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GENERAL DELIVERY: BLOOD

The blood which the elaborate circulatory system carries about so expeditiously is a watery solution of salts, minerals, food substances, and waste products, to give part of the list.
Floating in it are the blood cells. They are mostly red cells, or erythrocytes. Statements as to their number sound like the federal budget. There are about five million in a cubic millimeter. As a millimeter is something like a twentieth of an inch, this is a small space to hold so many. The body is said to contain two hundred fifty billion of them.
It has been determined that the length of life of a normal red blood cell is about 1:20 days. Some mathematician, or at least arithmetician, has figured out that this means that they are made at the rate of three hundred thousand a second. Women, whose bodily functions ordinarily go on at a slower rate than men’s, have about nine-tenths as many as men. Also, of course, it must be remembered that throughout a considerable portion of a female life there is a monthly loss of blood by menstruation. The fluid loss is quickly replaced, but the loss of red corpuscles much more slowly.
I do not think that the shape of a red blood corpuscle is too definitely known, but it seems to be disk shaped. This gives a great deal of surface in proportion to bulk and our arithmetical friend who deals in large numbers has figured that the combined surface is equal to four baseball fields.
Mixed up with these red cells are the white cells, or leucocytes, of which there are usually in the neighborhood of eight thousand to a cubic millimeter.  There are a number of varieties; usually the majority are polymorphonuclear leucocytes.   I mention this long name because they are very important.   The long word means “many forms of nuclei.”  The nucleus is the center and headquarters of a cell. These p.m.l’s, which alphabetical lingo I am sure you will forgive me for using, fight our battles for us in many types of infection. Dying in our defense, their dead bodies form the familiar pus. In appendicitis or pneumonia, to cite familiar examples, the “white count” is apt to rise from 8,000 to 15,000 or 18,000 or higher; and instead of, say, 70 per cent being p.m.l.’s, there may be 90 per cent.  There are other types of white cells, the most common being the lymphocyte, which sometimes occurs in incredible numbers in the disease so often heard of in the news nowadays, leukemia.   Also blood platelets, which look to the eye like small fragments of cells, occur in many hundreds of thousands to the cubic millimeter.
The red cells are composed mostly of hemoglobin, a compound of iron which takes up oxygen as it streams through the lungs and gives it off just as promptly to the tissues. Having delivered the oxygen, the cells then take up carbon dioxide and carry it to the lungs where it is given off in the breath. You may see now why there is such an enormous extent of surface in the body of cells, as these gases have to pass through the surface. Unfortunately there are certain substances which are absorbed many times as easily as oxygen. Among these is carbon monoxide. That is why the exhaust from an auto in a closed garage may cause death. The red hemoglobin has tremendous staining qualities; a few teaspoon-fuls in a bucket of water quickly transform it, in the eyes of the startled onlookers, to a bucket of blood.
Although the red cells are the most prominent part of the blood to our inquiring eyes, actually two-thirds of our blood is a fluid called plasma, which is 80 per cent water and has very little color. It is really most important, however, for besides furnishing water transportation for the red cells which would otherwise get nowhere, it carries food materials to the cells and waste products to the kidney and skin where they are eliminated. Other things too numerous to mention are also thus moved about.
*13/276/5*

GENERAL DELIVERY: BLOODThe blood which the elaborate circulatory system carries about so expeditiously is a watery solution of salts, minerals, food substances, and waste products, to give part of the list.Floating in it are the blood cells. They are mostly red cells, or erythrocytes. Statements as to their number sound like the federal budget. There are about five million in a cubic millimeter. As a millimeter is something like a twentieth of an inch, this is a small space to hold so many. The body is said to contain two hundred fifty billion of them.It has been determined that the length of life of a normal red blood cell is about 1:20 days. Some mathematician, or at least arithmetician, has figured out that this means that they are made at the rate of three hundred thousand a second. Women, whose bodily functions ordinarily go on at a slower rate than men’s, have about nine-tenths as many as men. Also, of course, it must be remembered that throughout a considerable portion of a female life there is a monthly loss of blood by menstruation. The fluid loss is quickly replaced, but the loss of red corpuscles much more slowly.I do not think that the shape of a red blood corpuscle is too definitely known, but it seems to be disk shaped. This gives a great deal of surface in proportion to bulk and our arithmetical friend who deals in large numbers has figured that the combined surface is equal to four baseball fields.Mixed up with these red cells are the white cells, or leucocytes, of which there are usually in the neighborhood of eight thousand to a cubic millimeter.  There are a number of varieties; usually the majority are polymorphonuclear leucocytes.   I mention this long name because they are very important.   The long word means “many forms of nuclei.”  The nucleus is the center and headquarters of a cell. These p.m.l’s, which alphabetical lingo I am sure you will forgive me for using, fight our battles for us in many types of infection. Dying in our defense, their dead bodies form the familiar pus. In appendicitis or pneumonia, to cite familiar examples, the “white count” is apt to rise from 8,000 to 15,000 or 18,000 or higher; and instead of, say, 70 per cent being p.m.l.’s, there may be 90 per cent.  There are other types of white cells, the most common being the lymphocyte, which sometimes occurs in incredible numbers in the disease so often heard of in the news nowadays, leukemia.   Also blood platelets, which look to the eye like small fragments of cells, occur in many hundreds of thousands to the cubic millimeter.The red cells are composed mostly of hemoglobin, a compound of iron which takes up oxygen as it streams through the lungs and gives it off just as promptly to the tissues. Having delivered the oxygen, the cells then take up carbon dioxide and carry it to the lungs where it is given off in the breath. You may see now why there is such an enormous extent of surface in the body of cells, as these gases have to pass through the surface. Unfortunately there are certain substances which are absorbed many times as easily as oxygen. Among these is carbon monoxide. That is why the exhaust from an auto in a closed garage may cause death. The red hemoglobin has tremendous staining qualities; a few teaspoon-fuls in a bucket of water quickly transform it, in the eyes of the startled onlookers, to a bucket of blood.Although the red cells are the most prominent part of the blood to our inquiring eyes, actually two-thirds of our blood is a fluid called plasma, which is 80 per cent water and has very little color. It is really most important, however, for besides furnishing water transportation for the red cells which would otherwise get nowhere, it carries food materials to the cells and waste products to the kidney and skin where they are eliminated. Other things too numerous to mention are also thus moved about.*13/276/5*

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