Essay on Anatomy, Physiology, And Physiology

864 Words Dec 7th, 2016 4 Pages
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Valerie Delucca Professor Di Lauro Biology 109- Anatomy and Physiology 6 December 2016 Into Thin Air Part 1: - Mt. Denali, Alaska, 17,660 Feet People tend to experience dizziness, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath,decrease in brain function, headache, dizziness, frostbite, hypothermia, etc. at higher altitudes due to a decrease of atmospheric pressure. Mark experienced a shortness of breath and could not seem to feel better even when he paused his climb to “take a breather.” This is very common for people who are not accustomed to the difference in pressure because of the difference of altitudes. Same goes for Emily who experienced a headache due to a decrease in oxygen in the air and therefore, in her body. The Earth’s atmosphere is composed of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and other natural gasses (1%). As altitude increases, the air pressure decreases from around 1,000 millibars to 500 millibars at around 18,000 feet. This can be very harsh on your body and respiratory system because, at sea level, the pressure outside is higher than it is in the lungs. Your body has to adjust in order to prepare to this shift of pressure for the lungs. A direct pulmonary response to a decrease of air pressure and oxygen entering the body is an increase in heart and breathing rate. The heart needs to pump harder to makeup for the decrease of oxygen. This response results in a lack of oxygen binding to hemoglobin in the blood because red blood cells have a…

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