The Toughing Housewife Case Study

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The Case of the Coughing Housewife What risk factors and symptoms did Jessica present with prior to the physical examination that suggested a pulmonary disorder? The risk factors that Jessica presented with are a history that is positive for smoking, bronchitis and living in a large urban area with decreased air quality. The symptoms that suggest a pulmonary disorder include a productive cough with discolored sputum, elevated respiratory rate, use of the accessory respiratory muscles during quite breathing, exertional dyspnea, tachycardia and pedal edema. The discolored sputum is indicative of a respiratory infection. The changes in respiratory rate, use of respiratory muscles and exertional dyspnea indicate a pulmonary disorder since there is an increased amount of work required for normal breathing. Tachycardia may arise due to the lack of oxygenated blood available to the tissue stimulating an increase in heart rate. The pedal edema most probably results from decreased systemic blood flow. How did the physical examination, chest x-ray, and spirometry confirm this hypothesis? The physical examination indicated that …show more content…

The contraction of the inspiratory muscles increases the volume of the thoracic cavity causing the pressure within the alveoli to decrease and air to flow into the alveoli. During resting inspiration, the diaphragm, the external intercostals and the parasternal intercostals contract to stimulate inspiration. During forced inspiration the scalene and the sternocleidomastoid muscles contract to further expand the thoracic cavity. The pectoralis minor muscles also play a minor role in forced inspiration. During quiet breathing, relaxation of these muscles causes the volume of the thoracic cavity to decrease, resulting in expiration. During a forced expiration, the compression of the chest cavity is increased by contraction of the internal intercostal muscles and various abdominal

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