What Is Hematopoiesis?

hematopoiesis Credit: Nicholas Mayeux/Stocktrek Images/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images

Hematopoiesis is defined as the process of blood cell production, multiplication and specialization in the bone marrow. This process typically starts with the most basic blood cells, called stem cells according to Austin Peay State University.

The process of hematopoiesis ultimately results in the production of mature or fully-formed white blood cells, red blood cells and blood platelets, which help to control and stop bleeding following injuries. Throughout the process, blood cells of all three kinds develop, differentiate, and finally emerge as mature cells. During their growth stages, all cells go through multiple transformative stages, often undergoing at least five cell divisions. Each division produces more cells, enabling the process to continue. Hematopoiesis enables the body's cells to perform important tasks such as removing waste products from blood cells and supplying new cells with oxygen-rich blood.