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n. a fluid that circulates throughout the body, via the arteries and veins, providing a vehicle by which an immense variety of different substances are transported between the various organs and tissues. It is composed of *blood cells, which are suspended in a liquid medium, the *plasma. An average individual has approximately 70 ml of blood per kilogram body weight (about 5 litres in an average adult male). See Appendix 2.

Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary | Jonathan Law, Elizabeth Martin

Blood consists of cellular components suspended in plasma. It circulates through the blood vessels, carrying oxygen and nutrients to the organs and removing carbon dioxide and other waste products for excretion. In addition, it is the vehicle by which hormones and other humoral transmitters reach their sites of action.

Composition The cellular components are red cells or corpuscles (ERYTHROCYTES), white cells (LEUCOCYTES and lymphocytes – see LYMPHOCYTE), and platelets.

The red cells are biconcave discs with a diameter of 7.5µm. They contain haemoglobin

– an iron-containing porphyrin compound, which takes up oxygen in the lungs and releases it to the tissue.

The white cells are of various types, named according to their appearance. They can leave the circulation to wander through the tissues. They are involved in combating infection, wound healing, and rejection of foreign bodies. Pus consists of the bodies of dead white cells.

Platelets are the smallest cellular components and play an important role in blood clotting (see COAGULATION).

Erythrocytes are produced by the bone marrow in adults and have a life span of about 120 days. White cells are produced by the bone

marrow and lymphoid tissue. Plasma consists of water, ELECTROLYTES and plasma proteins; it comprises 48–58 per cent of blood volume. Plasma proteins are produced mainly by the liver and by certain types of white cells. Blood volume and electrolyte composition are closely regulated by complex mechanisms involving the KIDNEYS, ADRENAL GLANDS and HYPOTHALAMUS.

Medical Dictionary | Health Dictionary

The red fluid that circulates in the body’s veins, arteries, and capillaries. Blood is pumped by the heart via the arteries to the lungs and all other tissues and is then returned to the heart in veins (see circulatory system). Blood is the body’s transport system and plays an important role in the defence against infection. An average adult has about 5 litres of blood.

Almost half of the volume of blood consists of blood cells; these include red blood cells (erythrocytes), which carry oxygen to tissues; white blood cells (leukocytes), which fight infection; and platelets (thrombocytes), which are involved in blood clotting. The remainder of the blood volume is a watery, strawcoloured fluid called plasma, which contains dissolved proteins, sugars, fats, salts, and minerals. Nutrients are transported in the blood to the tissues after absorption from the intestinal tract or after release from storage depots such as the liver. Waste products, including urea and bilirubin are carried in the plasma to the kidneys and liver respectively.

Plasma proteins include fibrinogen; which is involved in blood clotting; immunoglobulins (also called antibodies) and complement, which are part of the immune system; and albumin. Hormones are also transported in the blood to their target organs.

BMA Medical Dictionary | The British Medical Association


Blood | Health Encyclopedia

The keywords of this medical terms: Blood

Abo Blood Groups

See blood groups.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Abo Blood Groups

See BLOOD GROUPS.... Medical Dictionary

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Autologous Blood Transfusion

See TRANSFUSION – Transfusion of blood.... Medical Dictionary

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Blood Bank

a department within a hospital or blood transfusion centre in which blood collected from donors is stored prior to transfusion. Blood must be kept at a temperature of 4°C and may be used up to four weeks after collection.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Bank

A department in which blood products are prepared, stored, and tested prior to transfusion into patients.... Medical Dictionary

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Blood Brain Barrier

A functional, semi-permeable membrane separating the brain and cerebrospinal ?uid from the blood. It allows small and lipid-soluble molecules to pass freely but is impermeable to large or ionised molecules and cells.... Medical Dictionary

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Blood Cell

(blood corpuscle) any of the cells that are present in the blood in health or disease. The cells may be subclassified into three major categories, namely red cells (*erythrocytes); white cells (*leucocytes), which include granulocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes; and *platelets (see illustration). The blood cells account for approximately 40% of the total volume of the blood in health; red cells comprise the vast majority.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Cells

Cells, also called blood corpuscles, present in blood for most or part of their lifespan. They include red blood cells, which make up about 45 per cent by volume of normal blood, white blood cells, and platelets. Blood cells are made in the bone marrow by a series of divisions from stem cells.

Red blood cells (also known as RBCs, red blood corpuscles, or erythrocytes) transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues (see respiration). Each is packed with haemoglobin, enzymes, minerals, and sugars. Abnormalities can occur in the rate at which RBCs are either produced or destroyed, in their numbers, and in their shape, size, and haemoglobin content, causing forms of

anaemia and polycythaemia (see blood, disorders of).

White blood cells (also called WBCs, white blood corpuscles, or leukocytes) protect the body against infection and fight infection when it occurs. The 3 main types of are granulocytes (also called polymorphonuclear leukocytes), monocytes, and lymphocytes. Granulocytes are further classified as neutrophils, eosinophils, or basophils, and each type of granulocyte has a role in either fighting infection or in inflammatory or allergic reactions. Monocytes and lymphocytes also play an important part in the immune system. Lymphocytes are usually formed in the lymph nodes. One type, a T-lymphocyte, is responsible for the delayed hypersensitivity reactions

White (see allergy) and Red blood blood cell is also involved in cell (neutrophil) protection against cancer. T-lymphocytes manufacture chemicals, known as lymphokines, which affect the function of other cells. In addition, the T-cells moderate the activity of B-lymphocytes, which form the antibodies that can prevent a second attack of certain infectious diseases. Platelets (also known as thrombocytes), are the smallest blood cells and are important in blood clotting.

