Advanced Study | Respiratory & Airway Part One

Airway & Respiratory

Anoxia: Lack of O2
Hypoxia: low levels of O2 to the cells, reduced O2 supply to the cells, leads toanaerobic metabolism> metabolic acidosis> cellular depression> cellular death Treatment: O2, it increases the patient’s ability to compensate for the hypoxia
Hypoxemia: insufficient oxygenation of the blood Atelectasis: alveolar collapse
Compliance: stiffness or flexibility of lung tissue

Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS): pulmonary insufficiency. Alveolar edema leaking into the capillaries
Apnea: absence of breathing
Dysrhythmia: disturbance of the normal rhythm of the heart.
Airway: primary objective – each patient has a patent airway and optimal ventilation.

Normal breathing takes:

  • Patent airway
  • Intact ventilatory musculoskeletal system _ Unobstructed air passageways
  • Adequate pulmonary blood flow
  • Appropriate neurologic stimulation

Upper Airway:

Nose: filters, warms and humidifies the air. Nostrils/nares in front, palatine at the floor, nasal septum divides the nose with superior/middle/inferior turbinates (conchas), Cribform plate has small holes for the olfactory nerve to conduct smells. Four pairs of sinuses – frontal, maxillary, sphenoid, ethmoidal

Mouth: Oral cavity made up of cheeks, hard and soft palates (top of mouth), tongue (covers bottom of mouth, most common cause of airway obstruction) and teeth (32), hyoid bone (only bone in axial skeleton that doesn’t touch any other bones – ligaments only)

Pharynx: Throat, back of soft palate to top of esophagus. Air food and liquid pass through. Three regions – nasopharynx, oropharanynx, and laryngo-(or hypo)pharynx (begins at top of epiglottis)

Larynx: triangle-shaped structure connecting the pharynx with the trachea. Main cartilage is the thyroid cartilage. Below this is the cricoid cartilage – the only complete ring in the trachea. Between them is the cricothyroid membrane.

  • Protects the airway
  • Produces sound/voice

Vagus nerve endings: line the larynx so stimulation of the pharyngeal and laryngeal mucus membrane may cause bradycardia, hypotension, and decreased resp. rate

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