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Emphysema is a condition in which patients experience chest enlargement. This process occurs when the septa between alveoli are destroyed, and the end branches of lungs expand. The volume of lungs increases and air cavities appear in the tissues of the organ, which leads to the fact that the thorax increases in size and has a characteristic “barrel” configuration (Frownfelter & Dean, 2014). In this process, malfunctions associated with the release of air prevail over the difficulty of its entry into the alveoli. As a consequence, air enters the lungs but cannot get out of them in the same volume. Gradually, both the exhalation function and the inspiratory function are disrupted, and the lungs are in a constant inflated state. Thus, they contain high-pressure air with a high concentration of carbon dioxide.
According to the case, the patient is presumably in the advanced stage of the disease. Therefore, it can be stated that abnormal arterial gases can be expected (Loscalzo, 2016). Nevertheless, borderline normal arterial gases can also be assumed since indications can vary (Loscalzo, 2016). The pathological process centers on the internal mechanisms of the body. In particular, the organs (lungs, kidneys) strive for supporting the homeostasis of the acid-base equilibrium.
Individuals suffering from this condition are likely to develop different forms of cancer, coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, and other severe complications. These conditions can emerge due to lung alveoli destruction. Also, patients are at risk of developing systematic symptoms (Cherry & Jacob, 2015). For instance, this respiratory condition can lead to dyspnea because of poor exercise tolerance. However, most importantly, patients run the risk of having a pulmonary obstruction.
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2015). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management (7th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier. Web.
Frownfelter, D., & Dean, E. (2014). Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy: Evidence to practice (5th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier. Web.
Loscalzo, J. (2016). Harrison’s pulmonary and critical care medicine (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Web.