots causing bleeding and hematoma (subcutaneous bleeding),
– cancerous changes in white cells that cause leukemia,
– vascular disorders in the bone marrow and
– disorders affecting the lymphatic system cells or glands.