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Asthma, Its Impact on the Respiratory System

  • 10 Pages
  • Published On: 06-12-2023

Asthma is a chronic respiratory illness in which the airways become narrow, swell up and produce mucous. It is associated with symptoms like wheezing, coughing, breathing difficulties and chest tightness. This essay will present a comprehensive discussion on asthma by describing the anatomy of the body system that it mainly affects, the respiratory system. In this section, the study will discuss the analogy and function of the respiratory system. Then the essay presents a case study of asthmatic patients thereby discussing how asthma affects the respiratory system as well as other body systems of the person and what are the associated symptoms of this Illness. Finally, the study will mention the relevant national and local guidelines and policies that are developed to enable the care professional to provide proper clinical support to patients with asthma to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of living.

Recent WHO data shows that there is more than 77,124 hospital admission of asthmatic patients in the UK during 2017. The data also shows that more than 1484 people died in 2017 due to asthma in UK. this health condition mainly affects the lungs and the respiratory system of body. Lungs of asthmatic patients have a narrower inner diameter of the alveoli as compared to normal people. Due to the lowering of the inner space of alveoli in the lung of asthmatic people, there is a limited passage for the airflow to the lungs thereby reducing the oxygen supply through blood from the lung to the different body parts.


The anatomy and physiology of the body system tat Asthma attacks: (Lo1)

The body system that is mainly affected by asthma is the respiratory system (Bousquet et al. 2019). The main purpose of the respiratory system is to carry out the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxides between the atmosphere and the body. The respiratory system plays crucial roles in blood oxygenation in which the oxygen is mixed with the blood (Veremchuk et al. 2018). During this process, the oxygen from the inhaled air enters into the lung alveoli through diffusion and then mixed with the blood flowing through the pulmonary capillaries surrounding the alveoli. Then the oxygenated blood from the pulmonary arteries sends to the left lung from which the blood is sent to the different body parts through the pulmonary aorta thereby supplying sufficient oxygen to different body parts to performs their regular functions.

The entire respiratory system is divided into two parts, the upper respiratory tract and lower respiratory tract (Santacroce et al. 2020). The upper respiratory tract consists of different organs such as the nose and nasal cavity, pharynx and larynx. On the other hand, the lower respiratory tract is composed of the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli.

The nose and nasal cavity play crucial roles in inhaling the air from the atmosphere. The air enters through the nostrils that are located on the inferior aspect of the nose (Roth et al. 2017). The nostrils are collected internally to the nasal cavity which is divided into two regions through the nasal septum.

The next part of the upper respiratory tract that lies between the posterior part of the nasal cavity and the larynx is the pharynx (Santacroce et al. 2020). It is a small voice box that is 4-5inches long and a funnel-like muscular tube. The pharynx acts as the shared region for both t respiratory ad digestives system. The pharynx plays act the medium between the nasal cavity and larynx to provide passage to the airways to enter into the larynx.

The larynx is extended from the interior part of the pharynx to the trachea thereby connecting the upper and lower respiratory system (Roth et al. 2017). The larynx is divided into three regions such as laryngopharynx, oropharynx and nasopharynx. The larynx plays important role in providing the passage to the airways to enter from the upper respiratory tract to the lower respirate tract,

the lower respiratory tract begins with the trachea. It is a pipe-like flexible structure. It connects to the left and right bronchi (Simukoko, 2021). The trachea plays active roles in providing passage to the inhaled air to go down towards the lungs.

The branches of the trachea end into the left and right bronchi which ten enter inro the lungs (Miller et al. 2017). After entering into the lungs, each bronchus is divided into many branches such as the secondary and tertiary branches. The tertiary branches are finally devised into the smallest airways, the bronchioles.

the end of each bronchiole is tiny air sacs which are called alveoli. These are collectively called alveolar sacs.

The case study (impacts of Asthma on the body system of the patient) (LO2):

Mr B, a 50 years old man has been admitted to the emergency ward with severe breathing difficulties. He has symptoms like chest tightness, episodic shortness of breath, wheezing and heavy cough. His personal history shows that he is an average drinker but a regular smoker. He lives with his wife and they had no children. His premedical history shows that he has a 10-year history of asthma which impacts adversely on his lung and respiratory system. He also has other symptoms like chest pain, fatigue, dyspnoea, trouble sleeping and continuous coughing. The spirometry test, oxygen saturation test by pulse optimeter, Group A Beta Haemolytic Streptococcus throat culture and rapid antigen identification test have ben performed. Based o these test it is seen that Mr B has a very poor oxygen saturation level, 85% (normal is 96-100%). The HRCT test has been performed which shows that Mr B has severe lung infection with 85% blockage. Mr B has a high respiratory rate is 35 breaths /mins and a high BP of 125 beats /mins.

