Blood vs Plasma
In many multicellular organisms, oxygen obtained by the respiratory system and nutrients processed by the digestive system are distributed by the circulatory system. The circulatory system is also responsible for removal of carbon dioxide and other waste products within the body cells. All multicellular organisms have a heart that pumps particular fluids throughout the body. In vertebrates, the primary circulatory fluid is blood, which mainly circulates in a closed system of blood vessels. The whole blood is composed of two major parts; namely, plasma portion and cellular portion. Plasma portion is mainly made out of water and plasma proteins whereas cellular portion is made out of white and red blood cells, and platelets.
Blood is considered as a connecting tissue, which is composed of a fluid matrix called plasma and several kinds of cells and other formed elements that circulate within the plasma. Normally an adult female has about 4 to 5 liters of blood while an adult male has slightly more than that of a female. Generally, the blood amount contributes about 6 to 8 percent of body weight of an individual.
Blood transports oxygen, nutrients, and other materials to the cells and removes carbon dioxide and other waste materials from the cells. It is very important to maintain the homeostasis in organisms. Cellular portion of blood is mainly composed of white blood cells including neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes (macrophages), eosinophils, and basophils, platelets and red blood cells. Red blood cells are the major cell type that distributes oxygen throughout the whole body. Additionally, the red blood cells are also responsible for carrying carbon dioxide as a waste material. The white blood cells are important for immune responses and defense activities while the platelets are important in clotting processes.
Plasma is considered as the fluid part of the whole blood. Water is the main component of the plasma; it is approximately 90%. The remaining 10% of the entire plasma consists of nutrients, wastes, and hormones, ions (Na+, Cl-, HCO3-, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cu2+, K+ and Zn2+) and proteins (albumin, globulin, fibrinogen). Plasma proteins are mainly responsible for defense, clotting, lipid transport and determination of the blood’s fluid volume. Water in the plasma acts as a solvent and helps to transport cellular and other components. Nutrients like glucose, amino acids, and vitamins in the plasma are used by the cells in the body. Endocrine hormones are also carried to their target cell by dissolving in the blood plasma.
What is the difference between Blood and Plasma?
• Plasma is a component of blood. It contributes about 50% to 60% to make the whole blood.
• The plasma serves as a medium to transport blood cells and other components.
• The blood is transfused for sickle-cell anemia patients, chemotherapy patients, trauma patients and those who are undergoing heart surgeries while only the plasma is transfused for patients who are suffering from hemophiliac disease.
• The plasma is used to manufacture life-saving therapies for people with rare, chronic diseases and disorders.
• The plasma is safer to transfuse than the whole blood especially when there is a risk of incompatibility.
• The whole blood is reddish in color, sticky liquid while the plasma is a clear, straw colored liquid.