Dozens of different diseases can involve the blood. Blood disorders can affect any of the three main components of blood:
Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body's tissues
White blood cells, which fight infections
Platelets, which help blood to clot
Red blood cells deliver oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and organs. White blood cells fight infection and are part of your body's defense system. Platelets help blood to clot. Bone marrow, the spongy material inside your bones, makes new blood cells. Blood cells constantly die and your body makes new ones. Red blood cells live about 120 days, platelets 6 days and white cells less than a day.
There are many types of blood disorders, including: bleeding disorders, platelet disorders, hemophilia and anemia. If you lose blood, you may need a transfusion.
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