Learn the physiology of the respiratory system, how gas and pH homeostasis are maintained within the body and the pathologies that can affect the lungs.
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1. Anatomy of the Respiratory System

  • Identify the various areas of the respiratory system and their function
  • Be aware of the neuromuscular/neurovascular anatomy of the respiratory system and its surrounding area

2. Development of the Respiratory System

  • Be aware of a basic outline of the embryological development of the respiratory system and how this can lead to birth and further developmental defects
  • Understand the basic neonatal complications of embryological development
3. Ventilation and Lung Mechanics
  • Understand and define lung ventilation
  • Be aware of surfactant, compliance, surface tension and their impact on lung inflation pressures
  • Be aware of how certain lung pathologies can affect lung ventilation mechanics
4. Properties of Gas Exchange
  • Understand the principles of Boyle's Law
  • Understand the principles of partial pressure in gas exchange
  • Understand what determines the partial pressure of oxygen within the alveoli
  • Be aware of the factors that can affect diffusion of oxygen into and CO2 out of the alveoli
  • Understand the factors that affect the carrying capacity of haemoglobin
  • Be aware of how to measure the current oxygen saturation of a patient's blood
  • Understand the basics of continuous oxygen delivery to a sick patient
5. Carbon Dioxide Transport
  • Understand the role of carbon dioxide within the respiratory system, particularly in regards to its entry into the blood through the lungs and how it is transported around the body
  • Understand the role of haemoglobin and carbon dioxide in pH control within the blood 
6. Chemical Control of Breathing and Plasma pH
  • Understand how the levels of pO2 and pCO2 can influence breathing rate
  • Be aware of the buffering mechanisms and systems in place within the body
  • Be aware of the role of chemoreceptors in detecting changes in plasma concentrations
  • Be able to interpret an Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) 
7. Lung Function Testing
  • Understand how lung function can be assessed quantitatively
  • Be able to read and understand spirometry tracing, including the meaning of key terms that correspond to lung function
  • Be able to read and interpret flow-volume curves
  • Be aware of specialised tests and how they are performed on a basic level
8. Pulmonary Embolism
  • Define the terms ‘embolus’ and ‘pulmonary embolus’
  • Recall the risk factors for a pulmonary embolus
  • Understand the pathophysiology behind a pulmonary embolus
  • Recall the signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolus
  • State the common investigations and treatment for a pulmonary embolus
9. Asthma
  • Understand the pathophysiology of asthma
  • Be able to identify the symptoms of asthma
  • Be able to recall the definition of the various types of asthma exacerbation
  • Be able to recall the management guidelines for long-term asthma management
10. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Understand the diagnosis of COPD and its components
  • Understand the progression of the disease, diagnosis and potential treatments
  • Be aware of the management of an acute COPD exacerbation
11. Pneumonia and other Lower Respiratory Tract Infections
  • Be aware of and understand the basic pathology of a host of Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (LRTIs)
  • Have a good understanding of the pathophysiology, diagnosis, management and severity scoring of Pneumonia
12. Bronchiectasis and Cystic Fibrosis
  • Understand the definition, pathophysiology, presentation, investigations, management and complications of Bronchiectasis
  • Understand the definition, pathophysiology, presentation, investigations, management and complications of Cystic Fibrosis
13. Tuberculosis
  • Be aware of the pathophysiology of Tuberculosis and its transmission
  • Be able to pick up on the red flags for a potential TB infection
  • Be able to identify a lesion with a risk of TB on a chest x-ray
  • Be aware of the tests carried out for identifying latent/active TB infections
  • Know and recite the management of TB and the side-effects of the potent drugs used in this treatment
14. Pneumothorax and Pleural Effusion
  • Define and identify a pneumothorax, with basic management
  • Be able to identify a pneumothorax from signs
  • Define a pleural effusion and be able to identify its cardinal signs on an X-ray
15. Lung Cancer
  • Recall the statistics regarding Lung Cancer prevalence in the UK
  • Understand the symptoms, signs and red flags of Lung Cancer
  • Be aware of the types of lung cancer and how these can influence outcome
  • Understand the basic principle of a paraneoplastic syndrome and common Lung Cancer-related syndromes
  • Be aware of the basics of Lung Cancer staging and management
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