What Effect Does Vasodilation Have on The Afterload Discussion Questions

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A 29-year-old female develops sepsis and, as a consequence, she experiences profound vasodilation.

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a) What effect does vasodilation have on the afterload? Explain why.

b) What effect does vasodilation have on blood pressure? Explain why. How will her body try to bring her blood pressure back to homeostasis?

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To get started I would like to explain what sepsis is in case someone has not heard of it before. Sepsis is when bacteria or any other type of pathogen that has been created by infectious organisms in the bloodstream, once the pathogen gets into a person’s blood it will circulate through the rest of the body and organs. Unfortunately, due to the virulence of sepsis patients thathave this usually end up dying from complications that arise from sepsis. For example, vasodilation is a common symptom for patients that have sepsis. Vasodilation is when the blood vessels dilate (circumference gets larger) which causes a drop in blood pressure. When this occurs it will affect the afterload by increasing the amount of work placed on the heart due to increased outgoing blood flow from the arterial end of the heart. A patients blood pressure will then drop due to the vasodilation. The analogy I like to use is when your going rafting down a river and you just got through vigorous rapids in a narrow section of the river, and now the river has opened up (became wider) and you notice the water has calmed down and is flowing of water has slowed. When there is a drop in blood pressure the bodies RAAS (Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System) will be activated. Since we have already covered the RAAS is previous weeks I will not explain the whole system, but I would just like to remind people that baroreceptor cells function is to detect a drop in blood pressure. These cells can be found in the carotid artery, aortic arch, and the kidney.ReferencesDefinition of Sepsis. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2019, fromhttps://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5449.Vasodilation: Your Blood Vessels Opening. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2019, fromhttps://www.healthline.com/health/vasodilation

 

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