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Differences between RBC and Hemoglobin

Differences between RBC and Hemoglobin

Red blood cells and hemoglobin are both responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. But what are the differences between them? How do they work together to keep us healthy? And what happens when there is a problem with either one? Keep reading to learn more about red blood cells and hemoglobin, and how they impact your health.

What is RBC?

RBC is an abbreviation for red blood cells. RBCs are the most common type of blood cell and their main function is to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. RBCs are produced in the bone marrow and they live for around 120 days before being replaced by new ones. RBCs are different from other blood cells in that they do not have a nucleus. This makes them smaller and more flexible so that they can move through even the smallest capillaries. RBCs are also unique in that they contain a protein called hemoglobin, which gives them their red color and helps them to carry oxygen.

What is Hemoglobin?

Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Hemoglobin is made up of four subunits, each of which contains an atom of iron. This iron-containing pigment gives hemoglobin its red color.

  • When hemoglobin picks up oxygen in the lungs, it becomes bright red. As it releases oxygen to the tissues, it becomes darker. Hemoglobin is found in all vertebrates, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
  • It is also present in some invertebrates, such as certain mollusks and clam shrimp. The term “hemoglobin” comes from two Greek words: “haima,” meaning blood, and “bios,” meaning life.
  • Hemoglobin is essential for life because it allows cells to use oxygen to produce energy. In humans, about 98% of the iron in the body is found in hemoglobin. The other 2% is stored in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow or used in enzymes and other proteins. Hemoglobin has a relatively short lifespan; after about 120 days, it is broken down and recycled by the liver and bone marrow.

Differences between RBC and Hemoglobin

RBCs and hemoglobin are two important components of the blood. RBCs, or red blood cells, are responsible for carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues. Hemoglobin is the protein in RBCs that actually binds to oxygen. RBCs are produced in the bone marrow and contain a high concentration of hemoglobin. RBCs live for about 120 days before they are broken down and recycled. RBCs are slightly larger than other types of blood cells and contain no nucleus. Hemoglobin is produced in the liver and is made up of four protein chains. Two of these chains are called alpha chains and two are called beta chains. The function of hemoglobin is to bind to oxygen molecules and transport them to the body’s tissues.


Differences between RBC and Hemoglobin can be significant when it comes to transfusions. Understanding these differences is important for healthcare professionals as they work to ensure patients get the best possible care.

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