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comparative respiratory information

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How does the respiratory system in humans compare to the respiratory system in a perch and the starfish? Ideas and links are included.

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Respiration is a necessity for all aerobic organisms. This is so because their cells have to use oxygen as the terminal electron acceptor in the electron transport chain in the biochemical production of cellular energy. Literally thousands of different organ systems have evolved to assure oxygen delivery to the tissues that need it. Organisms also need a way to rid tissues of the carbon dioxide waste of cellular metabolism, and use the respiratory and circulatory systems for this as well. The respiratory system works closely with the circulatory system. The design and function of the respiratory system depends in part on the type of circulation an animal has.

When asked to compare organ systems, the aim is to draw similarities and differences between organisms; in this case the three organisms differ in complexity. We will examine them in the order of increasing complexity, starting with the starfish.

In starfish - (from wikkipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish#Circulation_and_respiration)
"There are three places on the sea star where circulation occurs. These are the perivisceral coelom (the space inside the body not occupied by the organs), the water vascular system, and the hemal system. Hemal channels form rings around the mouth (the oral hemal ring), closer to the top of the starfish (the aboral hemal ring), and around the digestive system (the gastric hemal ring). The axial sinus, a portion of the body cavity, connects the three rings. Each ray also has hemal channels running next to the gonads. There ...

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Comparative respiratory information is embedded.

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Diagnoses case study

Case Study One
Present Illness

Mrs. Jones is a 56-year-old Caucasian female who recently moved to Arizona from Minnesota and is a new patient. She has been feeling tired lately, which she attributes to her allergies. She has been taking Claritin®, but for the past month, it has not been working well. She complains of a runny nose that is worse in the morning, associated with sneezing and an itchy throat. She also complains that her breathing is more difficult. She becomes dyspneic on minimal exertion and can hear herself wheezing throughout the day. She reports using the albuterol inhaler more frequently than every 4 hours. Her productive morning cough seems worse, but the color of her sputum has not changed. She denies discolored nasal drainage, headache, facial pain, loss of appetite, chest pain, edema, and fevers.
Medical History

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and seasonal allergies; complaining of recent inability to sleep through the night
Family History

Her family history is noncontributory.

Claritin® 10 mg q am and Albuterol MDI 2 puffs q 4 hours prn.

Social History

Smoked 2 packs per day for 30 years; quit 2 years ago.
Physical Examination

This is a w/d, w/n who is appropriate and cooperative. Vital signs are: Bp 128/72, pulse 88 and regular, respirations 20. She has dark circles under both eyes (allergic shiners), lungs have bilateral basilar wheezing, heart is regular without murmurs, abd is soft, nontender, and BS present.

O2 saturation 92% at room air at rest; spirometry reveals FEV1 = 45%, FEV1/FVC = 65%.

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