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Unit 5 Case Study: Cari's Story

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Unit 5 Case Study: Cari's Story

A. How can an infection in Cari's nasal passages and pharynx spread into her sinuses?

The infection in Cari's nasal passages and pharynx was able to spread into her sinuses due to the fact of how close the passages and sinuses are to each other, and the sinuses being a drainage area for the nasal passages.

B. What is the cough reflex? Describe the process that Cari's respiratory system is using to clear her lungs by coughing.

The cough reflex involves deep inhalation followed by complete closure of the glottis and strong exhalation with sudden opening of the glottis, and forcing air through the upper respiratory passages. The cough reflex is used to clear sputum and irritants that are in the nasal passages and pharynx. Cari's respiratory system is forcing out mucus in order to maintain enough space within her lungs for oxygen. There are cilia in her trachea that is moving mucus up from the lungs. When there is much mucus, it triggers the cough reflex.

C. Which structures found in the terminal bronchioles and alveoli normally would protect Cari's lungs from infectious pathogens and particulate matter?

Goblet cells secrete mucus to trap particles while the cilia work by moving mucus towards the pharynx for removal. Macrophages are also found in the terminal bronchioles and alveoli; they engulf and destroy infectious pathogens and particulate matter.

D. How would the resistance of Cari's airways be affected by excess mucus and fluid in her lung?

Cigarette smoke damages and destroys cilia, and causes goblet cells to produce increased amounts of mucus. The damaged cilia combined with increased mucus obstructs airflow in and out of the lungs. Excess mucus would build up within Cari's lungs and her airflow will be hindered. Excess mucus and fluid in the lungs would provide an environment conducive for microorganism proliferation. Fluid in the alveoli would compromise its functioning properly with lesser effective gas exchange.

E. How would Cari's lung compliance (the effort required to expand the lungs) be altered as her alveoli fill with fluid due to pneumonia?

Lung compliance would increase from trying to force gases into and out of the alveoli. Those are filled with ...

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