Blood plasma is an important component in the body besides red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This blood component also has several important functions that cannot be considered trivial because they are closely related to bodily functions. Read on to find out more about plasma, its components, functions, features and other information below.
What Is Blood Plasma?
Blood plasma is a part of yellowish clear blood that remains after being separated from red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components. It is the single largest component of human blood, comprising about 55 percent, and contains water, salt, enzymes, antibodies and other proteins.
Plasma is a medium for transporting cells and various substances important to the human body. Plasma performs various important functions in the body, one of which is to fight disease.
The source of plasma is plasma collected from healthy donors through a process called plasmapheresis and is used specifically for further manufacturing into final therapy (fractionation).
Components of Blood Plasma
Plasma is composed of several components which are dominated by water. Nearly 90% of plasma contains water. This is what makes plasma like a medium for transporting cells and various other important substances for the human body.
This also makes the human body dominated by water content so that the hydration conditions are so important to always be maintained. Components of blood plasma other than water are protein, glucose, salt, enzymes, antibodies, and other solutes.
Function of Blood Plasma for the Body
Blood plasma also has several main functions that are not as important as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This function will keep the human body working properly.
The following are some of the main functions of blood plasma for the body:
1. Transporting food saris throughout the body
After the food and drinks eaten have been digested and broken down by the digestive system, we will get food juices that are rich in nutrients. These nutrients are needed by all parts of the body so they must be circulated.
Plasma functions to transport food saris throughout the body. Blood plasma is very important so that the body’s cells and body tissues can function properly.
Various nutrients such as amino acids, fats, fatty acids, and glucose will be distributed by plasma throughout the body. It is also important to maintain optimal body health and growth and development.
2. Transporting Metabolic Waste from the Entire Body
Not only food essence, the function of blood plasma can also transport metabolic waste products called waste. Some waste such as uric acid, ammonium salt, creatinine, poisons, chemicals, and others will be transported by plasma from the body’s cells to the kidneys to be filtered and discharged through urine.
In addition, plasma also functions to transport other wastes in the form of air, carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is also a waste of the body’s metabolism results obtained from the burning of food juices. Plasma will carry carbon dioxide into the lungs to be excreted outside the body.
3. Maintaining blood volume
After water, the second largest component of blood plasma is protein. Protein in plasma which contains albumin. This albumin concentration has a close relation to blood osmotic pressure.
Plasma albumin concentrations are higher than albumin concentrations in blood cells. This causes the water can not enter the blood so the blood volume does not increase.
Increased blood volume will have an impact on increasing blood pressure . If blood pressure rises, the heart must work harder. This is not good for heart health.
4. Transporting Electrolytes throughout the Body
In addition to nutrients and waste, the function of blood plasma can also distribute electrolytes throughout the body. Electrolytes are salts in the body such as sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, bicarbonate, and others.
This electrolyte is beneficial for the body to be able to carry out its functions properly. If the body’s cells do not get electrolytes, it will have a negative impact on the muscles and nerves. The muscles of the body cannot contract and nerves cannot send signals to the brain and receive signals from the brain.
5. Maintain the Immune System
Besides albumin, in plasma there are also other types of proteins. The other type of protein is blood serum or immunoglobulin. The benefits of blood plasma are the distribution of immunoglobulins throughout the body.
Blood serum that contains immunoglobulins are antibodies that can maintain the immune system. Immunoglobulin circulated by plasma throughout the body will fight bacteria or germs that enter the body.
6. Help Clot Blood
Plasma contains a substance called fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is a substance that has an important role in blood clotting. This fibrinogen substance will help platelets to clot blood so that bleeding can be stopped immediately.
The function of this blood plasma is very important if you experience cuts or punctures due to sharp objects or other things that make the body bleed. Without fibrinogen, this can trigger the emergence of hemophilia .
7. Regulate Body Temperature
Blood plasma functions to cool and warm the body as needed. This is maintained through a balance between heat loss and heat entering the body.
The hot temperature in the human body is the result of blood oxidation. When oxidation goes well, body temperature will also be good.
8. Adjust the pH balance
Plasma also functions in regulating pH balance through protein. Plasma protein acts in keeping the blood pH slightly alkaline by binding to excess hydrogen ions in the blood.
