Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Objective 35 & 38: Lymph flow and Edema

Objective 35: Describe the formation and flow of lymph
Objective 38: Relate edema and lymph flow

The Lymphatic System was a very short chapter, so it for me was very easy to understand and get through since it wasn't 10 pages of information to try and soak in. The lymphatic system works quietly, but is a major part of our body because without them our cardiovascular system would stop working and our immune system would be impared. These two paragraphs from our textbook on page 655-656 provide the helpful information that described the formation of lymph. I was actually very surprised that there wasn't much to the formation of lymph. I thought it would have been a longer process than what the book described to me. I also included two of the slides from our class lecture outlines that talked about the formation of lymph and what vessels they flow through. Then the two photos were very beneficial in showing the flow of lymph and where the lymph nodes are located throughout the body. The photos helped me alot because of me being a visual learner. The last photo was definately helpful because it not only showed me where are the lymph nodes were, it showed me the entrance of the thoracic duct into the vein and the right lymphatic duct into the vein.

(pg  658)

Understanding the flow of lymph was relatively easy, but being able to relate edema to lymph flow was not. The book didn't seem to hit the topic for very long, in a way it just seemed to breeze right by it. So that left me wondering, what relation does edema have on lymph flow? Well, anything that prevents the normal return of lymph to the blood results in short, severe localized edema. Edema= swelling. When lymphatic vessels are blocked, leaked protein accumulates in the intersitial fluid and causes an increasing collid osmotic pressure. This draws fluid from the blood and holds it in the interstitial space. This is usually called lymphedema, and cancer patients are an example of people prone to it. Along with the short pieces of information that I found in chapter 25 page 873, this video talking about lymphedema in breast cancer patients was very helpful. It showed me where this occurs in everyday life, and it gives me an appreciation for what cancer patients have to go through.


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