For most living things to survive, blood is necessary. But there is a limit to what blood can achieve for something so valuable. Blood serves various purposes in the body because of its numerous components. Does blood contain an electrical charge, though? Hence, does blood conduct electricity?
We’ll discuss the conductivity of blood, determine whether it’s a conductor or an insulator, and establish whether it conducts electricity more efficiently than water. Also, you’ll discover whether blood is a good conductor of heat and what occurs when the electricity goes through blood.
Is Blood Conductive?
Blood is conductive. The application of an electrical field affects the conductivity of blood. The blood’s electrical conductivity determines how easily a current can flow. High conductivity refers to blood’s ability to permit electric current to pass quickly. Blood conductivity is higher in plasma than in red blood cells.
Plasma is one of the blood’s components, and it naturally conducts electricity well. Due to the presence of electrolytes, plasma particles carry an electrical charge. The liquified salts and minerals that make up the electrolytes in plasma also have an electrical charge. Moreover, 92% of plasma’s composition is water, further accelerating blood’s conductivity.
When dissolved in water, electrolytes conduct electricity. The common electrolytes contained in plasma are sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They all have ions, and the quantity of ions in the blood directly relates to its conductivity.
Is Blood a Conductor or Insulator?
Instead of being an insulator, blood is a conductor. Blood comprises plasma, platelets, red blood cells (RBC), and white blood cells(WBC). The four also contain salt and water. Salt has free mobile ions. These ions aid in the transmission of electricity. When the salts mix with water in the blood, the mixture becomes the ideal combination for electrical conductivity.
Minerals and ions give blood a high ion content. They are effective electrical conductors. Yet, other chemical substances in the blood influence the electrical properties of blood. For instance, too much glucose in the blood increases the conductivity of electricity.
Hemoglobin, which includes iron and is abundant in red blood cells, makes ions more conductive. However, hemoglobin does not flow easily in your body, as the cell lining contains it inside. Nevertheless, hemoglobin is released into the bloodstream when a red blood cell ruptures. There are minimal barriers when the blood cells rupture, and the electrons can move around, carrying an electric charge.
Does Blood Conduct Electricity Better Than Water?
Blood doesn’t conduct electricity as well as water does. Not just any kind of water, though. Despite having some ions, distilled or deionized water does not carry electricity. Nevertheless, dissolved compounds are present in the majority of the local water. Minerals and salts are among the compounds that dissolve in water. These compounds contain ions, which can conduct electricity.
The average conductivity of water is 0 to 500 µS/cm, and blood lies between 10-20 mS/cm. Hence water has more conductivity than blood. Blood faces more resistance to the flow of ions. Iron in the blood is contained in hemoglobin and cannot flow freely.
Blood may not flow as easily as water since it is thicker than water. Because of this, ions that can carry an electric charge will usually move through the water more rapidly than through blood.
What Happens When Electricity Is Passed Through Blood?
The salt (NaCl), sodium, and chloride ions are disassociated as free carriers when electricity passes through the blood. When electricity applies to blood, its chemical composition will unquestionably change. Although the current may not dry the blood, it will result in significant and often fatal bleeding damage. Remember that different blood parts can either transfer or resist an electric charge.
The electric shock will harm blood vessels since they are very electrically conductive. The blood vessels will burst, cutting off the blood supply and resulting in necrosis, which is the death of body tissues. Clots may form on the blood vessel walls as the inner lining of the blood vessels changes.
Sadly, the current will also likely result in severe, possibly even long-lasting burns. Blood is a conduit for the current to travel through most internal burns. It is a conductor of electricity, which results in burns that can be fatal.
