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Mrs. Hamad, a middle-aged woman, is admitted to the coronary care unit with a diagnosis of left ventricular failure resulting from a myocardial infarction. Her chart indicates that she was awakened in the middle of the night by severe chest pain. Her skin is pale and cold, and moist sounds of pulmonary edema are heard over the lower regions of both lungs. Explain how failure of the left ventricle might cause these signs and symptoms.
Explain why a protein deficiency may accompany edema.
In a state of protein deficiency, our body dissolves its own tissues in order to compensate for the loss in this type of macronutrients. This also affects the plasma proteins, whose blood concentration decreases. Therefore, the osmotic pressure of the blood lowers and the fluids pass from the blood vessels to the tissue, which leads to their swelling. This state is called nutritional edema.
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