Homeostasis Essay

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The highest mortality rate in trauma patients with massive haemorrhage initially develops with hypothermia, coagulopathy and acidosis. Coagulopathy, which can be defined as the disorder whereby the body experiences the inability of the blood to coagulate, together with hypothermia and acidosis, form the three main components of “the trauma triad of death”(Anthony et al, 2005) and in lieu of this fact, it is important to ascertain the role of temperature on maintaining homeostasis. With this in mind, an experiment to investigate how the temperature of clotting chemicals affect blood coagulation in the circulatory system, specifically in the cases of hyperthermia and hypothermia, and the effects on homeostasis within the body, will be performed. Human homeostasis according to Marieb et al (2007) refers “to the body’s ability to physiologically regulate its inner environment to ensure its stability in response to fluctuations in the outside environment and the weather.” The article goes on to state that a condition known as Homeostatic imbalance occurs when the body fails to maintain homeostasis and this may lead to death. Therefore, thermoregulation plays an important part in human homeostasis, as humans are warm- blooded, needing to maintain a near-constant body temperature. Extremes of temperature, both high and low, therefore, pose serious stresses for the human body which can lead to injury and death. When the body experiences severe trauma, body temperature drops significantly, which in turn causes coagulopathy and, in cases of excessive bleeding, proves fatal. The survival of the patient is therefore dependent on the maintenance of haemostasis, the process whereby bleeding is halted, coagulation being the major part. As expla... ... middle of paper ... ...uring trauma resuscitation. Hyperthermia, on the other hand, does not seem to have a significant effect on coagulation. Measures have been taken in hospitals and trauma units in recent years to warm the rooms and patients (without inducing hyperthermia) using warming blankets, heaters etc. Dirkmann et al (2008) reinforces this view when they state that “massive haemorrhage in patients with major trauma is the second most common cause of death and the most common in-hospital mortality during the first 48 hour and early post-operative period.” Like Anthony et al, they state that the highest mortality occurs in patients with hypothermia, acidosis and coagulopathy. So with this “lethal triad of trauma” in mind, it is necessary to insure that hypothermia in trauma patients and post-operative patients is prevented, and if not, must be carefully monitored and controlled.

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