The table below shows some of the long-term effects of electric shock.
|Physical effects||Psychological effects||Neurological effects|
|-Muscle pain or spasms,||-Depression,||-Migraines,|
|-Eye problems,||-Phobia,||-Seizure disorders,|
|-Neurological injuries,||-Post-traumatic stress disorder,||-Dizziness or fainting spells,|
|-Itching due to burns,||-Reduced attention span,||-Numbness due to nerve damage,|
|-Joint stiffness due to muscle damage,||-Memory loss.||-Tremors|
|-Generalized pains that never heal.||-Hearing loss or ringing in the ears.|
When blood rushes to your heart, an irregular heart rhythm may result from the electric shock. Cardiac defibrillation also has a small risk of death. Your heart suffers from defibrillation, which halts and restarts it by jolting it from its regular beat.
Is Blood a Good Conductor of Heat?
Blood is a good conductor of heat. Heat distributes throughout the body via the circulation of blood. It transfers heat from deeper body tissues to the surface, where heat passes to the environment. The body’s interior organs are the primary source of heat. Warm blood transfers part of its heat to the colder blood as it travels through the arteries.
The blood flow to the skin increases when your body temperature rises too high, which releases heat into the environment. Convective heat transfer is the term used to describe heat transmission to the air around the skin. The colder air will replace the warm air, rising away from the body and repeating the cycle.
The primary mechanism by which your body controls temperature is blood. Even if the environment is different, your body can maintain its temperature. In this manner, the temperature of your inner body remains constant at 99.5 °F (37.5 °C).
The brain’s hypothalamus serves as the thermostat that controls core body temperature. Increasing blood flow to the skin’s surface can lower body temperature. By causing shivering to produce heat, the hypothalamus can increase body temperature.
Is Blood Acidic Or Basic?
Blood has a slightly basic and slightly acidic pH. Blood typically has a pH between 7.3 and 7.45. Your body must maintain a proper pH to function normally. The body produces acid when it goes through numerous bodily processes. The body produces a significant amount of carbonic acid. PH changes can be a sign of underlying health problems.
Nonetheless, the body has a system to control the pH of the blood and other bodily fluids. Together with other chemical buffering systems found throughout the cells, the kidney and the lungs are the two organs that control pH levels. The two organs do the following to maintain the pH levels of the blood:
- Lungs: They excrete carbon dioxide to control the pH of the blood. Running causes a person to produce more carbon dioxide, and the lungs help by breathing more quickly, preventing blood from getting overly acidic. The lungs will do this in just a few seconds.
- Kidneys: They control blood pH by excreting acids in urine. The production and control of bicarbonate by the kidneys raise blood pH. Usually, these changes take a few hours or days.
The condition known as acidosis results when the blood’s pH falls below 7.35. Blood becomes alkaline at a pH above 7.45, which can cause alkalosis. Electrolyte testing and arterial blood gas analysis are two ways doctors can identify an issue with your blood’s pH levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
What keeps the blood warm?
The main factor keeping blood warm is the heat generated by metabolism. Cells use metabolism, a chemical process, to convert glucose into the water and carbon dioxide. The process produces energy, which then converts into heat.
While blood circulates through the cardiovascular system, friction also generates heat. Exothermic chemical reactions occur throughout the body in numerous organs. The blood absorbs the heat the organs emit and transfers it to the other organs.
What happens to blood without water?
The blood gets slower and thicker. Your heart rate rises to maintain adequate oxygen levels. Dehydration will result from continuing to engage in strenuous activity without water. All the components in blood plasma dissolve in water, which serves as a solvent.
Water is necessary to maintain blood diluted enough to flow through blood arteries. Blood must flow freely to eliminate the waste products of metabolism, such as urea and electrolytes. Moreover, drinking water lowers blood pressure.
The many compounds that make up blood, makes it conductive. Although plasma makes blood more conductive, other compounds also contain electrically charged ions. The different substances that contain ions in the blood include minerals, salt, water, white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells.
When electricity passes through blood, chemical reactions take place. Blood can transmit electricity, but doing so can harm the body, possibly permanently. Your blood controls your body’s temperature since it is a good conductor of heat. Blood has a slightly alkaline and slightly acidic pH.