Your blood, what is it made of?

Your blood, what is it made of?

Everyone has it, everyone needs it to live. Blood. The average human body contains approximately 8 pints (varies from person to person) of the red stuff. Below we will outline what is your blood made from and what a blood type is.

Blood cells

These can be seen under a microscope and make up about 40% of your blood by volumes. Blood cells are divided into three main types:

  • Red cells (erythrocytes). These cells gives your blood its red colour. One drop of blood contains about five million red cells. Red cells contain a chemical called haemoglobin. This chemical binds to oxygen and takes oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body.
  • White cells (leukocytes). The main role of your white cells to defend the body against infection.
  • Platelets. These are tiny and help the blood to clot if we cut ourselves.


This is the liquid part of blood and makes up about 60% of the blood’s volume. Plasma is mainly made from water but also contains many proteins and chemicals. Antibodies are one of the types of protein found in plasma.

Blood Types?

Red blood cells (erythrocytes) have certain proteins on their surface, called antigens. Also, your plasma contains antibodies which will attack certain antigens if they are present. ABO and rhesus are both types of antigens found on the surface of red blood cells. There are lots of other types but these are the most important.

The Distribution of Blood Groups

The chart below shows the distribution of blood groups amongst UK donors. It’s important enough of the right type of blood in the right quantities is donated to meet the needs of hospitals and patients across England.

ABO Blood Group % of donor population with this group % of blood issued to hospitals
A + 30% 30%
A – 8% 8%
B + 8% 8%
B – 2% 2%
O + 36% 36%
O – 12% 13%
AB + 3% 2%
AB – 1% 1%

For more information on your blood please use the links below

If you want more information about registering for blood donation please see