The human body is an amazing thing. Though we are aware that each one of us is unique, we do not fully know the extent of the human body’s features, functions or quirks. Blood, a life-giving fluid, is a transport system that is responsible for delivering oxygen to the cells in different parts of the body, as well as carrying carbon dioxide back from them. It also plays a vital role in the body’s defense against infections. While some of you might be aware of a few functions of blood, there are many facts you might be unaware of. Here, we are listing the top 11 facts about blood and its importance.
1. Blood makes up about 8% of our total body weight.
Adult bodies contain about 5 liters (5.30 quarts) of blood and about 3 liters is plasma; the liquid portion. The red fluid carries red and white blood cells and platelets, that deliver oxygen, fight disease, and repair damaged vessels. Blood cannot be substituted with any other fluid nor can it be manufactured. The only source of blood for people who require it are through donors.
2. The human body can live without a pulse. In 2012, two doctors discovered a revolutionary solution to save a 55-year-old man’s life – a ‘continuous flow’ device that flows blood throughout the body without a pulse.
Can you imagine living without a pulse? Well, for some, that’s the last resort to stay alive. In 2012, Craig Lewis, 55, was dying from a heart condition that was causing abnormal build-ups in his heart. Not even a pacemaker could save his life. Thinking that it was all over, Craig approached Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier, who found a solution to keep him alive. The doctors installed a ‘continuous flow’ device that allowed blood to circulate in his body without a pulse.
The doctors first removed his heart and then installed it inside Craig; who was up and talking to friends and family within a day after the surgery. Although the doctors invented this amazing device years before, they had only tested it successfully on calves. Now, Craig is the first human being to have the device and live without a pulse.
3. It would take 1,120,000 mosquitoes to drain all the blood from an adult human.
Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying little creatures to exist on the planet. Buzzing around and draining our blood, the pesky insects are responsible for more than 1 million deaths every year; making it the world’s deadliest. On average, mosquitoes take one millionth of a gallon of blood with each bite; meaning it would take 1,120,000 bites to drain all the blood from an average adult human.
Fun Fact: Only female mosquitoes bite since they require proteins in the blood to produce fertile eggs. Males do not produce eggs so they do not bite and live mainly on nectar.
4. Stan Larkin, a 25-year-old Ypsilanti, Michigan resident, lived for more than 555 days without a heart.
In 2005, Stan Larkin was playing a basketball game when he suddenly collapsed without warning. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors discovered that Larkin had a genetic form of heart disease called familial cardiomyopathy. The disease causes the hearts muscles to stretch out; thus reducing its efficiency. In 2014, his heart failed completely and Larkin was hospitalized until a donor could be found. The only thing keeping him alive was an artificial heart. As Larkin was staring outside the window of his hospital room, thinking he would never get the chance to see the world or get to play basketball again, the doctors walked in and informed him that he was a special candidate.
Doctors installed an artificial heart called the SynCardia temporary artificial heart, that pumps blood throughout his body. Two tubes, exiting the left side of Stan’s body beneath the rib cage, connected the artificial heart to a 13-pound machine called the Freedom Driver. Larkin was then able to simply put the machine in his backpack and carry on with his life until a donor was available. He played basketball, attended school and worked for 555 days until 2016, when a donor heart became available. Larkin underwent the transplant and is living a happy life.
5. The human body can lose upto 40% of blood and still stay alive; of course a timely blood transfusion is necessary.
Statistics show that in the US alone, there are nearly 1.3 million people that die in road crashes each year. With nearly 264 million vehicles registered and 218 million drivers, the level of traffic is one of the reasons leading to more accidents. In accidents, injuries are common but stopping the bleeding is the thin margin between life and death. Without blood, there would be no transport of oxygen, regulation of temperature, or metabolism. Without blood, our bodies would be incapable of functioning.
So how much blood can one lose and still stay alive? According to Medical Daily, Class 4, the final classification of hemorrhaging occurs when a person loses over 40% of their blood volume. In such a condition, the person requires immediate medical attention since it puts strain on the body’s circulatory system. At this stage, the heart will no longer be able to maintain blood pressure and circulation and the person will slip into a comatose state preceding death. If one is found is such dire conditions, it is essential that a sterile cloth or bandage is used to apply pressure on the would and also raising the injury above the level of the heart to control the bleeding.
6. 21% of all heart attacks happen on Mondays. A second peak happens on Fridays.
Almost all of us hate Mondays, there’s no questioning it. But, did you know that 21% of all heart attacks also happen on Mondays? According to researchers, this is caused by an “outpouring” of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline; with people who work on Mondays. The study was conducted on 683 middle-aged men with implanted defibrillators and a history of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias.
The results from the study show that the patients showed a prominent peak in arrhythmias on Mondays; 21% even if they were not working. A second peak was also spotted on Fridays while Saturdays and Sundays saw a 50% lower arrhythmia rate.
7. Blood groups may play a vital role when it comes to love and divorce.
A study of relationship between blood groups and marital satisfaction in divorce-seeking and ordinary couples found that there is a link between spouses’ blood types and the percentage of divorces. The research was conducted on 400 couples including 200 ordinary and 200 divorce seeking couples; along with their blood groups being documented. The findings of this study showed that the unequalized combination blood group A-O and A-AB predicted the highest rate of divorce.
8. The blood type has an impact on our health.
We can change our lifestyle and the type of diet but there’s one thing we cannot change; our blood type. A study conducted in 2012 at Harvard University found that people with AB blood type had an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, while O’s on the other hand had 23% lower chances of developing cardiovascular disease than other blood types. Another research showed that type A had greater levels of bad cholesterol, known as LDL (low density lipoprotein).
Studies also show that those with the type B blood, contain as much as 50,000 times the number of friendly strands of bacteria than those with type O or type A blood; but were more likely to develop type two diabetes. A recent study by the University of Vermont College of Medicine, found that those with blood type AB were 82% more at risk of developing or experiencing issues with language, memory recall and attention that could lead to dementia in comparison to those with other blood types.
9. Energy drinks can change the way your heart beats.
Despite concerns about the safety of certain ingredients within energy drinks, a study found that 61% of millennials consume energy drinks on a daily basis. The report published by Mintel. U.S. shows that millennials increased energy drink consumption from 55% to 61%, despite the fact that 74% of older millennials expressed concerns about the safety of the products. Now, researchers are warning the side effects of consuming energy drinks on a regular basis.
Studies show that adults who consumed energy drinks – high in caffeine and taurine – had significantly increased heart contraction rates one hour later. The drinks change the rhythm of the heart, increasing the risk of potentially fatal heart problems.
10. Athletic performance depends on one’s blood type.
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, O blood type athletes perform better than those with non-O blood groups. The result also shows that O blood group have better endurance performance compared to those with non-O blood group types.
11. Our character depends on our blood type.
Studies show that there’s a connection between characters and their blood types. The Japanese believe that the type of blood influences one to become successful in life and relationships. In fact, there’s a whole industry based on blood types. From makeup to drinks, there are companies that sell products suited for each blood type in Japan.