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Blood is the river of life that flows through the human body. We cannot live without it. The heart pumps blood to all our body cells, supplying them with oxygen and food. At the same time, blood carries carbon dioxide and other waste products from the cells. Blood also fights infection, keeps our temperature steady, and carries chemicals that regulate many body functions. Finally, blood even has substances that plug broken blood vessels and so prevent us from bleeding to death.
The amount of blood in our body depends on our size and the altitude at which we live. An adult who weighs 160 pounds (73 kilograms) has about 5 quarts (4.7 liters) of blood. An 80-pound (36-kilogram) child has about half that amount, and an 8-pound (3.6-kilogram) infant has about 81/2 ounces (250 milliliters). People, who live at high altitudes, where the air contains less oxygen, may have upto 2 quarts (1.9 liters) more blood than people who live in low regions.
Blood consists of cells that move about in a watery liquid called Plasma. Three types of cells make up the formed elements::
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