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Basic Morphology and Concepts

1. Average blood volume in an adult = 4L-6L

a. Women = 4-5L
b. Men =5-6 L
2. Blood volume represents about 8% of total body weight
3. Blood has a pH = 7.35-7.45
4. Blood is composed of =
a. 55% plasma (the fluid portion)
i. 91.5% = water
ii. 8.5% = solutes
Albumins = 55%
Globulins = 38%
Fibrinogen = 7%
Other solutes are electrolytes, hormones, non-protein
nitrogen compounds, nutrients, and respiratory gases.
b. 45% formed elements or cells.
i. 44% = red blood cells
ii. 1% = white blood cells and platelets.
iii. Reverence value =
Women = 4.2-5.4 x 1012/ L
Men = 4.7-6.1 x 1012/ L
WBC = 4.8-10.8 x 109/L
Platelets = 150-4x 109/ L

Erytrocytes (Red Blood Cells)

Consists of plasma membrane surrounding a solation of proteins (mainly

hemoglobin) and electrolytes
Biconcave disc
7-8 m in diameter
1.5-2.5 m thick

The shapes of red blood cells can change remarkably as the cells squeeze through
Red blood cell is a "bag" that can be deformed into almost any shape.
Because the normal cell has a great excess of cell membrane for the quantity of material
inside, deformation does not stretch the membrane greatly and, consequently, does not
rupture the cell, as would be the case with many other cells.
Major function : transport hemoglobin, which in turn carries oxygen from the lungs to the
Other functions : They contain a large quantity of carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme that
catalyzes the reversible reaction between carbon dioxide (CO2) and water to form
carbonic acid (H2CO3), increasing the rate of this reaction several thousandfold. The
rapidity of this reaction makes it possible for the water of the blood to transport enormous
quantities of CO2 in the form of bicarbonate ion (HCO3-) from the tissues to the lungs,
where it is reconverted to CO2 and expelled into the atmosphere as a body waste product.
RBC is excellent acid-base buffer (as is true of most proteins), so that the red blood cells
are responsible for most of the acid-base buffering power of whole blood.