Human Anatomy

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Question1: Brieflydescribe the physiological changes occurring in the mother duringpregnancy

Duringpregnancy, there are many changes that occur in a woman’s body.Majority of these changes may be uncomfortable but are normal. Theyensure that the mother’s body is prepared to protect and nourishthe fetus as well as delivery. The body of a pregnant woman producesmore oestrogen and progesterone which promote the flow of the bloodand development of structures such as the uterus, respectively. Thesehormones also make the cervix and the vagina more elastic towards theend of the pregnancy. As the fetus becomes bigger, general size ofthe woman body and weight increases. There are significant changesin the cardiovascular system which may result into changes in thesize of the heart and cardiac output. Generally, the increase inblood cells in the woman blood is constant during pregnancy. However,there is an increase in blood plasma which dilutes the number ofblood cells in the blood. This condition is called physiologicalanemia and is the reason why pregnant mother are given ironsupplements. Lower blood pressure is common during the early stagesof pregnancy resulting into feeling of dizziness due to less bloodreaching the brain (Marieb,2014).

Oedema,which is characterized by swelling of the face, is also a commonsevere experience during pregnancy which requires medical attention.It is estimated that the volume of air that move in and out of apregnant woman increased by fifty percent due to larger volumes perbreath and increased breathing rate. There are also changes in thegastrointestinal system, urinary systems as well as the skin duringpregnancy. Towards the end of the second trimester the breast becomesbigger and start producing colostrum, a think yellow secretion thatis feeds the newborns(Marieb,2014).

Question2: Teresahas been complaining of severe&nbspabdominalpain, vaginally discharge, and low grade fever. What might be thedoctor`s diagnosis, and how should the condition be treated?&nbsp

Althoughabdominal pain is common during pregnancy, a severe case accompaniedby vaginal discharge is an indication of a serious problem. I wouldsuspect a case of miscarriage and conduct relevant tests such aspelvic examination and ultrasound. If it is not at advanced stage,bed rest may be recommended. However, if at advanced stage, themiscarriage can be allowed to progress naturally or necessary medicalintervention such as dilation and curettage can be recommended.

Question3: Identifyand describe the operation of the three major chemical buffers of thebody.

Chemicalbuffers are essential in controlling the concentration of hydrogenions in the body. This is important for maintaining an optimum pH inthe body. The most important chemical buffer in the body is carbondioxide -bicarbonate. It is responsible for 80 percent of thebuffering process in the human body. The buffering process is basedon the chemical reaction when carbon dioxide dissolves in water inthe body to form a weak carbonic acid, a hydrogen ion donor. Hydrogencarbonate acts as a hydrogen ion acceptor to form bicarbonate. Abalance between carbon dioxide and bicarbonate in the body fluidsmaintains the optimum pH. Phosphate buffer is another chemicalbuffer which mainly operates inside the cells. The buffering processis based on the balance between dihydrogen phosphate ions andhydrogen phosphate ions. Another important chemical buffer in thehuman body is ammonia. This buffer is controls fluid PH in thekidney. It is dependent on the balance between ammonia and ammoniumions in body fluids (Marieb,2014).

Question3: List and describe three pressures operating at the filtrationmembrane, and explain how each influences net filtration pressure.

Filtrationis an important process in the human body. The filtration process isdepended in several factors among them the size of pores in themembrane, the size of the molecules and pressure. The filtrationmembrane is highly specialized to control the filtration process.There are three types of pressure that play a critical role in thefiltration process. They include ontocotic pressure, capillaryhydrostatic pressure and interstitial hydrostatic pressure. Capillaryhydrostatic pressure pushes the fluid out of the filtrationcapillaries. This pressure is higher at the arteriolar end and lowerat the venular end of the capillary. This is essential in driving thefluids out of the capillaries. Depending on the type of the organ,the pressure is changes along the capillary to form an axial gradientor a longitudinal gradient. Axial pressure gradient in the capillaryfavors reabsorption in the venular end and filtration in the oppositeend. The capillary hydrostatic pressure is therefore an average ofthe venous and arterial pressures (Marieb,2014).

Thehydrostatic interstitial pressure, also known as tissue pressure isdetermined by the volume of fluid in the tissues. This means that ifmore fluid is filtered into the interstitium, the volume as well aspressure increases. Depending on the interstitial compliance in theorgan, changes in volume will result into different changes inpressure. For example, the brain and kidney are enclosed in a rigidbone and capsule, respectively, which means changes in volume ofinterstitial fluid, will result into a significant change inpressure. Other organs such as the skin or muscles can expand andtherefore changes in volume result into relative small changes inpressure. The oncotic pressure also plays an important role infiltration. This is because the filtration membranes are permeableand allows both ions and water molecules to pass through. Bloodbrings proteins and blood cells on the filtering membrane displacingwater molecules. This results into oncotic pressure forcing watermolecules to move across the filtering membrane (Marieb,2014).


Marieb,E. (2014). Essentialsof &amp Physiology,Pearson Education, ISBN 0321943600.

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