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Clinical Physiology for Paramedics - Essay Example

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Reproduction and Pregnancy Introduction Pregnancy is one of the most natural human experiences for women. Although it is mainly under the reproductive system, its actual unfolding can involve most systems of the body in order to ensure successful and safe outcomes…
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Clinical Physiology for Paramedics
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Download file to see previous pages It will describe the physiology of normal pregnancy, relating it to fetal development; it will also describe the changes seen in the musculoskeletal and digestive systems seen during pregnancy. This paper shall also describe the impact of pregnancy to the cardiovascular, respiratory and renal system, mostly changes in the body which are made in order to accommodate the pregnancy. Body Physiology of normal pregnancy Stages of prenatal development Marking pregnancy is mostly done from the first day when the last menstrual period is experienced, with the gestational age of the fetus being counted from that first day (Martini,, 2012). The woman’s menstrual cycle is part of the changes which are taking place to accommodate possible conception. These changes include the increase of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which then triggers folliculogenesis and later oogenesis (Martini,, 2012). Following these developments, a mature egg cell would emerge as the female gamete. Where the mature egg is fertilized by the male gamete or the spermatozoa, fetal development follows. The fertilized egg is then known as the zygote. This marks the germinal stage, which is the first stage of prenatal development. The mature egg cell and the spermatozoa normally unite in the fallopian tubes. As the egg is fertilized, it moves into the uterus (Martini,, 2012). The transport usually takes up to a week. The zygote already initiates cell division within 24 to 36 hours following fertilization. The cell division is rapid, ensuring the next stage of development – the blastocyst. This blastocyst then reaches the uterus, implanting on its walls. Embryogenesis follows as the cells of the zygote form differentiate to form the different parts of the baby (Chaille, 2006). This is the second stage of prenatal development, also known as the embryonic stage. Embryogenesis unfolds in about 10 weeks of gestation. The different cells start forming the different parts of the body with basic parts including the organs and the nervous system. As embryogenesis ends, some features for the fetus can already be distinguished including the fingers, eyes, and ears (Chaille, 2006). Some structures like the placenta and umbilical cord also become more apparent. Following 10 weeks of gestation, the embryo develops more prominently into the fetus. At this point, the fetus measures about 30 mm. The illustration below shows the size of the pregnancy. This marks the last stage of prenatal development, also known as the fetal stage. Figure A (1st month of pregnancy) Placental development and function The ultrasound would also pick up fetal heartbeat with some involuntary movements of the fetus also noted (Walley,, 2010). Fetal development would also include the continued development of the body systems and organs. Sex organs are already developed by the third month of development. Growth in weight and length is also sustained during fetal development. Brain activity becomes apparent at the 5th and 6th week of fetal development (Walley,, 2010). No conscious thought is however notable at this stage. Synaptic formation is seen at 17 weeks with increased pace at 28 weeks, continuing up to the 3rd or 4th month following delivery. During the last few weeks of fetal development, the baby’s length and weight increases even more, reaching viable weight by delivery. The figure below ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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