The Facts on Blood

The word “blood” carries a whole host of connotations, having at least ten different usages in modern English.  It can be a noun, adjective or verb, yet all of them call to mind the truest definition, that of our “liquid of life.”  In stories, myths, religious ceremonies since time incalculable blood has been a symbol of the miracle of life.

The red blood that runs through humans (and all vertebrates) contains many parts, most notably the red blood cells that carry our oxygen, the white blood cells that help us heal, and the platelets that stop us from bleeding out.  Those are the three parts we are most taught about in school, but blood truly plays a fascinating part in the process of our vascular cycle.

Almost all of our blood cells are created from the stem cells inside of bone marrow (with some assists from the lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus).  The body reacts incredibly well to changes to itself, and regulates its production based on need.  Oxygen levels low?  Your body asks itself to make more red cells.  Our white cell count increases to stave off infections, and when clotting becomes necessary--say for a cut--platelets are dispatched in greater numbers.

All of this is run through our bodies via a pale yellow serum known as blood plasma, along with various proteins, particles and minerals the body needs to feed its systems.  Our veins pump that blood from our organs back to the heart, where it is flushed our arteries and capillaries to be cleaned, reoxygenated, and pumped back through the body. 

This bright red liquid (and, yes, it’s always red--the blue of the veins you can in your body is an effect of the light passing through your skin) runs through our bodies at an average rate of of 3 or 4 miles per hour.  That may seem like a leisurely walking pace, but it means that your blood makes the full trip through your body in about a minute!

Our blood is our vitality, and an amazing substance, as intriguing and complex as the vascular system that carries it.  Medical and scientific breakthroughs continue to expand our knowledge of the deepest workings of the human body. At the Vein & Vascular Center in Jackson, TN, we specialize in providing the most up-to-date, professional vascular care. You can find us at 395 Hospital Blvd, Jackson , TN (731-664-7395), or find us on the web at www.vvcjackson.com where you can learn more about our team and services.