C Some General Functions of the Blood

(1) Blood serves as a vehicle for oxygen, nutrients, carbon dioxide and other wastes, hormones, antibodies, heat, etc.

(2) Blood aids in temperature control. Beneath the skin, there is a network of vessels that functions much like a radiator. To avoid accumulation of excess heat in the body, the flow of blood to these vessels can be increased greatly. Here, aided by the evaporative cooling provided by the sweat glands, large amounts of heat can be rapidly given off. The flow of blood also helps keep the outer parts of the body from becoming too cold.

(3) The blood aids in protecting our bodies by providing immunity. Some WBCs phagocytize (swallow up) foreign particles and microorganisms. Other WBCs produce antibodies. The blood transports antibodies throughout the body.

(4) Blood clotting is another function of blood. Not only does this prevent continued blood loss, it also helps prevent invasion of the body by microorganisms and viruses by sealing the wound opening.

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