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Hemophilia and Inherited Bleeding Disorders

Blood donation

04/25/2003

Question:

What does the body do to replenish blood after a person donates blood?

Answer:

In answer to your question, blood is made up of a liquid portion and a cellular portion. The liquid portion is referred to as plasma. It may represent 50-70% of the "blood" lost with a donation. The body replenishes this by moving fluids from spaces outside of blood vessels into the blood circulation, increasing absorption of fluids from the gut, and conserving fluids through actions of the kidneys. Drinking plenty of non-caffeinated fluids and staying hydrated after blood donation helps with this replacement. The cellular portions of the blood (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets) are replaced within a few days to weeks by production increases in the bone marrow. I am hopeful this addresses your question. Thank you for your interest. 

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Response by:

Patricia M Carey, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati