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Critical Care Nursing - Case Study Example

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"Critical Care Nursing " paper describes the pathophysiology of the patient's condition referring to respiratory, renal and neurological functioning, identifies the nursing assessment skills required for this patient, and critically analyzes the ethical issues related to the case of the patient…
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Critical Care Nursing
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Download file to see previous pages Respiration occurs at the alveolar-capillary units of the lungs where oxygen (O2) and Carbon dioxide (CO2) are exchanged through inhalation and exhalation bypassing the gas between the alveolar and the blood. In an ideal gas exchange, blood flow and ventilation must perfectly match each other. But even in a normal pair of the lung, some alveoli are under-ventilated and adequately perfused while others are over ventilated but inadequately perfused. Technically speaking, the optimally ventilated alveoli that are not perfused are termed high V/Q units (acting like dead space), and alveoli that are optimally perfused but not adequately ventilated are called low V/Q units (acting as a shunt) (Sat Sharma MD 2006).

The major function of the respiratory system is gas exchange. Thus, this predisposes the respiratory tract to infections caused by microbes that are present within and extensive surface. This being the case, the respiratory system is equipped with numerous defense mechanisms that restrict the entry of pathogens and eliminate them from the system. One of the most important respiratory defense mechanisms is coughing, whereby the body eliminates or forcibly expels pathogens from the body. This is the reason why Mr. Davis was coughing – it was his body's way of helping him eliminate the virus that entered his system.

Hypoventilation or decreased breathing arises from the depression of the central nervous system (CNS) due to drug intake or neuromuscular diseases that affect the respiratory muscles. It is often characterized by hypercapnia – the excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the circulating blood; and hypoxemia – the less than the amount of oxygenated blood within the arteries (Blackwells Dictionary of Nursing 2002, p.335 and p. 344). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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