Unit #4 Assignment
April 6, 2013
Good afternoon, my name is Professor Su’e and today we will be going on a fantastic voyage! This is not just any voyage; this is a voyage from the femoral vein to the lower lobe of the right lung in an actual human being! You may be asking yourself why we are going inside a human being but also how we are going to do it. Well first, we are going to get inside my submarine and go through a miniaturization process that will shrink us to 8 microns long. That’s tiny! From there we will begin in the femoral vein of this healthy female you see on the table to travel to her lung where a bacterium is invading the lower lobe of her lung. This process should not take too long, but there is so much to see, so everyone jump in!
We begin right here in the femoral vein which is actually a blood vessel alongside the femoral artery (Yahoo Health, 2013). We are located in the upper thigh and pelvic region. This vein is quite large and its function is to receive blood from other veins and transport oxygen rich blood into the heart and lungs by the external iliac vein where the cycle will constantly repeat until of course you die (Yahoo Health, 2013). Because of its size and importance, problems with the femoral vein could potentially be fatal. This is especially true if the vein develops a thrombus or some other type of blockage. Also, the vein is prone to damage via intravenous drug abuse (Wisegeek, 2013). Are there any questions so far? Moving right along we are now heading towards the inferior vena cava. The large structure with the folds over there is the large intestine. Notice the size and length of that puppy! Ah, here we are the inferior vena cava. This here is another large vein. It collects blood from the hepatic veins, lumbar veins, gonadal veins, renal veins, and phrenic veins. These vessels usually drain regions that are supplied by arteries with corresponding names. The inferior vena cava enters the heart through the right atrium. The blood flowing through the inferior vena cava is very rich in oxygen (Innerbody, 2013). If you look around, you will see the splenic vein over there, and look right there, that is the gastric vein and artery! Around here you can also find the mesenteric vein and artery. As you can see, we are surrounded by bundles of arteries and veins in just this one section of the body! Though you can’t see them, there are tiny capillaries surrounding us that are also known as exchange vessels which exchange nutrients and gases. If you will look to your left, you will see the abdominal aorta. It is exactly what it sounds like; a portion of the heart that extends into the abdominal area. If you continue to look to your left, you will see a bean like structure and that my friend’s is the one and only stomach. Did you know that the stomach can hold about 1.5 gallons of food and liquid at its maximum fullness? (Yahoo Health, 2013). The food will generally stay in the body for up to four hours and then it will pass through the stomachs main area for digestion. That is for another day, though. We must continue on this journey to the lung.
Here we are now at the heart; my favorite part of the body. We are located by the right atrium where the inferior vena cava enters it at the lower back side of the heart (Wisegeek, 2013). As you can see from our current location, we are near the aorta which is the largest artery in the human body, behind the pulmonary and tricuspid valves and the pulmonary artery, and as you can see, blood is moving very fast in all directions from these so called pipes. The pulmonary veins are carrying oxygen rich in blood from the veins while the pulmonary artery, tricuspid valve and the right atrium itself are carrying oxygen poor blood toward the lungs to be re-oxygenated (Thibodeau, G., & Patton, K., 2008). We are now being forced through the tricuspid valve by the contracting of the right...
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