Glossary of Hematological System Terms and Terminology

  • Red blood cells: Also referred to as erythrocytes, are disk like in shape, and they contain iron laden hemoglobin which is the transport agent for oxygen to the cells and bodily tissues.
  • Blood types: These types are type A, type B, type AB and type O as based on the antigens and antibodies in the blood.
  • Type A blood: Has A antigens in the red blood cells and B antibodies in the blood plasma
  • Type B blood: Has B antigens in the red blood cells and A antibodies in the blood plasma
  • Type AB blood: Has both A and B antigens in the red blood cells and NO antibodies in the blood plasma
  • Type O blood: Has NO antigens in the red blood cells and both A and B antibodies
  • Positive blood: Blood is positive when it has the Rh factor and blood.
  • Negative blood: Blood is negative when it does NOT have the Rh factor.
  • White blood cells: Also referred to as leukocytes, are part of the bodily immune system which fights off infections.
  • Eosinophils: A kind of white blood cell
  • Basophils: A kind of white blood cell
  • Neutrophils: A kind of white blood cell
  • Lymphocytes: A kind of white blood cell
  • Monocytes: A kind of white blood cell
  • Platelets: Also referred to as thrombocytes, the platelets are the part of the hematological system that manages coagulation, or clotting, with the prevention of blood loss with bleeding and hemorrhage.
  • Clotting factors: Components of the blood that manage coagulation, or clotting, with the prevention of blood loss with bleeding and hemorrhage, in concert with blood platelets.
  • Bone marrow: Produces red blood cells In the medullary cavity of the bone.
  • Spleen: The thoracic cavity organ that produces red blood cells and it also removes no longer usable stored red blood cells and hemoglobin from the body that had been stored in this organ for future use
  • Blood transfusion reactions: An often serious and life threatening condition that can result from a person getting the wrong blood type (A, B, AB, O)or the wrong Rh factor blood among other causes
  • Clotting factor deficiency: Low or absent clotting factors in the blood to stop bleeding and hemorrhage
  • Platelet deficiency: Low platelets in the blood to stop bleeding and hemorrhage
  • Anemia: Blood abnormality that has an inadequate supply of a certain blood cell, including anemias such as pernicious anemia and sickle cell anemia
  • Sickle cell anemia: A form of anemia that is caused by sickle shaped, irregularly formed red blood cells that lead to poor oxygen supply to the body
  • Hemophilia:A genetic disorder that impairs normal clotting which places the person at risk for bleeding and hemorrhage
  • Thrombocytopenia: A low and abnormal level of platelets that can lead to bleeding and hemorrhage

The Role of the Hematological System

The role of the hematological system, like the system itself, is broad and diverse. The hematological system performs several functions as related to:

  • Red blood cells
  • White blood cells
  • The process of coagulation and platelets
  • Bone marrow
  • Spleen

The Parts of the Hematological System

Red blood cells, also referred to as erythrocytes, as more fully discussed previously in the section entitled the Circulatory System, are disk like in shape, and they contain iron laden hemoglobin which is the transport agent for oxygen to the cells and bodily tissues.

Unlike other cells in the human body, red blood cells do NOT contain a nucleus but they do contain glycoproteins which determine the blood type for individuals. The blood types are type A, type B, type AB and type O.

Blood Types

Type A Blood

contains A antigens in the red blood cells and B antibodies in the blood plasma, as shown in the chart above. Type A blood can be donated to blood types A and AB people and people with type A blood can receive types A and O blood.

Type B Blood

Contains B antigens in the red blood cells and A antibodies in the blood plasma, as shown in the chart above. Type B blood can be donated to blood types B and AB people and people with type B blood can receive types B and O blood.

Type AB Blood

Contains both A and B antigens in the red blood cells and NO antibodies in the blood plasma, as shown in the chart above. Type AB blood can be donated to only blood type AB people and people with type AB blood can get all blood types, that is, they can receive A, B, AB and O blood types.

Type O Blood

Has NO antigens in the red blood cells and both A and B antibodies in the blood plasma, as shown in the chart above. Blood type O is referred to as "The universal donor and the universal sucker" because all blood types, including A, B, AB and O, can receive type O blood; but the person with blood type O can only receive type O blood. They cannot receive A, B or AB blood.

In addition to ABO types of blood, blood is also typed in terms of whether or not it is positive or negative for the Rh factor. Blood is positive when it has the Rh factor and blood is negative when it does NOT have the Rh factor. So, in reality there are all of these blood types:

  • Type A +
  • Type A -
  • Type B +
  • Type B -
  • Type AB +
  • Type AB -
  • Type O +
  • Type O -

Blood types that are negative can only be given to those with a negative blood and blood types that are positive can only be given to and received by people with a positive blood type.

Below are the types of blood that each of the above blood types can give and receive:

  • Type A +: Type A + blood can be donated to blood types A + and AB + people and people with type A + blood can receive types A + and O + blood.
  • Type A -: Type A - blood can be donated to blood types A - and AB - people and people with type A - blood can receive types A - and O - blood.
  • Type B +: Type B + blood can be donated to blood types B + and AB + clients and clients with type B + blood can receive types B + and O +.
  • Type B -: Type B - blood can be donated to blood types B - and AB - clients and clients with type B - blood can receive types B - and O -.
  • Type AB +: Type AB + blood can be donated to blood type AB + only and clients with type AB + blood can get all blood types provided that the blood type is positive.
  • Type AB -: Type AB - blood can be donated to blood type AB - only and clients with type AB - blood can get all blood types provided that the blood type is negative.
  • Type O +: Type O + can be donated to all blood types provided they are positive but the person with type O + blood can only receive type O + blood.
  • Type O -: Type O - can be donated to all blood types provided they are negative but the person with type O - blood can only receive type O - blood.

White Blood Cells

White blood cells, also referred to as leukocytes, are part of the bodily immune system which fights off infections. As more fully described in the section entitled the Circulatory System, the various types of white blood cells are:

  • Eosinophils
  • Basophils
  • Neutrophils
  • Lymphocytes
  • Monocytes

Platelets

The process of coagulation and platelets are also a part of the hematological system. The process of coagulation maintains blood volume stability with the prevention of blood loss with bleeding and hemorrhage.

Coagulation, also referred to as clotting, is a complex process that, simply stated, entails the activation of the platelets in the blood, the adhesion of the platelets in the blood and the collection of platelet clusters in the area of the bleeding and the formation of fibrin and then a platelet plug to cease bleeding.

In addition to platelets, clotting factors are also needed for the coagulation process. Some of these protein clotting factors include clotting Factors I to Factor XIII, kininogen and prekallikrein.

Bone marrow also plays a highly important role in terms of hematological system. The innermost part of the bone, the medullary cavity of the bone, produces and contains red blood cells.

RELATED TEAS ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY CONTENT: