Feb
11
2011

Oxygen Needs

Oxygen is a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas. It is a basic need and is necessary for survival. Death occurs within minutes if a person stops breathing. Serious illness occurs without enough oxygen. Illness, surgery, and injuries affect the amount of oxygen in the blood vessels.
Respiration– the process of supplying cells with oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from them.
Inhalation – breathing in/inspiration
Exhalation – breathing out/expiration
Nose– air enter into the body
Pharynx – throat, a tube-shaped passageway for both air and food.
Larynx– voice box
Trachea – windpipe, divides at its lower end into the right and left bronchus. Each bronchus enters the lung.
Bronchi – divides into several branches called bronchioles.
Alveoli – they are supplied by capillaries.
Capillaries – blood in the capillaries pick-up oxygen from alveoli and returned to the left side of the heart and pumped to the rest of the body.
Alveoli – pick-up carbon dioxide from the capillaries for exhalation.
Right lung – has 3 lobes.
Left lung – has two lobes.
Diaphragm – muscle that separate the lungs from the abdominal cavity.
Ribs, sternum, and vertebrae – are the bony frameworks that protects the lungs.

Major factors affecting oxygen needs:
1. Respiratory system status– structures must be intact and functioning.
– the airway must be open. Alveoli must exchange Oxygen and Carbon dioxide.
2. Cardiovascular system function – blood must flow freely to and from the heart. Narrowed vessels affect the delivery of oxygen-rich blood cells and blood return to the heart. Capillaries and cells must exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
3. Red Blood Cell Count – the blood must have enough red blood cells (RBCs). RBCs contain hemoglobin, which pick-ups oxygen in the lungs and carries it to the cells.
4. Intact Nervous System – nervous system diseases and injuries can affect respiratory muscle function. Breathing maybe difficult or impossible. Brain damage affects respiratory rate, rhythm, and depth. Narcotics and depressant drugs are chemicals that affect the brain. They slow respirations. The amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood also affects brain function. Respirations increase when Oxygen is lacking. The body tries to bring in more oxygen. Respirations also increase when Carbon dioxide increases. The body tries to get rid of Carbon dioxide.
5. Aging – respiratory muscles weaken, and lung tissue becomes less elastic. Strength for coughing decreases. Coughing and removing secretions from the upper airway are important. Otherwise, upper respiratory tract infections can lead to pneumonia (inflammation of the lung). Older persons are at risk for respiratory complications after surgery.
6. Exercise – oxygen needs increase with exercise. Normally, respiratory rate and depth increase to bring enough oxygen into the lungs. Persons with heart and respiratory diseases may have enough oxygen at rest. However, even slight activity can increase their oxygen needs. Their bodies may not be able to bring in oxygen to deliver it to cells.
7. Fever – oxygen needs increase. As with exercise, respiratory rate and depth must increase to meet the body’s needs.
8. Pain – increases the need for oxygen. Respirations increase to meet this need. However, chest and abdominal injuries and surgeries often involve the respiratory muscles. This interferes with breathing in and out.
9. Medications – some drugs depress the respiratory center in the brain. Respiratory depression is slow, weak respirations at a rate of fewer than 12 per minute. Respirations are too shallow to bring enough air into the lungs. Respiratory arrest is when breathing stops. Narcotics such as morphine and Demerol can have these effects. These drugs are given in safe amounts for severe pain. Substance abusers are at risk for respiratory depression and respiratory arrest from overdoses of narcotics and depressants. Narcotics include opium, heroin, and methadone. Depressant drugs include barbiturates (Nembutal, phenobarbital, secobarbital, Tuinal, and others) and the benzodiazepines (Dalmane, diazepam, Halcion, Librium, Tranxene, Valium, Xanax, and others)
10. Smoking – causes lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is a risk factor for coronary artery disease.
11. Allergies – is a sensitivity to a substance that causes the body to react with signs and symptoms. Respiratory signs and symptoms include runny nose, wheezing, and congestion. Mucous memberanes in the upper airway swell. With severe swelling, the airways closes. Shock and death are risks. Pollen, dust, foods, drugs, and cigarette smoke often cause allergies. Person with allergies are at risk for chronic bronchitis and asthma.
12. Pollutant exposure – a pollutant is a harmful chemical or substance in the air or water. Dust, fumes, toxins, asbestos, coal dust, and saw dust are some air pollutants. They damage the lungs. Pollutants exposures occurs in home, work, and community settings.
13. Nutrition – good nutrition is needed for red blood cell production. RBCs live about 3-4 months. New ones must replace those that die off. The body needs iron and vitamins (vit. B12, vit. C, and folic acid) to produce RBCs.
14. Substance Abuse – alcohol depressed the brain. Excessive amounts reduce the cough reflex and increase the risk of aspiration. Obstructed airway and pneumonia are risks from aspirations. Respiratory depression and respiratory arrest are risks when narcotics and depressant drugs are abused.

Respiratory system function involve three processes:
– air moves into and out of the lungs
– oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged at the alveoli
– the blood transport oxygen to the cells and remove carbon dioxide from them.

Respiratory function is altered if even one process is affected.

Nicetas

About the Author: Nicetas Juanillo

Writing makes me happy away from home. My website is where you can find my tips about lifestyle, health and other issues. I also have books on my site that you can read to know more

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