Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiolo...

7th Edition
Des Jardins + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning,
ISBN: 9781337794909

Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiolo...

7th Edition
Des Jardins + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning,
ISBN: 9781337794909


Chapter 4, Problem 2CAQ2
Textbook Problem

Case 2

Which factor in Fick's law was used therapeutically to improve the patient's oxygenation status?

Expert Solution
Summary Introduction

To review:

The factor in Fick’s law that was used therapeutically to improve the oxygenation status ofpatient.


Fick’s law is used to calculate the rate of diffusion of gases across a membrane. In the human body, the capillaries serve as the membrane in the alveolar-capillary system. The diffusion of gases takes place across this membrane.

Explanation of Solution

In the given case, an old woman is brought into the hospital with alveolar fibrosis and thickening. An X-ray of the patient’s lungs was performed. It was observed that the alveolar density of the patient was increased. This was due to the lung fibrosis condition. The patient’s heart rate was recorded as 105 beats per minute and her respiratory rate was 24 breaths per minute.

Fick’s law states that the rate of diffusion is indirectly proportional to the thickness of membrane. Also, the rate of diffusion is directly proportional to the pressure difference across the sheet or membrane, diffusion constant, and the area of tissue as per Fick’s law. In this case, thickness of the membrane was increased in the patient. Thus, the factor that is used for therapeutically improving the condition of the patient in the given case is the difference between the pressures across the membrane...

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