Amanda F.

asked • 03/08/21

Pathophysiology question about COPD

A 62-year-old man with an 8-year history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) reports to the clinic with complaints of increasing shortness of breath, ankle swelling, and a feeling of fullness in his upper abdomen. The expiratory phase of his respiration is prolonged, and expiratory wheezes and crackles are heard on auscultation. His blood pressure is 160/90 mmHg, his RBC count is 6.0 x 106/µL (normal is 4.2-5.4 x 106/µL), his hematocrit is 65% (normal male value is 40-50%), his arterial PO2 is 55 mmHg and his O2 saturation, which is 85% while he is resting, drops to 55% during walking exercise.  

  1. Explain the physiologic mechanisms behind his edema, hypertension, and elevated red blood cell count.  
  2. His arterial PO2 and O2 saturation indicate that he is a candidate for continuous low-flow oxygen. Explain the benefits of this treatment in terms of his activity tolerance, blood pressure, and red blood cell count.

Any help with this question would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

1 Expert Answer


Emily A. answered • 03/12/21

New to Wyzant

DPT Student for Anatomy and Physiology

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