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What does the respiratory system consists of and what are its important anatomic features?
- Consists of all the structures of the body that contribute to the breathing process.
- Important anatomic features: Upper and lower airway, the lungs, and the diaphragm
What is the principal function of the lungs and what are its two processes?
- Inspiration (Inhalation) and Expiration (Exhalation)
What are the two processes that drive respiration and how do they do it?
- Carbon Dioxide Levels: High concentrations of carbon dioxide bathing the brain stem stimulates a healthy person to breathe
- Hypoxic Drive: Low levels of oxygen in the blood stimulates the person to breathe
What are the characteristics of adequate breathing?
- A normal rate and depth
- A regular pattern of inhalation and exhalation
- Good audible reath sounds on both sides of the chest
- Regular rise and fall movement on both sides of the chest
- Pink, Warm, dry skin
What are the signs of inadequate breathing?
- A rate of breathing that is less than 12 or more than 20 breath/min
- Unequal chest expansion
- Decreased breath sounds on one or both sides of the chest
- Muscle retractions above the clavicles, between the ribs, and below the rib cage, esp. in children
- Pale of cyanotic skin
- Cool, damp (clammy) skin
- Shallow or irregular respirations
- Pursed Lips
- Nasal Flaring
What is carbon dioxide retention and why is it dangerous when talking about administering oxygen to a patient?
- Carbon Dioxide Retention: Slow rise in arterial carbon dioxide levels over the years causes the respiratory center in the brain to work less efficiently. If the condition is severe, respiration stop unless hypoxic drive stimulates the respiratory center.
- When administering oxygen to a patient with severe carbon dioxide retention, the hypoxic drive is lost and the respiratory center is no longer stimulated. This may result in the patient not breathing at all