The cardiovascular system and respiratory system are very closely connected and rely on each other heavily. Understanding how they are connected is one of the objectives for this course. I chose to dig deeper into this relationship through my steam project by comparing COPD and CHF. The art portion of my project is the heart and lungs on separate ends of a scale. The idea behind this sketch is to highlight the functional balance between the two systems.


STEAM Project – Drawing

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  1. I was paired with Joshua Sullivan for our STEM project responses. Joshua’s assignment was on the close relationship Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure have. When reading his project it reminded me how much hardship people face when they do not take care of their bodies. The symptoms both diseases cause can be strikingly similar. Shortness of breath, for instance, is a hallmark sign that is often associated with both of these conditions. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition that occurs when the heart becomes too weak to effectively pump blood out to the rest of the body. Meaning, fluid levels build up and blood can back up into both the heart and lungs, which leads to shortness of breath. For most CHF patients, difficulty breathing does not occur when they are at rest, but even small amounts of exertion can cause symptoms to begin. Furthermore, those with COPD will most commonly notice their shortness of breath when physically active. The conditions which cause COPD such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema result in irritation to airways or air sacs in the lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. The respiratory system and cardiovascular systems are connected in so many ways that either of these conditions can cause the other. I feel as though Joshua explained his points very well. I liked his drawing with the scale and organs, it was a creative way of thinking of practical balance between the diseases. I feel as though reading his paper I was able to learn a few things I never knew before which is always exciting.

    Cortney Howard Howard

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