Plasma protein can also supply amino acids if needed by breaking down macrophages. Amino acids are compounds to make proteins that are important for the body’s metabolism.
9. Increase Sedimentation of Red Blood Cells
Fibrinogen, an acute phase reactant, increases during acute inflammatory conditions and contributes to increased red blood cell sedimentation, which is used as a diagnostic and prognostic tool.
10. Transporting Hormones
Hormones released into the blood will be transported to their target organs. Hormones that are transported throughout the body can function in the formation of muscles and bones, and help blood clots . This hormone is transported from the appendix gland of the human body.
Characteristics of Blood Plasma
Blood plasma is a fluid from the blood itself which has several characteristics.
The following are the characteristics of blood plasma:
- Consists of 90% water and 10% other solutes
- Have blood cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
- The content of substances needed by the body include, protein, antibodies, glucose, enzymes, salt, and other solutes
Unique Facts about Blood Plasma
Previously it was mentioned that plasma is light yellow. Maybe you are still lacking or unsure about the color of plasma which does not have red like blood color.
Although it contains about 55% of the total blood, this yellowish plasma does not affect the red blood color. However, you will only be convinced if you know that when plasma is isolated alone you will get a light yellow liquid.
Blood Plasma Donor Action
You already know that plasma has very important functions. The function of blood plasma is very influential on the health of the body such as to fight germs and distribute nutrients throughout the body. This also encourages plasma donor action.
Surely you have heard a lot of blood donor actions carried out by people that is by giving whole blood. It turns out that the blood donor is not limited to donating whole blood for people who are short of blood.
The blood donor action can only be limited to donating plasma by means of plasma isolation called plasmapheresis . Your blood will be drawn by medical personnel using a needle.
There is a special machine that will carry out plasmapheresis to separate your plasma and other blood components. After the plasma is successfully separated, other blood components such as blood cells will be returned to your body.
Plasma has been successfully isolated and serves to save the lives of people who really need plasma, such as those with hemophilia who need a lot of fibrinogen in the plasma.
Plasma donors can be obtained voluntarily or by being compensated. Plasma donor activity will take one to two hours. If you have blood type AB, your plasma can be given to anyone who needs it even if they are not blood type AB.
Also Read: 13 Ways to Raise Blood Platelets Naturally and Medically
Blood Plasma Donors for What?
Plasma can be used to help treat various types of serious health problems. Some elements in plasma, including antibodies and chemicals that help blood clots, can help medical emergencies such as burns and trauma.
Here are some functions of blood plasma donors for medical conditions:
- Develop treatments . Antibodies and proteins can also be used to develop treatments for rare diseases, including some immune system problems.
- Cancer . Adults and children who suffer from types of cancer, including leukemia , sometimes need plasma transfusions.
- Transplant surgery . Some people who get a liver or bone marrow transplant also need plasma.
- Hemophilia . This is a rare blood clotting disorder, for patients with this disorder usually requires a plasma donor.
Blood Disorders That Attack Blood Plasma
Plasma can have certain disorders that cause health problems, even life-threatening. Therefore this plasma interference should be wary of!
Here are some blood disorders that affect blood plasma:
1. Von Willebrand’s disease
The Von Willebrand factor is a protein in the blood that helps blood clots. When experiencing Von Willebrand’s disease, the body produces too little protein, or produces protein that does not work well.
The condition is inherited, but most people with Von Willebrand’s disease have no symptoms and don’t know they have it. Some sufferers of Von Willebrand will experience excessive bleeding after injury or during surgery.
This is a condition when certain genetic deficiencies of proteins help the blood clot. There are many forms of hemophilia, ranging from mild to life-threatening.
3. Deep Vein Thrombosis
Occurrence of blood clots in the deep veins, usually in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis can expel and spread through the heart to the lungs, causing pulmonary embolism.
Hypercoagulation is a blood clot that tends to be easier. Most people who are affected by this condition have a tendency to excess blood clots and may never be diagnosed.
Some people experience repeated blood clots throughout their lives, which requires them to take blood-thinning medication every day.
5. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)
DIC is a condition that causes small blood clots and bleeding areas throughout the body simultaneously. This can cause severe infections, surgery, or complications of pregnancy, conditions that can cause DIC.