Asthma is a chronic health condition that poses adverse impacts on the capacity of the lung and respiratory tract to allow the blood to carry sufficient oxygen ((Novak and Cabanillas, 2020). This health condition is characterised by the chronic inflammation of the airways which cause poor oxygen supply to the different body parts. In the case of Mr B, the test report shows that has a severe infection in his lung with heavy blockage. This is due to the inflammation of the inner sidewall of bronchioles and the alveoli (Ali et al. 2019). As compared to normal people, in the case of asthmatic people, the inner diameter of the bronchioles get narrower and inflamed which causes high obstruction to the normal aye flow inside their passage. In the case of Mr B, the muscles present on the inner walls of the bronchioles get tightened which restrict the free movement of sufficient air through this passage. As mentioned by Demain (2018), the muscles on the walls of the bronchioles play crucial roles in allowing the inhaled air to go smoothly through the passage towards the lung alveoli. In normal people, while air is inhaled and enters into the bronchioles from the trachea, the muscles on the wall of the bronchioles relax. Due to this relaxation the sufficient air passage through the bronchioles without facing any construction and then mixed with the blood into the blood vessels surrounding alveoli (Stern et al. 2020). In the case of Mr B as the muscles or the bronchioles get tightened and the inner diameter is narrower the air gets obstructed to flow at a sufficient amount of thoughts passage, as a result, limited oxygen can enter the blood inside the pulmonary capillaries through blood oxygenation.

Asthma is associated with many physical and psychological health issues. The physical health issues that Mr B experiences are breathing issues, wheezing, chest tightness and episodic shortness of breathing are common symptoms of asthma. These issues are developed due to the poor blood supply to the different body part due to severe airways inflammation (Vasileiou et al. 2017). The chest tightness and chest pain that Mr B experiences along with breathing difficulties are due to the muscle tightness of the bronchioles. As mentioned by Katz et al. (2021), in the case of patients with asthma, due to the swollen and inflamed airways and the muscles tightness in the bronchioles, there is a limited supply of air (oxygen to the lung). Therefore, for getting more oxygen body automatically pose more stress or pressure on the respiratory tract which causes chest tightness and chest pain, In the case of MR B as he has highly inflamed and narrow airways his body pose more stress on the airways to get more oxygen into body parts thereby causing the chest pain and chest tightness (Penezić et al. 2020). Asthma is also associated with a high heart rate (above 120 beats /mins). The reason behind the high heart rate in Mr B is strongly linked to his asthmatic condition. In the case of asthma, the heart beats faster than the normal range to pumps more blood into circulation to increase the blood flows into the pulmonary capillaries that can carry more oxygen from the alveoli.

Not only physical health but also there are psychological health issues that are associated with asthma. Mr B is highly vulnerable to the high level of depression, anxiety and loneliness which are common impacts of asthma on the mind. Evidence suggests that people with asthma, are less likely to attend social gathering and function, due to continues cough, wheezing and breathing difficulties (Lukacs and Huang, 2020). The limited oxygen supply to the body also impacts the other body system such as the digestives system, nervous system and circulatory system. Mr B is highly vulnerable to poor digestives function because of the limited oxygen supply to the cells. This is because the oxygen enables cells to breaks down the food thereby producing energy which assist the entire body system to perform the regular function, therefore lack of oxygen supply to the cells in Mr B can reduce the ability of the body to perform all the systems such as digestives, circulatory and pulmonary system.

While it comes to cope up with asthma and its associated health issues, people must follow a well-organised clinical regime, healthy and nutritious diet and a systematic lifestyle (Brożek et al. 2017). In the case of Mr B, he needs to follow a regular and systemic lifestyle such as early morning rising, regular aerobic exercise (recommended by a physiotherapist), timely consumption of foods, sufficient water consumption and sufficient sleep. He must follow the diet chart recommended by the doctors. As mentioned by asthmatic patients must be consent about their foods as they must avoid the food that can cause allergenic reaction or inflammations such puts, prawn and cooldrinks. Mr B must take all his medicines regular wise and undertake spirometry each month. He must ensure to not being exposed to too cold weather the community care nurse must provide proper health education to Mr B to improves the self-management ability that will assist him to manage his health and wellbeing.

Policies guidelines, medication and treatment to cope up with asthma: (LO4):

Under Health and Safety Guidelines, UK, care professional must follow a person-centred care approach (PCA) and services user’s involvement (SUI) while dealing with asthmatic patients (Veremchuk et al. 2018). In the case of patients like Mr B who suffer from chronic illness, care professionals ensure that proper health assessment has been done to analyse the current health condition, pre-medical history and genetic history of the patients. Under NMC (2018), nurses and doctors must ensure that they have taken the informed consent from Mr B before carrying out the health assessment. They also must ensure that the patient’s right to confidentiality ad autonomy has been respected throughout the treatment of Mr B.

Under NICE (2018) guidelines, nurses and doctors ensure they maintain proper safety and hygiene while carrying out all the physical test of Mr B. For example, nurses use aseptic techniques to collect the sputum from Mr B, all the instruments that are used to collect sputum are disinfected first and medicines are given with maintaining proper precaution to avoid any kind of allergic reaction. Under the Health and Safety act at work (1974), nurses and health care staffs ensure they have maintained all the safety guidelines to avoid any kind of accidents or injuries to Mr B while transferring him from one bed to the bed or shifting him from the emergency ward to the general cabin (Ali et al. 2019).

