Cyanosis is a disorder which causes “bluish discoloration” to the skin, specifically around the mucus membranes or nail beds. There are two types of Cyanosis disorders, depending on where the cyanotic discoloration is occurring. For example, if the cyanotic discoloration is occurring around the nasal or oral tissue membranes, this type of cyanosis would be described as Central Cyanosis. In the same matter, if the bluish discoloration is occurring in extremities such as toes or fingers, it would be called peripheral cyanosis (acrocyanosis). Both of these types of cyanosis disorders derive from problems in hemoglobin oxygen intake, however the body reacts differently towards central cyanosis as opposed to peripheral cyanosis. Hemoglobin is the protein-complex responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood vessels of the body into certain tissues. Hemoglobin is composed of four subunits (beta/Alpha) containing a heme group which binds an iron and that iron binds to the oxygen. The blueness of the skin occurs when, rather than carrying oxygenated hemoglobin, our blood carries deoxygenated hemoglobin in increased amounts “>5 g/dL”. In this case, the baby is experiencing central cyanosis, which is abnormal and needs to be treated immediately. When the doctor attempted to give the baby oxygen via nasal cannula, it did not change the blood oxygen saturation because although the concentration of blood oxygen levels increased, there is too much deoxyhemoglobin to cause the blood oxygen saturation percent to increase back to its normal state. Cyanosis occurs either because of decrease of oxygen in the blood, or due to a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot.
Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart...
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...tem due to the lack of exposure to certain environments. In the same sense, baby’s body produce enzymes at a slower pace than adult bodies. Which can be a big factor when it comes down to disorders such as cyanosis because one of the preventions of methemoglobinemia is in fact, an enzyme. This enzyme is called NADH-cytochrome b5 reductase, which is the enzyme responsible for converting methemoglobin back to hemoglobin by donating the electron lost when changing states the states of the iron, back into the iron. Since the baby does not produce this enzyme at a fast enough pace, when exposed to a situation where this enzyme is vital, the baby will not be able to fight off the changes of the protein molecule from hemoglobin to methemoglobin—explaining why the baby was the only one in the family showing the symptoms and effects of deficiency in oxygenated hemoglobin.
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