1. Given the way capillary blood flow is regulated, do you think it is wiser to rest or to exercise following a heavy meal? Explain.
2. If a patient develops a blood clot in the femoral vein of the left lower limb and a portion of the clot breaks loose, where is the blood flow likely to carry the embolus? What symptoms are likely?
3. When a person strains to lift a heavy object, intrathoracic pressure increases. What do you think will happen to the rate of venous blood returning to the heart during such lifting? Why?
4. Why is a ventricular fibrillation more likely to be life threatening than an atrial fibrillation?
5. Cirrhosis of the liver, a disease commonly associated with alcoholism, obstructs blood flow through the hepatic blood vessels. As a result, the blood backs up, and the capillary pressure greatly increases in the organs drained by the hepatic portal system. What effects might this increasing capillary pressure produce, and which organs would it affect?
6. If a cardiologist inserted a catheter into a patient's right femoral artery, which arteries would the tube have to pass through in order to reach the entrance of the left coronary artery?
7. How might the results of a cardiovascular exam differ for an athlete in top condition and a sedentary, overweight individual?
8. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals, including nicotine and carbon monoxide. Nicotine constricts blood vessels. Carbon monoxide prevents oxygen from binding to hemoglobin. How do these two components of smoke affect the cardiovascular system?
9. What structures and properties should an artificial heart have?
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.