The numbers, shapes, and appearance of the various types of blood cell are of great value in the diagnosis of disease (see blood count; blood film).... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Clot

See: EMBOLISM. ... Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

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Blood Clot

a solid or semisolid mass formed as the result of *blood coagulation, either within the blood vessels and heart after death or elsewhere in the body during life (a mass of coagulated blood formed in the cardiovascular system during life is called a thrombus: see thrombosis). A blood clot consists of a meshwork of the protein *fibrin in which various blood cells are trapped.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Clot

A blood clot arises when blood comes into contact with a foreign surface – for example, damaged blood vessels – or when tissue factors are released from damaged tissue. An initial plug of PLATELETS is converted to a de?nitive clot by the deposition of FIBRIN, which is formed by the clotting cascade and erythrocytes. (See COAGULATION.)... Medical Dictionary

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Blood Clotting

see blood coagulation.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Clotting

The process of blood solidification. Clotting is important in stemming bleeding from damaged blood vessels. However, unwanted blood clotting can occur inside major blood vessels and cause a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or stroke (see thrombosis).

When a blood vessel is damaged, it constricts immediately to reduce blood flow to the area. The damage sets off a series of chemical reactions that lead to the formation of a clot to seal the injury. First, platelets around the injury site are activated, becoming sticky and adhering to the blood-vessel wall. Then, the activated platelets release chemicals, which, in turn, activate blood clotting factors. These factors, together with vitamin K, act on fibrinogen and convert it to fibrin. Strands of fibrin form a meshwork, which traps red blood cells to form a clot.

There are several anticlotting mechanisms to prevent the formation of unwanted clots. These include prostacyclin (a prostaglandin), which prevents platelet aggregation, and plasmin, which breaks down fibrin (see fibrinolysis). Blood flow washes away active coagulation factors; and the liver deactivates excess coagulation factors.

Defects in blood clotting may result in bleeding disorders.

Excessive clotting (thrombosis) may be due to an inherited increase or defect in a coagulation factor (see factor V), the use of oral contraceptives, a decrease in the level of enzymes that inhibit coagulation, or sluggish blood flow through a particular area.

Treatment is usually with anticoagulant drugs such as heparin or warfarin.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Coagulation

(blood clotting) the process whereby blood is converted from a liquid to a solid state. The process may be initiated by contact of blood with a foreign surface (intrinsic system) or with damaged tissue (extrinsic system). These systems involve the interaction of a variety of substances (*coagulation factors) and lead to the production of the enzyme thrombin, which converts the soluble blood protein *fibrinogen to the insoluble protein *fibrin, forming the blood clot. Finally, fibrin is broken down by the action of *plasmin. Anticoagulants and tissue plasminogen activators act by inhibiting or activating various pathways in this cascade (see illustration). Blood coagulation is an essential mechanism for the arrest of bleeding (*haemostasis). See also platelet activation.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Corpuscle

see blood cell.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Corpuscle

See ERYTHROCYTES and LEUCOCYTES.... Medical Dictionary

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Blood Count

the numbers of different blood cells in a known volume of blood, usually expressed as the number of cells per litre. A sample of blood at known dilution is passed through a narrow opening in an electronic counting device. Blood-count investigations are important in the diagnosis of blood diseases. See also differential leucocyte count.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Count

A test, also called full blood count, that measures haemoglobin concentration and the numbers of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in 1 cu.

mm of blood.

The proportion of various white blood cells is measured and the size and shape of red and white cells is noted.

It is the most commonly performed blood test and is important for diagnosing anaemia or confirming the presence of an infection to which the blood has responded.

It is also used to diagnose disorders such as leukaemia and thrombocytopenia.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Count

The number of each of the cellular components per litre of blood. It may be calculated using a microscope or by an automated process.... Medical Dictionary

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Blood Culture

See culture.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Donation

The process of giving blood for use in blood transfusion.

Donated blood is tested for a range of infectious agents such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C and antibodies to HIV. After being classified into blood groups, the blood is stored in a blood bank, either whole or separated into its different components (see blood products). Apheresis is a type of blood donation in which only a specific blood component, such as plasma, platelets, or white cells, is withdrawn from the donor. blood film A test that involves smearing a drop of blood on to a glass slide for examination under a microscope. The blood film is stained with dyes to make the blood cells show up clearly.

The test allows the shape and appearance of blood cells to be checked for any abnormality, such as the sickleshaped red blood cells characteristic of sickle cell anaemia.

The relative proportions of the different types of white blood cells can also be counted.

This examination, called a differential white cell count, may be helpful in diagnosing infection or leukaemia.

Blood films are also used in diagnosing infections, such as malaria, in which the parasites can be seen inside the red blood cells.

Blood films are usually carried out together with a full blood count.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Donor

a person who gives blood for storage in a *blood bank. The blood can then be used for *transfusion into another patient. In Britain collection is organized by NHS Blood and Transplant, but the armed forces have their own services. See also blood group.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Donor

An individual who donates his or her own blood for use in patients of compatible blood group who require transfusion.... Medical Dictionary

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Blood Gases

A test for determining the acidity–alkalinity (pH) and the concentrations of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and bicarbonate in the blood. The test is carried out on a sample of blood taken from an artery, usually at the wrist or groin. It is useful in diagnosing and monitoring respiratory failure. Bicarbonate and acidity reflect the acid–base balance of the body, which may be disturbed in

conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis, aspirin poisoning, hyperventilation, or repeated vomiting.