Under NMC (2018), nurses must have good knowledge of effective medicine management to ensure the patient's safety. Here in the case of Mr B, nurses ensure that the dose, quantity and time duration of administering medicines are appropriate. Nurses also check whether there are any adverse changes in Mr B physical health after the medicine administration (Demain, 2018). Under NICE (2018), nurses work under their level of competence to ensure the patient’s safety. The healthcare manager must ensure that nurses ad healthcare staffs assigned to take care of Mr B are well-skilled and trained. Nurses carry out the regular heat check-up of Mr B to check his breathing rate, oxygen saturation, temperature and heart rate.

Under the Health and Social care Act (2015). Care professionals must provide Mr B with health education to improves the self-management skill that will assist him to manage all his health needs after returning home.

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From the above-mentioned discussion, it can be concluded that asthma is a chronic health condition that causes airways inflammation thereby reducing oxygen supply to the body. People with asthma have several symptoms such as episodic shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, chest pain and respiratory issues. In this health, condition airways get narrower which causes obscuration to the normal flow of air towards the lug. People with asthma need a systematic care regime that will not only focus on their physical wellbeing but also improves their quality of living by promoting their psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Reference list:

Ali, A., Pena, S.G., Huggins, C., Lugo, F., Khaja, M. and Diaz-Fuentes, G., 2019. Impact of Group Asthma Education on Asthma Control and Emergency Room Visits in an Underserved New York Community. Canadian respiratory journal, 2019.

Bousquet, J., Hellings, P.W., Agache, I., Amat, F., Annesi-Maesano, I., Ansotegui, I.J., Anto, J.M., Bachert, C., Bateman, E.D., Bedbrook, A. and Bennoor, K., 2019. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) Phase 4 (2018): Change management in allergic rhinitis and asthma multimorbidity using mobile technology. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 143(3), pp.864-879.

Brożek, J.L., Bousquet, J., Agache, I., Agarwal, A., Bachert, C., Bosnic-Anticevich, S., Brignardello-Petersen, R., Canonica, G.W., Casale, T., Chavannes, N.H. and de Sousa, J.C., 2017. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) guidelines—2016 revision. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 140(4), pp.950-958.

Demain, J.G., 2018. Climate change and the impact on respiratory and allergic disease: 2018. Current allergy and asthma reports, 18(4), pp.1-5.

Katz, P., Pedro, S., Trupin, L., Yelin, E. and Michaud, K., 2021. The Impact of Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) on Patient‐Reported Outcomes in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). ACR Open Rheumatology.

Lukacs, N.W. and Huang, Y.J., 2020. Microbiota–immune interactions in asthma pathogenesis and phenotype. Current opinion in immunology, 66, pp.22-26.

Miller, L.A., Royer, C.M., Pinkerton, K.E. and Schelegle, E.S., 2017. Nonhuman primate models of respiratory disease: past, present, and future. ILAR journal, 58(2), pp.269-280.

Novak, N. and Cabanillas, B., 2020. Viruses and asthma: the role of common respiratory viruses in asthma and its potential meaning for SARS‐CoV‐2. Immunology, 161(2), pp.83-93.

Penezić, A., Paić, M., Gregurić, T., Grgić, M.V., Baudoin, T. and Kalogjera, L., 2020. The impact of asthma on quality of life and symptoms in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Current medical research and opinion, 36(6), pp.1043-1048.

Roth, C.J., Yoshihara, L., Ismail, M. and Wall, W.A., 2017. Computational modelling of the respiratory system: discussion of coupled modelling approaches and two recent extensions. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 314, pp.473-493.

Santacroce, L., Charitos, I.A., Ballini, A., Inchingolo, F., Luperto, P., De Nitto, E. and Topi, S., 2020. The human respiratory system and its microbiome at a glimpse. Biology, 9(10), p.318.

Simukoko, H., 2021. Refocusing Functional Anatomy and Immunology of the Respiratory Mucosa in the Advent of Covid-19. In Biotechnology to Combat COVID-19. IntechOpen.

Stern, J., Pier, J. and Litonjua, A.A., 2020, February. Asthma epidemiology and risk factors. In Seminars in immunopathology (Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 5-15). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Stern, J., Pier, J. and Litonjua, A.A., 2020, February. Asthma epidemiology and risk factors. In Seminars in immunopathology (Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 5-15). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Vasileiou, E., Sheikh, A., Butler, C., El Ferkh, K., Von Wissmann, B., McMenamin, J., Ritchie, L., Schwarze, J., Papadopoulos, N.G., Johnston, S.L. and Tian, L., 2017. Effectiveness of influenza vaccines in asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 65(8), pp.1388-1395.

Veremchuk, L.V., Tsarouhas, K., Vitkina, T.I., Mineeva, E.E., Gvozdenko, T.A., Antonyuk, M.V., Rakitskii, V.N., Sidletskaya, K.A., Tsatsakis, A.M. and Golokhvast, K.S., 2018. Impact evaluation of environmental factors on respiratory function of asthma patients living in urban territory. Environmental Pollution, 235, pp.489-496.

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