2nd October 2019


What happens to old or damaged red blood cells?

This is a good question, because red blood cells actually get damaged all the time. In fact, they are designed to wear out and be replaced on a regular basis. As red blood cells get old, they are destroyed by cells in the spleen and lymph nodes. This happens whether the red blood cell is damaged or not.

Also asked, which organ removes red blood cells from blood?


What organs break down old red blood cells?

Red blood cells have a lifespan of around 120 days, after which your spleen breaks them down. The red blood cell remains are transported elsewhere in your body where they are excreted or recycled to manufacture new red blood cells.

How are red blood cells eliminated from the body?

Dead, damaged and senescent red blood cells are picked up by phagocytic cells throughout the body (including Kuppfer cells in the liver) and digested. The iron is precious and is efficiently recycled. However, hemoglobin also contains a porphyrin called heme that cannot be recycled and must be eliminated.
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