Blood oxygen can also be measured without taking a blood sample by using an oximeter.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Gases

Speci?cally, this describes the measurement of the tensions of oxygen and carbon dioxide in blood. However, it is commonly used to describe the analysis of a sample of heparinised arterial blood for measurement of oxygen, carbon dioxide, oxygen saturation, pH, bicarbonate, and base excess (the amount of acid required to return a unit volume of the blood to normal pH). These values are vital in monitoring the severity of illness in patients receiving intensive care or who have severe respiratory illness, as they provide a guide to the e?ectiveness of oxygen transport between the outside air and the body tissues. Thus they are both a guide to whether the patient is being optimally ventilated, and also a general guide to the severity of their illness.... Medical Dictionary

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Blood Glucose

The level of glucose in the blood. Abnormally high blood glucose (sometimes called sugar) levels are an indication of diabetes mellitus. (See also hyperglycaemia; hypoglycaemia.)... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Group

any one of the many types into which a person’s blood may be classified, based on the presence or absence of certain inherited antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. Blood of one group contains antibodies in the serum that react against the cells of other groups.

There are more than 30 blood group systems, one of the most important of which is the ABO system. This system is based on the presence or absence of antigens A and B: blood of groups A and B contains antigens A and B, respectively; group AB contains both antigens and group O neither. Blood of group A contains antibodies to antigen B; group B blood contains anti-A antibodies or *isoagglutinins; group AB has neither antibody and group O has both. A person whose blood contains either (or both) of these antibodies cannot receive a transfusion of blood containing the corresponding antigens. The table illustrates which blood groups can be used in transfusion for each of the four groups.

Blood group... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Groups

Systems of classifying blood according to the different marker proteins (antigens) on the surface of red blood cells and antibodies in the plasma. These antigens affect the ability of the red blood cells to provoke an immune response. There are 2 main blood grouping systems: the system and the rhesus system.

In the system, the presence or absence of 2 types of antigen (named A and B) on the surface of the red blood cells determine whether a person’s blood group is A, B, (which has both A and B), or O (which has neither A nor B). People with the A antigen (group A) have anti-B antibodies; people with the B antigen (group B) have anti-A antibodies; those with both antigens (blood group ) have neither; and those with neither antigen (group O) have both.

The rhesus system involves several antigens, the most important of which is factor D. People with this factor are Rh positive; those without it are Rh negative. The importance of the Rh group relates mainly to pregnancy in Rh- negative women, since, if the baby is Rh positive, the mother may form antibodies against the baby’s blood (see rhesus incompatibility).

A person’s blood group is inherited and may be used in paternity testing. Genetic analysis allows identification of the blood of a criminal suspect with virtual certainty (see genetic fingerprinting). blood level The concentration of a given substance in the blood plasma or serum that may be measured by blood tests.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Groups

People are divided into four main groups in respect of a certain reaction of the blood. This depends upon the capacity of the serum of one person’s blood to cause the red cells of another’s to stick together (agglutinate). The reaction depends on antigens (see ANTIGEN), known as agglutinogens, in the erythrocytes and on ANTIBODIES, known as agglutinins, in the serum. There are two of each, the agglutinogens being known as A and B. A person’s erythrocytes may have (1) no agglutinogens, (2) agglutinogen A, (3) agglutinogen B, (4) agglutinogens A and B: these are the four groups. Since the identi?cation of the ABO and Rhesus factors (see below), around 400 other antigens have been discovered, but they cause few problems over transfusions.

In blood transfusion, the person giving and the person receiving the blood must belong to the same blood group, or a dangerous reaction will take place from the agglutination that occurs when blood of a di?erent group is present. One exception is that group O Rhesus-negative blood can be used in an emergency for anybody.

Agglutinogens Agglutinins Frequency
in the in the in Great
Group erythrocytes plasma Britain
AB A and B None 2 per cent
A A Anti-B 46 per cent
B B Anti-A 8 per cent
O Neither Anti-A and 44 per cent
A nor B Anti-B

Rhesus factor In addition to the A and B agglutinogens (or antigens), there is another one known as the Rhesus (or Rh) factor – so named because there is a similar antigen in the red blood corpuscles of the Rhesus monkey. About 84 per cent of the population have this Rh factor in their blood and are therefore known as ‘Rh-positive’. The remaining 16 per cent who do not possess the factor are known as ‘Rh-negative’.

The practical importance of the Rh factor is that, unlike the A and B agglutinogens, there are no naturally occurring Rh antibodies. However, such antibodies may develop in a Rh-negative person if the Rh antigen is introduced into his or her circulation. This can occur (a) if a Rh-negative person is given a transfusion of Rh-positive blood, and (b) if a Rh-negative mother married to a Rh-positive husband becomes pregnant and the fetus is Rh-positive. If the latter happens, the mother develops Rh antibodies which can pass into the fetal circulation, where they react with the baby’s Rh antigen and cause HAEMOLYTIC DISEASE of the fetus and newborn. This means that, untreated, the child may be stillborn or become jaundiced shortly after birth.

