Hemoglobin is found inside the red blood cell and is made of protein. It is defined as a metallo-protein, since it is made of protein that has a metal in its core. The red colour of red blood cells is due to the presence of haemoglobin in it. It is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs or gills to the different tissues and organs in the body. The iron in hemoglobin readily combines with oxygen and allows it to be transported. In the absence of haemoglobin, the ability of blood to transport would fall by 70 folds. Aside from red blood cells, hemoglobin is present in macrophages, alveolar cells and neurons as well. When the level of hemoglobin falls in the blood, a person begins to feel tired, struggles to concentrate and becomes intolerant to exercise. If the condition is not dealt with urgently, it can lead to death, as the tissues require a constant supply of oxygen to function properly.
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Hematocrit is also known as erythrocyte volume fraction or packed cell volume. It is basically a measurement of the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. In men, the count is typically 45 percent, whereas the measurement is 40 percent for women. Hematocrit can be measured through various methods such as centrifuging the heparinised blood, separating blood into different levels and then using the layer heights to calculate volume percentage. Another method to determine hematocrit is to use an automated analyze.
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