Graduation Requirements
Field & Cluster
Health Health and Bio Science
Equipment/Materials Needed
No special equipment required
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Blood is the red liquid that circulates in the arteries and veins of humans, carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide from and to the cells and tissues of the body
Badge Completion Requirements

Blood Introduction


Blood is defined as the red fluid circulating through the arteries, capillaries, and veins pushed by the heart

      *Delivers oxygen and nourishment

      *Removes carbon dioxide and waste

Blood can be divided into two separate units: the formed components and the non-formed components.

       Formed Components:

            About 45% by volume

                Red Blood Cells

                White Blood Cells


Non-formed Components:

     About 65% by volume



 The non-formed components will be found in the Plasma the yellow fluid that remains after the formed components have been removed





55% albumin (a protein in the blood that helps stop leakage in the veins, arteries)

40% globulin (several globulins including antibodies)

6% fibrinogen (blood clotting protein)

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Red Blood Cells

poster red blood

Red Blood Cells

(commonly referred to as RBC’s)

Red blood cells are erythrocytes. The primary responsibility for erythrocytes is the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

The erythrocyte is a biconcave disk resembling the shape of a donut. The center of the cell, where the nucleus would be located is the primary area for the transport of oxygen.

The nucleus has been removed from the cell in order to attach hemoglobin. Therefore, without the nucleus, the erythrocyte can’t undergo mitosis and can not reproduce.

Erythrocytes have a programmed life expectancy of 120 days. At the end of 120 days, the liver disassembles the red blood cell and recycles the parts.

Why is blood red, because hemoglobin has iron as its foundation and as iron begins to oxidize it has that traditional red color (commonly referred to as rust).

Blood cells are generated in the bone red marrow of the ribs, sternum, long bone of the legs and the hip region. As we age the ribs, sternum, long bone will lose their ability to produce blood leaving only the hip region.

Red blood cells are the smallest cells found in the human body at 8 micrometers. This small size allows for the cells to transport and exchange gases in the capillary system. 




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Platelets or Thrombocytes


Platelets are the smallest formed components of the blood. On a blood slide, the platelets will appear a small blue dots. The function of the platelets is blood clotting. Platelets activate the coagulation cascade by releasing tissue factor. This process results in the formation of clots.

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In the slide above you'll notice the small dots among the red blood cells. This four dots are the platelets or thrombocytes.

Individuals with bleeding issues may have lower counts of thrombocytes. 


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Drugs that "thin the blood" generally affect the platelet count. Aspirin is used to reduce platelets which increases bleeding time (bleeding time is generally the time required for a clot to form).

White Blood Cells (Leukocytes)

White Blood Cells (leukocytes)

The thymus is an organ located behind the sternum and between the lungs. As an infant the thymus is the size of a ping-pong ball. As we age the thymus shrinks until it disappears around the age of 20.

The red marrow generates a progenitor blood cell that can develop into any of the white blood cells needed.

Leukocytes have a life expectancy of a few days to a few years depending on the type of leukocyte

3 types of Leukocytes:


          B Lymphocytes

          T Lymphocytes








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ABO Blood Typing System

Blood transfusions have been around since the seventeenth century. During that time frame, physicians used animal blood to replace human blood lost during hemorrhages. Unfortunately, this procedure resulted in the patients' death. 

Eventually, it was decided that human blood had to be replaced with human blood. To the physicians surprise the transfusions worked some of the time, however, most of the patients continued to die. 



The modern-day transfusion is the result of the work of Dr. Landsteiner in 1904 which isolated the blood types that we know today A, B, AB, and O. 

When two incompatible blood types are put together agglutination occurs. Agglutination is clumping of the blood types to form a gel-like substance.

The reaction among blood types is the result of oligosaccharides (sugars) attached to the proteins and lipids of the red blood cell membrane. The terminal monosaccharide determines the cells blood type and its compatibility with other blood types. 

Type A

Can receive and give blood to type A

Type B

Can receive and give blood to type B

Type AB

Can receive blood from any blood type but only give to AB (universal recipients) 

Type O

Can receive blood from type O but can give to A, B, AB and O (universal donor)

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Develop a presentation to be submitted and discussed with your mentor demonstrating your understanding of ABO blood typing.