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A Case Study on Human Respiratory Physiology

Co Authors:

William H. Cliff
Department of Biology
Niagara University

Ann W. Wright
Department of Biology
Canisius College


This directed case study was designed to help students strengthen their understanding of the transport of oxygen in the blood through an analysis of the pathophysiology of a common, real-world problem, namely, carbon monoxide poisoning. The case was developed for use by undergraduates majoring in biology, nursing, and education who are enrolled in a two-semester course in human anatomy and physiology.

  • Distinguish partial pressure of O2 from percent O2 saturation.
  • Use the oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curve to determine the amount of oxygen transported in the blood and delivered to the tissues.
  • Explain the role played by hemoglobin in external respiration by determining how and where its dysfunction disrupts respiratory gas transfer in the body.
Keywords: Oxygen transport; carbon monoxide poisoning; alveolar air hemoglobin; oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curve
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed
Language: English
Subject Headings: Physiology  
Date Posted: 06/30/05
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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