Aviation medicine by John Ernsting; P F King

By John Ernsting; P F King

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Readers who need a more comprehensive coverage of the topic than can be presented here can consult monographs on cardiovascular and respiratory physiology as given in the reference list at the end of this chapter. 1). In the systemic circulation, blood is ejected by the left ventricle into the aorta. Nearly all this blood, having passed through the various vascular beds of the different organs and tissues, finds its way back via the systemic veins to the right side of the heart, to be pumped through the pulmonary circulation for gas exchange.

One technique used to study these receptors is lower-body negative pressure (LBNP), in which suction is applied around the legs and lower abdomen. This distends the veins of the lower body, producing venous pooling, reducing central venous pressures and mimicking the effects of gravitational stress. If low suction pressures such as 10 mmHg are used, there is a small fall in central venous pressure without a significant change in mean arterial blood pressure or pulse pressure. The forearm vasoconstriction seen with this mild LBNP is considered to be due to unloading of a subgroup of cardiopulmonary receptors often referred to as low-pressure receptors.

1, which compares the circulation at rest and in strenuous exercise. Measurement of cardiovascular pressures in the body Pressures in the body are usually referred to atmospheric pressure, with pressures above atmospheric being positive and those below being negative. e. the height of a column of mercury that the pressure would support. Low pressures, such as central venous pressure, are also measured in centimetres of water (cmH2O). 1 Schematic overview of the main features of the human cardiovascular system.

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