As about one in six expectant mothers is Rh-negative, a blood-group examination is now considered an essential part of the antenatal examination of a pregnant woman. All such Rh-negative expectant mothers are now given a ‘Rhesus card’ showing that they belong to the rhesus-negative blood group. This card should always be carried with them. Rh-positive blood should never be transfused to a Rh-negative girl or woman.... Medical Dictionary

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Blood Poisoning

the presence of either bacterial toxins or large numbers of bacteria in the bloodstream causing serious illness. See pyaemia; septicaemia; toxaemia.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Poisoning

A common name for septicaemia with toxaemia, a life-threatening illness caused by multiplication of bacteria and formation of toxins in the bloodstream. Septicaemia may be a complication of an infection in an organ or tissue. In some infective conditions, septic shock may be caused by toxins released by bacteria. Treatment is with antibiotic drugs and intensive therapy for shock. (See also bacteraemia.)... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

Blood Pressure

The cardio-vascular vessels may be compared with a central heating system in which a volume of water is forced through a network of pipes by a pump in a closed circuit, over and over again. Our heart and circulatory system operate in the same way.

Blood pressure is recorded by two readings on a sphygmomanometer with the aid of the traditional inflatable cuff. The top pressure is known as the systolic, the bottom as the diastolic. The systolic pressure occurs when the heart contracts, the diastolic when the heart relaxes and the volume of blood is at its lowest. A practitioner interprets the pressure of blood against the wall of the brachial artery in terms of millimetres.

In a healthy young person or middle-aged adult, average systolic pressure is 120, diastolic 80. They are recorded as 120/80. A pressure of 140/90 requires investigation while one of 160/95 is high and demands treatment. Average pressure at 50 is 135/80, over 65 – 165/85. Defined hypertension is a raised pressure on three consecutive readings.

The highest pressure peak is reached in the evening after a day’s work and the lowest, at night. Pressure may rise with stress when the heart responds by beating faster, or fall with physical or mental exhaustion when the heart slows down. Persistent high or low pressure is usually associated with other conditions which may require their own specific treatments: i.e. low – anaemia, high – kidney disease. See: HYPERTENSION. HYPOTENSION. ... Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

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Blood Pressure

the pressure of blood against the walls of the main arteries. Pressure is highest during *systole, when the ventricles are contracting (systolic pressure), and lowest during *diastole, when the ventricles are relaxing and refilling (diastolic pressure). Blood pressure is measured – in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) – by means of a *sphygmomanometer at the brachial artery of the arm, where the pressure is most similar to that of blood leaving the heart. The normal range varies with age, but a young adult would be expected to have a systolic pressure of around 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80 mmHg at rest. These are recorded as 120/80 mmHg.

Individual variations are common. Muscular exertion and emotional factors, such as fear, stress, and excitement, all raise systolic blood pressure (see hypertension). Systolic blood pressure is normally at its lowest during sleep. Severe shock may lead to an abnormally low blood pressure and possible circulatory failure (see hypotension). Blood pressure is adjusted to its normal level by the *sympathetic nervous system and hormonal controls.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Pressure

The pressure exerted by the flow of blood through the main arteries. The pressure at 2 different phases is measured. Systolic, the higher pressure, is created by the contraction of the heart. Diastolic, the lower, is recorded during relaxation of the ventricles between heartbeats; it reflects the resistance of all the small arteries in the body and the load against which the heart must work. The pressure wave that is transmitted along the arteries with each heartbeat is easily felt as the pulse.

Blood pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer and is expressed as millimetres of mercury (mmHg).

Blood pressure varies with age, between individuals, and at different times in the same individual but a healthy young adult usually has a blood pressure reading, at rest, of about 120/80 (that is 120 mmHg systolic and 80 mmHg diastolic).

Abnormally high blood pressure is called hypertension; abnormally low pressure is termed hypotension.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is that pressure which must be applied to an artery in order to stop the pulse beyond the point of pressure. It may be roughly estimated by feeling the pulse at the wrist, or accurately measured using a SPHYGMOMANOMETER. It is dependent on the pumping force of the heart, together with the volume of blood, and on the elasticity of the blood vessels.

The blood pressure is biphasic, being greatest (systolic pressure) at each heartbeat and falling (diastolic pressure) between beats. The average systolic pressure is around 100 mm Hg in children and 120 mm Hg in young adults, generally rising with age as the arteries get thicker and harder. Diastolic pressure in a healthy young adult is about 80 mm Hg, and a rise in diastolic pressure is often a surer indicator of HYPERTENSION than is a rise in systolic pressure; the latter is more sensitive to changes of body position and emotional mood. Hypertension has various causes, the most important of which are kidney disease (see KIDNEYS, DISEASES OF), genetic predisposition and, to some extent, mental stress. Systolic pressure may well be over 200 mm Hg. Abnormal hypertension is often accompanied by arterial disease (see ARTERIES, DISEASES OF) with an increased risk of STROKE, heart attack and heart failure (see HEART, DISEASES OF). Various ANTIHYPERTENSIVE DRUGS are available; these should be carefully evaluated, considering the patient’s full clinical history, before use.

HYPOTENSION may result from super?cial vasodilation (for example, after a bath, in fevers or as a side-e?ect of medication, particularly that prescribed for high blood pressure) and occur in weakening diseases or heart failure. The blood pressure generally falls on standing, leading to temporary postural hypotension – a particular danger in elderly people.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Blood Products

Donated blood that is separated into its various components: red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma (see blood donation). Each blood product has a specific lifespan and use in blood transfusion. Packed red cells (blood with most of the plasma removed) are used to treat patients with some forms of chronic anaemia and babies with haemolytic disease of the newborn. Washed red cells (with white blood cells and/or plasma proteins removed) are used when a person needs repeated transfusions because there is less risk of an allergy to any of the blood components developing.

