How Anatomy and Physiology is Fundamental to Saving Lives!

by 27 Aug,2020


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If we look, listen and feel with voluntary attention to our own body for at least a few minutes, lifting and moving for example our hands, drinking water, noticing how we breathe, among other actions, it might seem so simple to us, however, this is much more complex than it seems. 


Every movement we make, and every day we live is the result of a group of systems working together to function properly. 


We are wonderful beings, created by God; we are complex and productive in many ways, more so than we think.

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There are two correlated branches of knowledge of the body: anatomy, which is the study of the structure of the body's organs and the relationships between them, and physiology, which explains how those organs work together to function and preserve the body's life. 


In other words, anatomy explains what the body is, and physiology explains what the body does. Together they form our body science. Without a doubt, it is a complex science that relies on many other branches of knowledge, such as chemistry, and even physics.


Anatomy and physiology as branches of knowledge are about why we are alive now.


Studying how we are alive, how diseases hurt and how the body recovers from diseases and injuries, are examples of important issues to study from a broader perspective, as well as talking about sex, eating and sleeping.


These are all processes that we can understand through anatomy and physiology. These sciences even help explain the phenomenon of a handshake to a heart attack, as well as the limitations of other body members.


The organism always reflects the form of its formation and functioning. For example, today we know that blood flows in one direction through the heart because the valves block it from flowing in the opposite direction. Something that seems simple, and at the same time, complex.


In the same way, your bones are strong and rigid to protect and support all your soft organs. 


The basic idea that the functions of a structure depend on its specific shape is called structural and functional integration. This applies to all levels of the body's structures, from the cell to the tissue. 


The process begins in the infinitesimal: the atoms. Like the chair you sit in, we are a group of atoms. Of course, chemistry is present.


The next level after the chemistry of atoms and molecules includes the smallest building blocks of living things, which are the cells. 


All cells share some basic functions, but they also come in different sizes and shapes, depending on their work. For example, one of the smallest cells in the body is the red blood cell.


Cells often combine with similar cells to form the next level of organization: tissues such as muscles, membranes and the lining of cavities, and nerve and connective tissue. 


When two or more types of tissues come together, they form living organs, such as the heart, liver, lungs, and skin, all of which perform specific functions. 


To keep the body running, the limbs work together to perform tasks and shape the organ systems.


Imagine also that the liver, stomach and intestines in your digestive system are linked together to transport food from the mouth to the anus. 


Finally, all of the above levels combine to form the highest levels of organization, the body itself.


We were formed by the elaborate organization of the trillions of cells that are constantly active, and the ability of these living systems to maintain a stable internal situation is very present.


Another important topic in anatomy and physiology is "homeostasis". Survival depends on the balance between materials and energy; the right amount of blood, water, food, and oxygen is needed, and energy must be generated and distributed, as well as an ideal temperature and adequate blood pressure, and the release of toxins and wastes from the body.


All this must be balanced, and by saying that survival depends on it, it means the underlying cause of death; it is the loss of a huge and irreversible amount of homeostasis.


Organic insufficiency, hypothermia, asphyxia, hunger and dehydration all lead to an end.


In the case of an amputation of the arm, if the traumatic wound is not treated, the person may bleed to death.


If an arterial injury is not treated, it can cause a serious drop in blood pressure, and this, in turn, will prevent oxygen from reaching all parts of the body. So, the real consequence of this injury, or the real cause of death, is a loss of homeostasis.


It is possible to live a healthy life without an arm, but not to live without blood pressure, because the cells would not get oxygen without blood and oxygen.


Over time, the science of anatomy has developed a unified set of governing terms; it explains the location of one organ in the body in relation to another.


Imagine a person standing in front of you (this is called the classic anatomical position); the body is upright, facing forward, with the hands on either side, the palms facing forward. Now imagine this person's anatomy in different sections or levels. 


Look at the body again and you will notice more sections. All things located along the center of the body, such as the head, neck and torso are called axial parts, while arms and legs, or what is known as suffixes, are hyperbolic parts.


If a person is eating a sandwich, and because of the speed with which he swallowed part of the toothpick, and part of it got stuck somewhere, the surgeon will take an X-ray to locate it, and it is very likely that he will decide to perform surgery. However, first he needs the X-ray to locate exactly where the toothpick is and to know precisely how to proceed.


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