Composition of the Blood. The weight of the blood of the body being 1 13 of the total weight, its examination must necessarily be of considerable importance in the study of disease, and as the examination of the blood in a scientific way is the result of the later year's investigation a short description of the methods employed is here inserted. Though some finer sub divisions may be made, it is sufficient for our purposes to consider the two kinds of corpuscles which constitute the solid portion and the fibrin and plasma which make up the fluid portion of the blood. The corpuscles are divided into red and white corpuscles, the red being in much greater number, give the color to the blood, their proportion being five million in one cubic millimeter of blood, a c. m. being the standard of measure and is equal to a very small drop. The white corpuscles in healthy blood number about 5,000 to a c. m. Roughly speaking, the human body contains about five to seven quarts of blood in the vessels and the tissues. On making an examination of the red blood corpuscles they are found to vary in disease from one million or even less, to the normal number or slightly in excess of five million. This diminution is found in the so called anemia’s. There are simple and pernicious anemia and a third blood disease is chlorosis or yellow sickness, in which the corpuscles may not be greatly diminished in number but the coloring matter has disappeared. This coloring matter which is known as hemoglobin is determined by extracting a small drop of blood from the body, diluting with a mild acid which destroys corpuscles and the resulting shade of color is compared with coloring plates of standard strength. The white corpuscles are divided into three or four important groups, of which the leukocytes are about sixty per cent.
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