Platelets may be given in transfusions for people with blood-clotting disorders. Patients who have life-threatening infections may be treated with granulocytes, a type of white blood cell. Fresh frozen plasma is used to correct many types of bleeding disorder because it contains all the clotting factors. Albumin, prepared from the plasma of whole blood, is used mainly to treat shock resulting from severe blood loss until compatible whole blood becomes available. Purified albumin preparations are used to treat nephrotic syndrome and chronic liver disease.

Concentrates of blood clotting factors and are used in the treatment of haemophilia and Christmas disease.

Immunoglobulins (also called antibodies), which are extracted from blood plasma, can be given by injection (see immunoglobulin injection) to protect people who are unable to produce their own antibodies or have already been exposed to an infectious agent, or to provide short-term protection against hepatitis A.

Immunoglobulins are given in large doses to treat certain autoimmune disorders.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Purifiers

Alteratives. The blood is a fluid from which every variety of cell and tissue derives its special form of food for the repair of constant wastage resulting from functions they perform. When the blood becomes vitiated from lack of exercise, too little oxygen, debilitating personal habits and sophisticated foodstuffs the whole body suffers. The vital fluid then needs to be cleansed of its impurities. Nature’s blood purifiers are unique in the world of medicine, restoring biochemical balance and promoting healthy elimination.

Blood tonic. Decoction, tablets, tinctures or fluid extracts:– Echinacea 3; Burdock 2; Goldenseal 1. See also: ALTERATIVES. ... Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

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Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

Blood Root

Red Indian paint. Sanguinaria canadensis L. French: Sanguinaire. German: Kanadisches Blutkraut. Spanish: Sanguinaria. Italian: Sanguinaria del Canada.

Constituents: isoquinoline alkaloids.

Action. Antiseptic, antispasmodic, cardio-active, emetic (large doses), expectorant, escharotic, antibacterial, stimulant to the womb and general circulation. Mild local anaesthetic.

Though extensively used by pharmacy in the past, is no longer used internally. Traditional among Mohawk Indians.

Uses: Internal, drop doses for asthma, croup, whooping cough, pneumonia, bleeding of the lungs as in tuberculosis, emphysema.

External. Warts, ringworm. fungoid tumour. Nasal polypi (powder injected into nostril). Preparations. Thrice daily. Accurate dosage is not possible by infusion or decoction. Liquid extract BHP (1983) 0.06-0.3ml.

Tincture BHP (1983) 0.3-2ml.

Ointment: tumours. ... Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

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Blood Root

Sanguinaria canadensis. N.O. Papaveraceae.

Habitat: Widely distributed throughout North America.

Features ? Root reddish-brown, wrinkled lengthwise, about half-inch thick. Fracture short. Section whitish, with many small, red resin cells which sometimes suffuse the whole. Heavy odour, bitter and harsh to the taste.

Part used ? Root.

Action: Stimulant, tonic, expectorant.

Pulmonary complaints and bronchitis. Should be administered in whooping-cough and croup until emesis occurs. The powdered root is used as a snuff in nasal catarrh, and externally in ringworm and other skin eruptions. The American Thomsonians use it in the treatment of adenoids. Dose, 10 to 20 grains of the powdered root.... Herbal Manual

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Herbal Manual

Blood Serum

see serum.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Smear

See blood film.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Sugar

the concentration of glucose in the blood, normally expressed in millimoles per litre. The normal range is 3.5–5.5 mmol/l. Blood-sugar estimation is an important investigation in a variety of diseases, most notably in diabetes mellitus. See also hyperglycaemia; hypoglycaemia.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Sugar

See blood glucose.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Test

any test designed to discover abnormalities in a sample of a person’s blood, such as the presence of alcohol, drugs, or bacteria, or to determine the *blood group.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Test

Removal of venous, capillary or arterial blood for haematological, microbiological or biochemical laboratory investigations.... Medical Dictionary

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Blood Tests

Analysis of a sample of blood to give information on its cells and proteins and any of the chemicals, antigens, antibodies, and gases that it carries. Such tests can be used to check on the health of major organs, as well as on respiratory function, hormonal balance, the immune system, and metabolism. Blood tests may look at numbers, shape, size, and appearance of blood cells and assess the function of clotting factors. The most important tests are blood count and blood group tests if transfusion is needed. Biochemical tests measure chemicals in the blood (see acid–base balance; kidney function tests; liver function tests). Microbiological tests (see immunoassay) look for microorganisms that are in the blood, as

in septicaemia. Microbiology also looks for antibodies in the blood, which may confirm immunity to an infection. blood transfusion The infusion of large volumes of blood or blood products directly into the bloodstream to remedy severe blood loss or to correct chronic anaemia. In an exchange transfusion, nearly all of the recipient’s blood is replaced by donor blood. Before a transfusion, a sample of the recipient’s blood is taken to identify the blood groups, and it is matched with suitable donor blood. The donor blood is transfused into an arm vein through a plastic cannula. Usually, each unit (about 500 ml) of blood is given over 1–4 hours; in an emergency, 500 ml may be given in a couple of minutes. The blood pressure, temperature, and pulse are monitored during the procedure.

If mismatched blood is accidentally introduced into the circulation, antibodies in the recipient’s blood may cause donor cells to burst, leading to shock or kidney failure. Less severe reactions can produce fever, chills, or a rash. Reactions can also occur as a result of an allergy to transfused blood components. All

blood used for transfusion is carefully screened for a number of infectious agents, including HIV (the AIDS virus) and hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

In elderly or severely anaemic patients, transfusion can overload the circulation, leading to heart failure.

