Blood: How Much Do You Actually Have In Your Body?

The blood amount in your body depends on your age and size. Everyone has a different amount. A person can afford to lose a certain amount without causing any harm to the body.

Scientists estimate the volume of blood in a human to be approximately 7 percent of body weight. An average adult with a weight of 150 to 180 pounds will contain approximately 1.2 to 1.5 gallons  (4.7 to 5.5 liters) of blood.





Blood: Volume Varies By Gender and Weight

An average adult has between 9 and 12 pints of blood in their body.

The volume in a person’s body will vary according to their size and other factors, but the average quantities are as follows:

  • An average-sized woman has about 9 pints.
  • An average-sized man has about 12 pints.
  • An infant has 75 to 80 milliliters per kilogram (ml/kg) of body weight.
  • A child has 70 to 75 ml per kg of body weight.

A volume test can measure the amount in a person’s body. A doctor may use this test to diagnose conditions such as anemia.


Blood: How Much Can You Afford To Lose?

The standard amount taken when a person gives a donation is 1 pint. This is approximately one-tenth of the blood in the body and is a safe amount to lose. The American Red Cross advise that a person should wait 8 weeks in between donations.

Severe bleeding can be dangerous. When a person loses around one-fifth of their blood volume, they can go into shock.

In medical terms, shock means that not enough oxygen is getting to tissues in the body. Low oxygen levels can cause damage to the brain and other organs.

A deep wound or a cut on or near a vein, such as on the wrist or neck, can bleed heavily. Head wounds may also lead to significant loss.

Someone who has severe bleeding will need medical attention. Immediate first response treatment is to:

  • get the person to sit or lie down
  • raise the injured area of the body if possible
  • apply pressure to the wound to slow the bleeding


Blood: Profuse Bleeding

If someone is bleeding profusely, the body will direct less to the skin, fingers, and toes to protect the vital organs. A person who is losing a lot may look pale or start to feel numbness in their fingers.

The heart will speed up to pump the remaining blood in the body to internal organs. Pressure usually drops as the body tries to stop blood from leaving the body.

After a person has lost a certain amount, they can faint.

A transfusion is a medical procedure to donate to someone who needs it. This could be because an individual has lost a lot of blood, or has an illness that affects the blood, such as cancer and sickle cell disease.

Transfusions are considered to be very safe procedures and are often life-saving.


Blood: How Much Does The Body Produce Daily?

The body makes around 2 million red cells per second. Cells develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. Stem cells are a type of cell that can create other cells. This process happens continually throughout a person’s life.

Blood is made up of different parts. Each part has a different role to play in maintaining health.

  • Red cells carry oxygen and carbon dioxide.
  • White cells help defend the body against disease and infection.
  • Platelets help to stop bleeding.
  • Plasma is a fluid that carries the other parts of the blood. It also helps with clotting and supports the immune system.

These different parts take different amounts of time to be replaced. However, it only takes the body around 24 hours to replace the plasma it has lost.

It takes longer for the body to make more red cells, usually between 4 to 6 weeks.

Red cells get their color from hemoglobin. Hemoglobin contains iron, so when a person donates, some of this iron is lost. It can take 6 to 12 weeks for levels to return to normal.

The body stores iron and will use some of this stored iron after a donation. However, a person needs to replace this iron, so they should be sure to eat plenty of iron-rich foods after any blood loss.

Around 55 percent is made up of plasma, and plasma is 90 percent water. It is also essential to drink plenty of fluids after a blood donation to replace what has been lost.

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