Question 11

Outline the composition of plasma (50% of marks). Describe the functions of albumin (50% of marks).

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College Answer

A good answer began with a definition of plasma and then listed the components - water, albumin, globulins, fibrinogen and other proteins before mentioning the lipid content, nutrient content, wastes and electrolytes. Frequently the breakdown of the globulin component was inaccurate. A common omission was dissolved gas components. Descriptions of the calculation of oncotic pressure and GFR were not asked and hence did not attract marks. The functions of albumin may be subdivided into: Osmotic pressure, transport function, acid-base buffer, anti-oxidant, anticoagulant effect, protein store, metabolism and 'other'