Plasma, red blood cells, and platelets
The purpose of plasma is to suspend the blood cells and provide volume (about 55
percent) to the blood. It also serves as a reservoir for protein in the body and carries dissolved
ones like albumins, globulins and fibrinogen. It also carries hormones, clotting factors,
electrolytes and carbon dioxide. Besides carriage, it also helps with the osmotic balance of
electrolytes while helping prevent infections and blood disorders.
The red blood cells, also called erythrocytes are principally responsible for transportation
of Oxygen from the lungs to all of the bodily tissues. This oxygen is released as the cells squeeze
through a capillary. So focussed these cells are on Oxygen transport using haemoglobin, that
they do not have a nucleus and most organelles.
Platelets are sources of growth factors and are useful in hemostasis, which enables blood
clots to form. Their optimum concentrations are important for internal clots to not form and
result in strokes, or cutting off of blood supply to the body’s extremities. PDGF, TGF beta etc are
examples of growth factors that platelets release.
Iron Deficiency Anemia: Causes, Comparison of Symptoms & Future Prevention
Anemia can either occur from an increased demand for iron, or from a reduced intake of
iron, as the case may be. Because erythrocytes are carriers of Iron, blood loss can cause anemia.
Therefore, conditions of heavy menstruations, colorectal cancer, polyps, peptic ulcer and hiatal
hernia may cause anemia. A diet lacking in iron, specially greens may also be a causal factor.
Other reasons may include the body’s inability to absorb iron: problems in the small intestine,
such as the celiac disease. In other cases, the intestine may have been surgically removed.
Pregnant women may also become anemic tending to the needs of the fetus and their own
increased blood volume. However, the most prevalent cases worldwide result from the presence
of parasites in the intestines. Drug therapy may also cause the iron levels to subside.
Iron deficiency is quickly differentiated by symptoms of pallor coupled with fatigue,
lightheadedness and weakness. Other symptoms include anxiety, irritability or a low feeling,
angina, constipation, sleepiness, tinnitus, ulcers, palpitations, loss of hair etc. In our case, the
four year old patient (Lily) is displaying symptoms of being tired always – a prominent symptom
in children of that age. Her other symptoms of being pale, displaying pallor also positively slign
with anemia; her meals are devoid of green vegetables which are a rich source of iron.
The patient can avoid the disorder in the future by drawing from a richer assortment of
the foods. Red meat is a cheaper alternative to greens. If the problem persists, then deeper issues
need to be investigated.
Sickle Cell Trait: Causes, Comparison of Symptoms & Future Prevention
Sickle cell disease is inherited from parents. It is an autosomal recessive genetic blood
disorder. It is prevalent in the sub-saharan Africa region as a defensive mechanism against
greater prevalence of malaria. Because of the mother in this case, we know that the child, Davis
will have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the Sickle cell trait. Depending upon the other parent,
these chances can be exacerbated.
Sickle-cell cannot be prevented, but can only be managed. This management has today
allowed people suffering from the disease to live beyond the age of 50. Among the most used
techniques of management include treatment with Folic Acid and Pencillin, chemoprophylaxis
against malaria, analgesics against Vaso-occlusive crises, antibiotics against acute-chest crises
etc (Peterson, 2008).
Thrombocytopenia: Causes, Comparison of Symptoms & Future Prevention
Thrombocytopenia symptoms include frequent bruising, purpura in the forearms,
petechia or pinpointed hemorrhages on skin and mucous membranes, bleeding nose and gums.
Spencer’s symptoms of ecchymosis and red marks around the eyes are symbolic of
Causes of thrombocytopenia include factors that decrease the platelet count. Decreased
production may be caused due to a deficiency of folic acid, leukemia, liver failure, viral or
bacterial infection or viral infection, dengue fever etc. Hereditary factors include CAMT,
thrombocytopenia absent radius syndrome, fanconi anemia, may-hegglin anomaly, grey plately
syndrome, alport syndrome, wiskott-aldrich syndrome etc. Increased destruction of platelets,
caused from any of the following factors may also be responsible: Idiopathic thrombocytopenic
purpura (ITP), Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), Hemolytic-uremic syndrome
(HUS), Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
(PNH) etc. In addition there are medication-induced causes or snake bites etc that may cause this
Treatment of this disease is done taken into account the etiology and the severity of this
disease. The effort is aimed at mitigating the underlying reasons. Drugs may be discontinued or
the underlying sepsis may be targeted. Corticosteroids may be used to effect an increase in the
platelet count. Folate may be used to encourage the production of platelets in bone marrow.
Platelet infusions are also sometimes undertaken.
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