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Cari’s Story Essay

A) How could an infection in Cari’s nasal passages and pharynx spread into her sinuses? Mucous membranes of the nose, paranasal sinuses, pharynx and middle ear are connected by ducts in the throat.

B) What is a cough reflex? Describe the process that Cari’s respiratory system is using to clear her lungs by coughing? A cough reflex has both sensory (afferent) and motor (efferent) components. Pulmonary irritant receptors (cough receptors) in the epithelium of the respiratory tract are sensitive to both mechanical and chemical stimuli. Stimulation of the cough receptors by dust or other foreign particles produces a cough, which is necessary to remove the foreign material from the respiratory tract before it reaches the lungs. A long drawn and deep inhalation followed by a complete closure of the glottis, which results in a strong exhalation that suddenly punches the glottis open and sends a blast of air through the upper respiratory passages.

C) Which structure found in the terminal bronchioles and alveoli normally would protect Cari’s lungs from infectious pathogens and particulate matter? Macrophages are present (wandering phagocytes) that remove dust particles and other debris from the alveolar space.

D) How would the resistance of Cari’s airways be affected by excess mucus and fluid in her lungs? The lung capacity is decreased because the air space is already filled with mucus and fluids therefore she can’t take in enough oxygen. The extra mucus and fluids put extra pressure on the lungs.

E) How would Cari’s lungs compliance (the effort required to expand the lungs) be altered as her alveoli fill with fluid due to pneumonia? The fluid makes it harder to expand the lungs because the fluid makes the alveoli sticky and unable to open/expand.

F) How would fluid in Cari’s lungs affect her total lung capacity? Her lung capacity would go down because the air space is already being taken up by fluid.

G) How does the elevation of Cari’s respiratory rate alter her minute ventilation? The elevation of Cari’s respiratory rate should increase her minute ventilation.

H) Normal blood oxygen saturation levels are greater than 94 percent; Cari’s blood oxygen saturation level was 90 percent at the time of her exam and an initial arterial blood gas analysis done when she was admitted to the hospital revealed her arterial Po2 was 54 mmHg. How do these clinical findings related to the internal respiration in Cari’s body? Cari’s oxygen saturation level was 90% and the Po2 of would show that her arteries are having too much oxygen. A normal resenting mmHg is 40% and exercises lower Po2 level. A normal resting oxygen level is 94%.

I) Which of the symptoms Cari has described are due to lack of oxygen and reduced oxygen exchange at her tissues? Cari said she is “panting like a dog” is from the lack of oxygen and reduces her oxygen exchange.

J) As Cari’s PCO2 rose how was oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin affected? As Cari’s Pco2 rose, how was the oxygen-carrying capacity of hemoglobin affected? The oxygen carrying of hemoglobin volume with the rise of Pco2 will decrease since the Co2 will take O2’s.? Cari’s pH and Pco2 will decrease and her rate of breathing will also be decreasing.

K) How would you have expected Cari’s decreased PCO2 and alkaline blood PH to have affected her breathing? Cari’s pH and Pco2 will decrease and her rate of breathing will also be decreasing. L) How would administration of oxygen enhance Cari’s central drive to breathe? The fluid in her lungs makes it hard to expand because the fluid makes the alveoli sticky and it can’t expand and open. Cari will breathe better when oxygen was administered to her.

M) Which anatomical structures in Cari’s respiratory system were initially involved? The structures involved are the trachea, nasal, pharynx, and larynx, and the lungs.

N) Why was Cari plagued with a chronic smokers cough?
Cari is plagued with a chronic smoker‘s cough because she has a 20 year history of smoking.

O) Which damaging effects of tobacco smoke led to Cari’s impaired respiratory defenses mechanisms? There are damages to the epithelial with those damages comes the body’s repair process.

P) How did pneumonia affect Cari’s lung function?
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be caused by nearly any class of organism known to cause human infections, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. It results in an inflammatory response within the small air spaces of the lung (alveoli).


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