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What are the functions of blood?

One of the most important functions of blood is the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to all tissues of the body. Arteries, arterioles, and capillaries deliver oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and proteins to all tissues of the body.

As your blood travels through your body, it undergoes another important process: waste filtration. When blood leaves the body's tissues to travel back to the heart and lungs, veins carry excess nutrients and other items (carbon dioxide, urea, and lactic acid, for example) that your body cannot use. Then your lungs, kidneys, and liver filter the waste products out of your blood.

Your blood’s white blood cells are important for detecting and fighting infections within your body.

Blood Clotting and Wound Healing

Your blood’s platelets are important for quickly repairing wounds to prevent blood loss and seal the skin as a barrier to infection. The platelets attach themselves to the cut or wound. There are several processes that happen simultaneously to attract other platelets to attach to the wound, and produce proteins from the blood’s serum that create a network over the wound. Together the platelets and this network create an effective mesh that is the clot that gets the bleeding to stop.

Your blood also plays an important part in regulating temperature, acid-base (pH) and electrolyte (for example, sodium and potassium) balance within your body.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.