Hemoglobin Lab

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Binding of CO to hemoglobin is greatly affected to anemic and smoking individuals. Hemoglobin plays a major role in our body to transport oxygen. Since hemoglobin has a higher affinity for oxygen, it binds to an oxygen molecule and increases its oxygen concentration. Thus, when the blood cells are at a different part of the body where the oxygen concentrations are low, the oxygen will leave the hemoglobin and diffuse into the cells. However, carbon monoxide has a 250 fold greater affinity than oxygen. So, when CO enters the blood from the lungs, CO would bind with hemoglobin instead of oxygen, and block the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the cells throughout the body. In a normal healthy individual, the total carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) complex is 1% or less, whereas, smoking increases COHb to 3-8% and further to 15% for chain smokers. When smoking a cigarette, CO binds to hemoglobin and displaces to …show more content…

The affinity for oxygen is greatly increased in the remaining subunits when CO binds to one or two subunits of a hemoglobin tetramer. Since, there only two subunits that are bound to CO, the hemoglobin tetramer is still able to bind to oxygen in the lungs, but a decreased amount CO can be released to the tissues, resulting loss of oxygen. Furthermore, anemic individuals have sickle cell shape red blood cells, which decreases the flow of blood. This reduces the red blood cell count, since the shape is altered, and hence causes an abnormal shape to the beta polypeptide, which then reduces the amount of oxygen in the red blood cells (EBI). With an already decreased amount of oxygen, the exposure of carbon monoxide can severely affect anemic patients. Therefore, anaemic individuals will be more sensitive to carbon monoxide. Overall, small amounts of CO can severely reduce the ability of hemoglobin to transport oxygen and severely effect anemic and smoking

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