Busting the Myths About Blood

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Blood is the second most common liquid inside us after water, but many people grow nauseous just looking at it.

“I think people are afraid of blood because the only time we see our blood outside of our body is when we’ve been hurt,” said Sharon Bergquist, Emory School of Medicine.

But blood functions as our body’s internal transportation system.

“Your blood is what you need to carry oxygen and nutrients to your cells. It also carries all of the waste products from your cells out of the body. In addition to that, your blood is a part of your immune system,” said Bergquist.

Therefore, understanding it can be the first step to properly caring for it.

“Blood is made up of a fluid we call plasma and three main types of cells: those can be red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The most important thing you need to know about your blood is your blood type,” said Bergquist.

Determining your blood type is typically done by a qualified technician.

“Blood is usually classified by the A, B, O classifying system. Four main types: A, B, AB, O, and within each one, you either are positive or negative,” said Bergquist.

However, there are about 600 different substances called antigens that live on red cells and can cause someone to have an uncommon blood type.

“You need to know that hopefully in advance of an emergency because your rare blood may not be available in your community in an emergency situation,” said Bergquist.

That’s why blood donation is critical.