Oxygen carriage in blood

Oxygen is carried in the blood in two ways: bound to haemoglobin, and dissolved in the blood plasma. The total oxygen content of blood is found by simply adding these together.

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Temp     _ _ _  
H+     _ _ _  
pH       _ _ _  
p50     _ _ _  
Hemoglobin     _ _ _  
Hematocrit     _ _ _  
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Scale       _ _ _  
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      ºC   _ _ _  
      nmol/l   _ _ _  
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      kPa   _ _ _  

The graph on the right shows the tiny amount of oxygen dissolved in the plasma (the blue line) and the much larger amount that is bound to haemoglobin (the pink line). The sum of these gives the top red line on the graph, which is the total oxygen content of 100mls of blood.

Haemoglobin binding explained. Try the advanced oxygen content calculator.