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The Human Body

Lesson 4


Body is composed of different organs/tissues working together Minor injury/illness may damage only a specific body part/function Serious injury or sudden illness can threaten vital body functions Understanding human body can help you recognize effects of injuries/illnesses


Body Regions and Directions

Special terms are used by healthcare providers for body regions Directional/positional terms used to describe relationship of body structures

Body Regions and Cavities

Extremities refers to both arms and legs Thorax refers to chest area enclosed by the ribs Thoracic cavity is area inside chest Abdomen refers to area immediately below thoracic cavity


Body Regions and Cavities continued

Abdominal cavity includes: stomach, intestines, other organs Pelvis refers to area below abdomen-- pelvic bones between hip/lower spine Pelvic cavity contains bladder and other organs Spine, or spinal column, refers to bones of neck/back and nerves, or spinal cord, that run through vertebrae


Abdominal Quadrants
Used to describe specific injuries or signs/symptoms Upper and lower quadrants are divided by a line passing through umbilicus Quadrants are based on anatomical position, with face forward and palms facing forward

Directional Terms
All positional and directional terms are based on anatomical position
Right and left refer to the patients right and left, divided by midline down center of body Lateral and medial Anterior and posterior Proximal and distal Superior and inferior Prone and supine


Body Systems
Organs have one or more specific functions The organs that work together for a specific function are called a body system


Examples of Interrelated Body Systems

Blood carries oxygen from lungs to body cells Nerve sensors detect amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood and speed up or slow down heart beat /breathing to change oxygen level If body temperature drops, muscles in extremities start shivering to produce heat, which is carried by blood to vital organs




Functions of Respiratory System

To bring air into lungs To allow oxygen from air to enter blood To remove carbon dioxide from blood into air breathed out (exhaled) This process is called respiration

Respiratory System: Primary Organs

<Fig 3-3>

The Breathing Process

Breathing depends on muscular movements under control of nervous system:
When the diaphragm contracts/moves down, thoracic cavity/lungs expand, pulling air into lungs In lungs, oxygen enters blood and carbon dioxide leaves blood When diaphragm relaxes/moves up, thoracic cavity contracts, and air carrying carbon dioxide flows back out of lungs


Emergency Care Related to the Respiratory System

Respiration can be affected by different injuries/illnesses An airway obstruction is blockage of airway preventing air flow A broken rib may puncture a lung, making breathing ineffective A penetrating injury into lungs may alter lung pressures keeping lungs from filling with air


Emergency Care Related to the Respiratory System continued

Poisoning/drug overdose may depress nervous system functions, slowing or stopping breathing Asthma is a common illness in which airway tissues swell making it hard to breathe In infants/children, anatomical structures are smaller and airway is more easily obstructed Uncorrected respiratory problem is the primary cause of cardiac arrest in infants/children




Functions of the Circulatory System

To transport oxygen and nutrients in the blood to all parts of body To remove carbon dioxide and other wastes


Cardiovascular System: Primary Organs

Heart Blood Blood vessels


Pathway of Blood
Ventricles pump blood through two loops or cycles in body:
Right ventricle pumps blood to lungs picking up oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide Blood returns to left atrium, from which it moves to left ventricle Left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood into body to release oxygen and pick up carbon dioxide for removal Blood returns to right atrium, moving to right ventricle to be pumped again to lungs


Pulsing blood pressure changes occur in arteries that can be felt as pulse Commonly measured pulses:
Carotid Femoral Radial Brachial


Heart Rate
Heart rate, measured as pulse, is affected by many factors Average resting heart rate in adult males is 6472 beats/ minute; in females, 72 - 80 beats/ minute Heart rate of infants and children is higher With exercise, fever, or emotional excitement, heart rate increases to meet bodys greater need for oxygen 4-21

Emergency Care Related to the Cardiovascular System

Cells begin to die in vital organs such as brain after only a few minutes without oxygen Oxygen delivery diminished by injury/illness affecting heart, blood, or blood vessels Severe bleeding leaves not enough blood in circulation to provide body with oxygen Arterial bleeding is most severe - blood may spurt out under pressure, leading to life-threatening shock Bleeding from veins generally slower but can still be serious or life-threatening if it continues Capillary bleeding usually minor and stops by itself as blood clots


