Blood. The life giving stuff that flows through our veins. Blood has become synonymous with life itself. Without it, we can’t survive. Our lifeblood, if you like.
But did you know, not all blood is red?
An octopus has blue blood. Some worms have green blood. Many insects have yellow blood. The colour of blood is completely dependent on the colour of the protein that carries oxygen around the body. In humans, that’s haemoglobin, and that perky little protein is red.
But even when it’s red, it’s kind of not.
Say what? In fact, just over 50% of our blood is actually a liquid called plasma, which has a distinctly golden hue.
Donated plasma is a bit of a modern medical miracle. It contains proteins and nutrients that can be made into 18 different medical treatments. For many patients, plasma is often the last line of defence.
Inside our veins, plasma has the very important jobs of transporting our red and white blood cells and platelets around our body to where they’re needed. Without plasma, those cells aren’t going anywhere, and we’d be extremely unwell indeed.
An average adult has 25 trillion red blood cells circulating at any one time.
Mind. Blown. What even is a trillion? (PS, it’s a million million). Can’t imagine it? Well, if red cells were stars, that’s the equivalent of 250 Milky Way galaxies.
And, speaking of chocolate…
Lifeblood Donor Centres have the best post-donation snacks in town.
Every blood donation can save up to three lives
Every time you make a blood donation, your bag of blood is separated into three components: red cells, plasma and platelets. This means every donation has the power to save up to three lives.
To make an appointment to donate or find out more about blood or blood donation, call 13 14 95, go to lifeblood.com.au or tune into Giving Life, Saturdays, Channel 9 AT 1pm
The Carousel would like to thank Jennifer Campbell Case, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, for her article.