In patients with chronic anaemia who need regular transfusion over many years, excess iron may accumulate (haemosiderosis) and damage organs such as the heart, liver, and pancreas.

Treatment with desferrioxamine to remove excess iron may be needed.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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Blood Transfusion

A transmission of blood from donor to recipient subject to check for compatibility (ABO groups) and freedom from HIV, hepatitis and other viruses.

“There are as many different bloods as there are different people,” wrote Dr Alonzo J. Shadman. In his practice as a physician and surgeon he claimed he never lost a case for lack of blood and never employed blood transfusion or drugs. For bloodlessness he advised normal saline to give the heart sufficient fluid- load to work on.

Normal saline solution he used was with 2 teaspoons table salt to one of sodium bicarbonate in two quarts (approximately 2 litres) water. Normal saline keeps the blood vessels “open”.

Dr Shadman continues: “Where infection has occurred, expressed fresh juice from the flowering Marigold (Calendula) is mixed with sufficient alcohol to prevent fermentation. It should not be used full strength but diluted one part to ten parts water. Any left after the emergency should be thrown away.” (The Layman Speaks, April 1963, p. 137-139)

Garlic. Study showed a marked reduction in platelet aggregation over a 5-week period in a group of patients with normally increased tendency to aggregation. (Dr F. Jung, Department of Clinical Haemostasiology and Transfusion Medicine, Saarland University) ... Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

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Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

Blood Transfusion

see transfusion.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Transfusion

See TRANSFUSION – Transfusion of blood.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Blood Transfusion, Autologous

The use of a person’s own blood, donated earlier, for blood transfusion. Autologous transfusion eliminates the slight but serious risk of contracting a serious infectious illness from contaminated blood. There is no risk of a transfusion reaction occurring as a result of incompatibility between donor and recipient blood. Up to 3.5 litres of blood can be removed and stored in several sessions at least 4 days apart and up to 3 days before planned surgery. Blood may be salvaged during surgery, filtered and returned to the circulation, reducing the need for transfusion of donated blood.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

Blood Vessel

a tube carrying blood away from or towards the heart. Blood vessels are the means by which blood circulates throughout the body. See artery; arteriole; vein; venule; capillary.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood Vessel

Tube through which blood is conducted from or to the heart. Blood from the heart is conducted via arteries and arterioles through capillaries and back to the heart via venules and then veins. (See ARTERIES and VEINS.)... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Blood Vessels

A general term given to arteries, veins, and capillaries (see circulatory system).... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

Blood, Diseases Of

See ANAEMIA; LEUKAEMIA; LYMPHOMA; MYELOMATOSIS; THROMBOSIS.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Blood, Disorders Of

Disorders resulting from abnormalities in any of the components of blood or from infection. Disorders include types of anaemia, polycythaemia, bleeding disorders, and unwanted clot formation (thrombosis), hypoalbuminaemia (albumin deficiency) and agammaglobulinaemia (deficiency of gamma-globulin). Blood disorders such as sickle cell anaemia, thalassaemia, and haemophilia are inherited. Bone marrow cancers that affect production of blood components include leukaemia, polycythaemia vera, and multiple myeloma. Blood poisoning is usually due to septicaemia or a toxin such as carbon monoxide. Some drugs can cause blood abnormalities as a side effect. (See also anaemia, haemolytic; anaemia, iron-deficiency; anaemia, megaloblastic; malaria; hyperbilirubinaemia.)... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

Blood-brain Barrier

the mechanism that controls the passage of molecules from the blood into the cerebrospinal fluid and the tissue spaces surrounding the cells of the brain. The endothelial cells lining the walls of the brain capillaries are more tightly joined together at their edges than those lining capillaries supplying other parts of the body. This allows the passage of solutions and fat-soluble compounds but excludes particles and large molecules. The importance of the blood-brain barrier is that it protects the brain from the effect of many substances harmful to it. A disadvantage, however, is that many useful drugs pass only in small amounts into the brain, and much larger doses may have to be given than normal. Brain cancer, for example, is relatively insensitive to chemotherapy, although drugs such as diazepam, alcohol, and fat-soluble general anaesthetics pass readily and quickly to the brain cells.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Blood-clotting Tests

Tests to screen for and diagnose bleeding disorders, usually resulting from deficiencies or abnormalities of blood coagulation factors or of platelets (see blood clotting). Tests are also used to monitor treatment with anticoagulant drugs.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

Blood-letting

See VENESECTION.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Blood-poisoning

See SEPTICAEMIA.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Bloodroot

Love, Protection, Purification...

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Circulatory System Of The Blood

The course of the circulation is as follows: the veins pour their blood, coming from the head, trunk, limbs and abdominal organs, into the right atrium of the HEART. This contracts and drives the blood into the right ventricle, which then forces the blood into the LUNGS by way of the pulmonary artery. Here it is contained in thin-walled capillaries, over which the air plays freely, and through which gases pass readily out and in. The blood gives o? carbon dioxide (CO2) and takes up oxygen (see RESPIRATION), and passes on by the pulmonary veins to the left atrium of the heart. The left atrium expels it into the left ventricle, which forces it on into the aorta, by which it is distributed all over the body. Passing through capillaries in the various tissues, it enters venules, then veins, which ultimately unite into two great veins, the superior and the inferior vena cava, these emptying into the right atrium. This complete circle is accomplished by any particular drop of blood in about half a minute.