Cardiovascular Illness
Stroke is problem involving arteries in brain; reduced circulation may cause mental and physical impairments If heart muscle does not receive enough oxygenated blood because of blocked cardiac arteries, cardiac muscle tissue may die The heart may stop (cardiac arrest) Dysrhythmia (or arrhythmia), an irregular heartbeat, may reduce hearts pumping ability Fibrillation, a serious dysrhythmia, common after heart attack


Musculoskeletal System


Functions of the Musculoskeletal System

Skeletal system provides shape/support for body as a whole Muscles act on bones, allowing for movement Groups of bones protect vital internal organs: Ribs protect heart and lungs Skull protects brain Vertebrae protect spinal cord Pelvic bones protect bladder and other organs


Musculoskeletal System: Primary Organs

Bones Muscles Ligaments Tendons

Emergency Care Related to the Musculoskeletal System

Most fractures are not life-threatening In a dislocation, one or more bones move out of position in joint Sprain is damage to ligaments and other structures in a joint Strain is muscle/tendon tear usually caused by overexerting muscle


Musculoskeletal Injuries Associated with Other Injuries

Vertebral fractures likely to injure spinal cord and cause nervous system damage Fractures of femur often cause much soft-tissue damage and bleeding Pelvis fracture may damage bladder/other organs in pelvic cavity A skull fracture may cause brain damage


Nervous System


Nervous System: Primary Functions

Sensory receptors gather information about environment and send to brain Brain integrates and analyzes information Nerve signals from brain lead to actions throughout body to accomplish tasks or maintain homeostasis


Nervous System: Primary Organs

Brain Spinal cord Sensory receptors Nerves

Nervous System: Emergencies

Head and spinal injuries

Injury to part of brain or stroke

May destroy or impair one or more functions

Damage to spinal cord

Complete loss of function to body area/paralysis

Nervous System: Emergencies continued

Altered mental status from:
Head injuries Any injury causing decreased oxygenation Sudden illness (i.e., stroke, seizure, diabetes) Severe infection/fever Poisoning/drug overdose

Nervous System Effects Associated with Other Injuries

Injuries and some illnesses also affect nervous system Pain results from damage to nerve fibers in many areas of body Crushing pain in chest may be caused by heart attack Abdominal pain that begins in umbilicus and settles into lower abdomen on right side may be a sign of appendicitis Pain should always be taken seriously

Other Body Systems


Integumentary System: Primary Functions

Protect body Help regulate body temperature Help prevent water loss Remove some body wastes Produce Vitamin D Sensation (i.e. touch, pressure, pain, temperature)

Integumentary System: Emergencies

Cuts and scrapes

Openings in skin
Allow pathogens into body

Heat and chemical burns

Loss of body heat Loss of body fluid


Importance of Skin Condition

Skin often reveals important information about body condition Skin of hypothermia victim Skin of heatstroke victim Skin of victim with low blood oxygen levels Skin of victim in shock Sweating/pale skin Many sudden illnesses cause sweating and skin color changes (flushed or pale)


Gastrointestinal System
Digests food and extracts nutrients Organs easily injured by traumatic forces

Emergency Care Related to the Gastrointestinal System

Abdominal cavity not protected by bones, gastrointestinal organs may be easily injured by traumatic forces In closed injury, pain/tenderness along with swollen/rigid abdomen may suggest internal injury In an open wound, internal organs may be exposed, raising risk of infection Ingested poison is absorbed in the same manner as nutrients from food and enters the bloodstream to affect body Various illnesses may cause vomiting or diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration especially in infants Vomiting blood is likely sign of a serious internal injury

Functions of the Urinary System

Removes metabolic wastes from body in urine Helps body maintain fluid and electrolyte balances

Urinary System
Blood transports wastes to kidneys Kidneys filter wastes and produce urine

Urinary System
Traumatic injury may damage organs
Look for blood in urine

Health problems
May cause change in urination

Lack of urination

Reproductive System
Produces eggs Supports and nurtures fetus in uterus Childbirth Lactation

Produces and transports sperm


Emergency Care Related to the Reproductive System

Abdominal injuries may damage genitals/reproductive organs such wounds may require special care, including concern for victims privacy Complications may develop in pregnancy Childbirth may occur unexpectedly away from a healthcare facility


Endocrine System
Glands that produce hormones Most problems develop slowly and are rarely emergencies

Lymphatic System
Helps defend against disease Part of immune system Problems seldom cause emergencies