Plasma (Blood Plasma)

Haematology at a Glance
Pathophysiology of Blood Disorders
Haematology at a Glance Pathophysiology of Blood Disorders

Blood plasma is one of the many components (including different types of cells) which, together, form the fluid known as blood.

The structure of blood plasma can be summarized as follows:

  • Normal blood plasma is 90-92 % water.
  • Blood plasma is the straw-coloured fluid in which the blood cells are suspended, and consists of:
    • Dissolved substances including electrolytes such as sodium, chlorine, potassiun, manganese, and calcium ions
    • Blood plasma proteins (albumin, globulin, fibrinogen)
    • Hormones

The functions of blood plasma include:

  • Blood plasma is the medium in which the blood cells are transported around the body (by the blood vessels) and are able to operate effectively.
  • Blood plasma helps to maintain optimum body temperature throughout the organism.
  • Blood plasma helps to control the pH of the blood and the body tissues, maintaining this within a range at which the cells can thrive.
  • Blood plasma helps to maintain an ideal balance of electrolytes in the blood and tissues of the body.

For more information about other components (sometimes called the 'constituents') of blood, see the page about the structure and functions of blood. This may interest students of holistic massage, reflexology, beauty therapies, or health-related courses.

More about blood

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