|Topics||Arteries, Blood Cells, Blood Transfer, Blood Types, Capillaries, Pulmonary Artery & Vein, Veins|
The aorta is the body's largest artery and receives blood from the pulmonary vein via the left ventricle. From there, blood is circulated through the rest of the body through smaller arteries called arterioles that branch out from the heart. Finally, blood is delivered to bodily tissues through capillaries.
Blood is created in bone marrow and is made up of cells suspended in liquid plasma. Red blood cells carry oxygen, white blood cells fight infection, and platelets are cell fragments that allow blood to clot.
Blood transfer is limited by the type and Rh factor of the blood. Someone who has Rh-factor negative blood cannot receive blood with a positive type but a person with Rh-factor positive type blood can receive Rh-negative blood. Type O negative blood is the universal donor because it can be given to a person with any blood type. Type AB positive is the universal recipient meaning someone with this blood type can receive any other type of blood.
Blood is categorized into four different types (A, B, AB, and O) based on the type of antigens found on the outside of the red blood cells. Additionally, each type can be negative or positive based on whether or not the cells have an antigen called the Rh factor.
Capillaries are small thin-walled vessels that permit the exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, and waste between blood and the body's cells. This process of exchange is called diffusion.
The two largest veins in the body, the venae cavae, pass blood to the right ventricle which pumps the blood to the lungs through the pulmonary artery. Blood picks up oxygen in the lungs and returns it to the left atrium via the pulmonary vein.
Veins carry blood back to the heart from the body. While arteries are thick-walled because they carry oxygenated blood at high pressure, veins are comparatively thin-walled as they carry low-pressure deoxygenated blood. Like the heart, veins contain valves to prevent blood backflow.