Whats the Bloody Difference (Between Blood Platelets and Plasma)?

Whats the Bloody Difference (Between Blood Platelets and Plasma)?

Whole blood contains platelets, red cells, and white cells that make up about 45% of the volume suspended in the plasma and the other 55% of the blood volume. When people donate blood, they are generally donating whole blood. 

Whole blood donation is the most flexible because it can be used for blood transfusions in its original form and can be separated into platelets, plasma, and red blood cells. There is minimal processing that needs to be done before it can be used for patient transfusions, and the blood can be refrigerated for up to 35 days. 


Platelets are also called thrombocytes and are a part of the blood that is small and colorless. Their primary function is sticking to the blood vessel lining to prevent or help stop bleeding. They are made in the bone marrow and are disc-shaped cells found in the body and the spleen. Megakaryocytes are platelets that are very large cells found in the bone marrow. 

If you have too many, not enough, or platelets that aren’t working correctly, this can cause problems. A complete blood count test can discover the number of platelets in the blood and helps diagnose certain conditions and diseases. 


Platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells are the most commonly remembered parts of the blood and plasma. Plasma plays an integral role in the blood, as this fluid carries the blood components through the body. The most significant part of the blood, it makes up more than half of the overall content. 

Plasma transports salts, enzymes, and water and is a light yellow liquid when separated from the rest of the blood. Plasma’s main job is to transport proteins, hormones, and nutrients to where the body needs them. The plasma helps to remove waste from the body as cells deposit their waste products into plasma. 

Blood Types

As mentioned, your blood type is passed down genetically from your parents, and there are a limited number of blood types. Depending on your parents’ blood types, there are only so many that can come from their combinations. There are two main groups of blood: Rh and ABO. The blood types that are ABO are the following:

  • Type A: has an A marker
  • Type B: has a B marker 
  • Type AB: has A and B markers
  • Type O: has no A or B markers

The most common blood types are O positive and A positive; the most rare are B negative, AB positive, and AB negative. Blood either contains or doesn’t contain a protein called the Rh factor. If it does have Rh factor, the blood is labeled positive; if it doesn’t, it is labeled negative.

If you’re curious about the state or type of your blood, working with our Dr. Leo can be very valuable.

Call today to make an appointment at Today’s Integrative Health – we look forward to helping you with your health! We are located at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, in the Executive office park. And are an Integrative and Functional Medicine Clinic.

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Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. Leo began his education at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned his doctorate in osteopathy. He completed his internal medicine residency through the U.S. Army and had the honor of serving multiple overseas tours before retirement.

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