Year 12 Biology Research Tasks
Maintaining a Balance
Blood Technologies for Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Measurements It is essential in our bodies that oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are in appropriate and healthy amounts within the bloodstream as the excess or lack of the gases becomes detrimental to the being. Fortunately, current medical technologies allow us to monitor and measure the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the bloodstream with a simple test. The pulse oximeter and the arterial blood gas analysis machine are two technologies that give us insight into the closed circulatory system of living beings. An excess of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream is particularly dangerous as the concentration of carbon dioxide can influence the pH levels of the body fluids. If carbon dioxide levels are to rise too high, the pH level will drop, becoming acidic as a surplus of carbonic acid is formed. This has serious harmful effects as an increase in acidity can reduce the functionality of metabolic processes by denaturing the enzymes causing problems within the body and inducing drowsiness, a bounding pulse, headaches and tremors. Oxygen is essential for every living thing to function properly. The cells within our bodies all require an efficient supply of oxygen for respiration processes. This supply of oxygen is provided through the bloodstream. Oxygen is defused into the blood through the lungs and molecules of oxygen are attached to the haemoglobin, the bright red oxygenated blood is then transported to where it is required in the body. Without an abundant supply of oxygen the cells are unable to function properly and the person gains symptoms of cyanosis and visual hallucinations. The pulse oximeter and the Arterial Blood Gas Analysis Machine allow for the concentration and saturation of both gases to be measured. The pulse oximeter was invented in 1972, by Aoyagi and has the ability to display the oxygen saturation of the blood as a...
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