NURS6521NWk4DiscussionMain.docx - NURS-6521N-42 Discussion Week 4 Respiratory System Lavoris Browns Main Post The Respiratory System The main function

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NURS-6521N-42 Discussion Week 4: Respiratory System Lavoris Brown’s Main Post The Respiratory System The main function of the respiratory system (also called the pulmonary system) is the exchange of gasses between air in the environment (oxygen and carbon dioxide) and blood. The exchange of the formentioned gasses occurs in three steps: 1) ventilation, the movement of air in and out of the lungs; 2) diffusion, the movement of the gases between air spaces inside the lungs and the bloodstream; and 3) perfusion, the movement of blood in and out of the capillary beds of the lungs to tissues and organs in the body. Steps one and two are carried out by the respiratory system, and step three is carried out by the cardiovascular system (Huether & McCance, 2017; Lechtzin, n.d.). When one inhales, oxygen passes from the alveoli to blood in the capillaries; as one exhales, carbon dioxide passes from the blood in the capillaries to the air in the alveoli (Lechtzin, n.d.). In Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the gas- exchange process is impaired. Overview of COPD COPD is a chronic, progressive inflammatory disease of the lung(s) that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. It is characterized by incessant respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation that is a result of alveolar and/or airway abnormalities often caused by a remarkable exposure to toxic gases or particles. It is commonly avertible and treatable, but incurable. It ranks third in leading causes of death in the USA, and can cause early demise and long-term disablement (American Lung Association, n.d.; Global Obstructive Lung Disease {GOLD}, 2018; Huether & McCance, 2017); In COPD, less air flows in and out of the airways as a result of one or more of the following reasons: 1) the airway walls become thicken and inflamed; 2) lung tissue and the walls between air sacs where the exchange of oxygen occurs is destroyed; 3) air sacs and air ways loose their elasticity; and 3) the airways get clogged as a result of them making more than normal amounts of sputum (mucus) (American Lung Association, n.d.; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2018). Affects of COPD on the Body COPD affects the body by the following ways: air flow in and out of the lungs is decreased (as described in the above paragraph); as a result, less oxygen enters the tissues in the body, and it becomes more difficult to rid the body of carbon dioxide waste; as the disease progresses, shortness of breath (S0B) makes it more difficulty to lead an active lifestyle as well as performing common activities of daily living (ADLs) such as doing household chores, engaging in social activities, sleeping, working, etc. (American Lung Association, n.d.). People with COPD use accessory muscles during expiration which create more force to empty inspired air from the lungs (Huether & McCance 2017).
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