Plasma and serum are two different components of blood and it is easy to confuse one for another. The Blood is a bodily fluid that is vital very important for the transportation of nutrients and oxygen to every cell and tissue in the body, it is also known to eliminate of metabolic waste products from the tissues. The Blood consists of blood cells, coagulation factors, and immune products, dispersed in water. Blood cells are also of different kinds of cells such as Red blood cells (RBCs), White blood cells (WBCs), and Platelets. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin that is the prime oxygen transporter and the White blood cells are immune cells and help defend the body from pathogenic attack, and fight against one in the event of one. Platelets aid in the process of coagulation when an injury occurs. It is quite common to come across Serum and Plasma frequently and be confused by the two. However, both are important components of the blood.
Difference Between Serum And Plasma
The Blood serum was discovered by Karl Landsteiner in his studies on the different blood types. He observed the agglutination effect when the blood of two different types was mixed. His observations led him to conclude that a certain substance must be responsible for causing this effect, thereby discovering antigens found in blood serum. Blood serum simply refers to the fluid component of blood that is does not have any blood cells or clotting factors. The serum does not contain fibrinogens and coagulation proteins that are involved in the coagulation pathway but retains electrolytes, immune products like antibodies and all other proteins. it naturally occurs after clotting takes place by separating from the red blood cells, white blood cells, and clotting factors. It is used in diagnostics to detect a particular condition, like diabetes, due to the presence of electrolytes. The branch of study that deals with studying serum and analyzing it for diagnostic purposes are called serology.
Gordon R. Ward discovered the use of plasma for blood transfusion instead of the actual blood in the year 1918. Blood plasma is a yellowish colored that contains suspended blood cells, proteins, and clotting factors. It constitutes 55% of the body’s fluid volume and is the intravascular fluid component in blood. It is very essential in maintaining the electrolyte balance of the blood and protects the body from infection.Plasma is a straw colored liquid is used in patients who suffer from deficiencies in clotting factors in the blood, or from burns or hemophilia. Plasma contains 90% water, and the rest is made up of proteins, antibodies, electrolytes and clotting factors. Plasmapheresis is the process of isolation of plasma from the blood using centrifugation.
From the explanation of Blood serum and Plasma above we can deduce that serum is the extracellular fluid component of blood that is present after the coagulation process is complete While Plasma is the yellowish or straw colored watery intravascular fluid component of the blood in which all the cells of the blood are suspended. The process of extracting serum is tedious and time-consuming While the process of extracting plasma is typically easier and faster than serum.