In one part of the body there is a further complication. The veins coming from the bowels, charged with food material and other products, split up, and their blood undergoes a second capillary circulation through the liver. Here it is relieved of some food material and puri?ed, and then passes into the inferior vena cava, and so to the right atrium. This is known as the portal circulation.

The circle is maintained always in one direction by four valves, situated one at the outlet from each cavity of the heart.

The blood in the arteries going to the body generally is bright red, that in the veins dull red in colour, owing to the former being charged with oxygen and the latter with carbon dioxide (see RESPIRATION). For the same reason the blood in the pulmonary artery is dark, that in the pulmonary veins is bright. There is no direct communication between the right and left sides of the heart, the blood passing from the right ventricle to the left atrium through the lungs.

In the embryo, before birth, the course of circulation is somewhat di?erent, owing to the fact that no nourishment comes from the bowels nor air into the lungs. Accordingly, two large arteries pass out of the navel, and convey blood to be changed by contact with maternal blood (see PLACENTA), while a large vein brings this blood back again. There are also communications between the right and left atria, and between pulmonary artery and aorta. The latter is known as the ductus arteriosus. At birth all these extra vessels and connections close and rapidly shrivel up.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Coagulation, Blood

The main mechanism by which blood clots are formed, involving a complex series of reactions in the blood plasma (see blood clotting).... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

Coughing Of Blood

See: BLEEDING (haemoptysis). ... Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

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Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

Coughing Up Blood

A symptom, medically known as haemoptysis, that is caused by rupture of a blood vessel in the air-ways, lungs, nose, or throat. The coughed-up blood may appear as brightred or rusty-brown streaks, clots in the sputum, a pinkish froth, or, more rarely, blood alone. In all cases, medical assessment is needed. Many disorders can cause haemoptysis. The most common are infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis; and congestion in and rupture of blood vessels in the lungs due to heart failure, mitral stenosis, or pulmonary embolism. A cancerous tumour can also produce haemoptysis by eroding the wall of a blood vessel.

Investigations into coughing up blood include chest X-ray, and, in some cases, bronchoscopy. In about a 3rd of cases, no underlying cause is found. Treatment depends on the cause.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

Defective Blood Formation

This is the main cause of anaemia in infections. The micro-organism responsible for the infection has a deleterious e?ect upon the blood-forming organs, just as it does upon other parts of the body.

Toxins. In conditions such as chronic glomerulonephritis (see KIDNEYS, DISEASES OF) and URAEMIA there is a severe anaemia due to the e?ect of the disease upon blood formation.

Drugs. Certain drugs, such as aspirin and the non-steroidal anti-in?ammatory drugs, may cause occult gastrointestinal bleeding.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Donor’s Blood Group

Blood group of people donor can receive blood from... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Dragons Blood

Love, Protection, Exorcism, Potency...

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Faecal Occult Blood Test

(FOBT) a noninvasive test used to identify microscopic blood (see occult) in faeces. It is widely used as a screening test for colorectal cancer.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Faeces, Blood In The

See faeces, abnormal; rectal bleeding.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

Fetal Blood Sampling

A procedure performed during a mother’s labour in which a blood sample is taken from a vein in the scalp of the FETUS. This enables tests to be performed that indicate whether the fetus is, for example, suffering from a shortage of oxygen (HYPOXIA). If so, the obstetrician will usually accelerate the baby’s birth.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Fetal Blood Sampling

withdrawal of a sample of fetal blood, either from the umbilical vein during the antenatal period (see cordocentesis) or from a vein in the presenting part (usually the fetal scalp) during labour. The latter procedure is used to detect *hypoxia, by measuring the fetal pH and degree of *acidosis. The normal pH of fetal blood is 7.35 (range 7.45–7.25). The lower the pH, the more likely is the fetus to be suffering from hypoxia and acidosis, indicating an urgent need to deliver the baby.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Glentona Herbal Blood Purifier

Popular blood tonic of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Ingredients: Liquid Extract Liquorice 5 per cent, Infusion Gentian Co Conc 10 per cent, Infusion Senna Conc 5 per cent. And 25 per cent alcoholic extractive from Burdock 5 per cent, Red Clover 5 per cent, Queen’s root 2.5 per cent, Yellow Dock root 1.25 per cent, Poke root 2.5 per cent, Sarsaparilla 2.5 per cent. (Carter Bros) ... Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

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Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

Heel-prick Blood Test

see Guthrie test.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Loss Of Blood

As a result of trauma. This is perhaps the simplest example of all, when, as a result of an accident involving a large artery, there is severe haemorrhage.

Menstruation. The regular monthly loss of blood which women sustain as a result of menstruation always puts a strain on the blood-forming organs. If this loss is excessive, then over a period of time it may lead to quite severe anaemia.

Childbirth. A considerable amount of blood is always lost at childbirth; if this is severe, or if the woman was anaemic during pregnancy, a severe degree of anaemia may develop.

Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract. The best example here is anaemia due to ‘bleeding piles’ (see HAEMORRHOIDS). Such bleeding, even though slight, is a common cause of anaemia in both men and women if maintained over a long period of time. The haemorrhage may be more acute and occur from a DUODENAL ULCER or gastric ulcer (see STOMACH, DISEASES OF), when it is known as haematemesis.

Certain blood diseases, such as PURPURA and HAEMOPHILIA, which are characterised by bleeding.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

National Blood Authority

This body manages regional TRANSFUSION centres. Among its aims are the maintenance and promotion of blood and blood products based on a system of voluntary donors; implementing a cost-e?ective national strategy for ensuring adequate supplies of blood and its products to meet national needs; and ensuring high standards of safety and quality.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Nhs Blood And Transplant

(NHSBT) a *special health authority established in 2005 to provide a safe and reliable supply of blood, organs, stem cell services, and diagnostics to hospitals. NHSBT also provides specialist therapeutic apheresis services, which remove or replace a single component of blood (e.g. malignant white cells or low-density lipoprotein), at six sites in England.

NHS Blood and Transplant website... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Occult Blood, Faecal

The presence in the faeces of blood that cannot be seen by the naked eye, but can be detected by chemical tests. Such tests are widely used in screening for cancer of the colon (see colon, cancer of). Faecal occult blood may also be a sign of a gastrointestinal disorder such as oesophagitis, gastritis, or stomach cancer; cancer of the intestine (see intestine, cancer of); rectal cancer (see rectum, cancer of); diverticular disease; polyps in the colon; ulcerative colitis; or irritation of the stomach or intestine by drugs such as aspirin. (See also rectal bleeding.)... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

Peripheral-blood Stem-cell Transplants

These have almost completely replaced BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT, used to treat malignancies such as LEUKAEMIA and LYMPHOMA for the past 20 years. The high doses of CHEMOTHERAPY or RADIOTHERAPY used to treat these diseases destroy the bone marrow which contains stem cells from which all the blood cells derive. In 1989 stem cells were found in the blood during recovery from chemotherapy. By giving growth factors (cytokines), the number of stem cells in the blood increased for about three to four days. In a peripheral-blood stem-cell transplant, these cells can be separated from the peripheral blood, without a general anaesthetic. The cells taken by either method are then frozen and returned intravenously after the chemotherapy or radiotherapy is completed. Once transplanted, the stem cells usually take less than three weeks to repopulate the blood, compared to a month or more for a bone marrow transplant. This means that there is less risk of infection or bleeding during the recovery from the transplant. The whole procedure has a mortality risk of less than 5 per cent – half the risk of a bone marrow transplant.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Red Blood Cell

see erythrocyte.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Red Blood Cell

See ERYTHROCYTES; BLOOD.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Semen, Blood In The

A usually harmless condition in which a small amount of blood is present in the semen.

Occasionally, there is an underlying cause (such as an infection or, very rarely, cancer) that requires treatment.

Blood in the semen may also occur after a prostate biopsy.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

Tea For Blood Pressure

As a natural beverage, a cup of tea brings you many health benefits. One of them is related to blood pressure. Based on the type of tea you drink, it can help lower your blood pressure. Find out more about teas for blood pressure! Problems with blood pressure Blood pressure represents the pressure made by the circulating blood on the walls of the blood vessels. However, problems appear in the case of hypertension and hypotension. Hypertension is a medical condition caused by a high blood pressure, while hypotension is caused by a low blood pressure. Both can be treated with one of the various types of tea for blood pressure. Tea for high blood pressure If you’ve got problems with hypertension (high blood pressure), hibiscus tea can help, as it is known to lower blood pressure. You can also pick one of these herbal teas: chrysanthemum tea, flax tea, periwinkle tea, red root tea, self-heal tea, white peony root tea, valerian tea, or wild cherry bark tea. You can also drink hyssop tea, barberry tea, and rosemary tea, regardless of the blood pressure problem. These three teas will help regulate your blood pressure and reduce the risk of getting either high or low blood pressure problems. Tea for low blood pressure In the case of hypotension (low blood pressure), some of the teas you can try include lovage tea, ephedra tea, wu yi tea, cat’s claw tea, vervain tea, or wheatgrass tea. Black tea can help too, though you have to be careful with it as it has a high content of caffeine. Forbidden teas for blood pressure problems There are several teas which you should avoid drinking, no matter if you’ve got problems with high blood pressure or low blood pressure. The list of teas you shouldn’t drink includes arnica tea, black cohosh tea, gentian tea, juniper tea, lobelia tea, red ginseng tea, sage tea, stone root tea, and yohimbe tea. Also, generally it isn’t recommended to drink tea that lowers blood pressure if you’ve got hypotension, or tea that leads to high blood pressure if you’ve got hypertension. Whether you’ve got problems with high blood pressure or low blood pressure, try a more natural treatment: choose one of the many teas for blood pressure!... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Umbilical Cord Blood Banked Stem Cells

haemopoietic *stem cells collected from umbilical cord blood donated at birth, which can be stored indefinitely and used if a sibling or any other blood-compatible baby develops an illness (such as leukaemia) that could only be treated by cord-blood stem-cell transplantation. This facility is now available in the UK and the USA.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

Vomiting Blood

A symptom of bleeding from within the digestive tract. Vomiting blood may be caused by a tear in the lower oesophagus (see Mallory–Weiss syndrome), bleeding from oesophageal varices, erosive gastritis, peptic ulcer, or, rarely, stomach cancer. Blood can also be vomited if it is swallowed during a nosebleed. Vomited blood may be dark red, brown, black, or may resemble coffee grounds. Vomiting of blood is often accompanied by the passing of black, tarry faeces.

The cause of vomiting blood is investigated by endoscopy of the oesophagus and stomach, or by barium X-ray examinations. If blood loss is severe, blood transfusion, and possibly surgery to stop the bleeding, may be required.... BMA Medical Dictionary

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BMA Medical Dictionary

White Blood Cell

See LEUCOCYTES.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

White Blood Cell

see leucocyte.... Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary

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Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary