Sickle Cell Anemia

By: Amanda Romanek

Cardiovascular System

Four Chambers:
  • Blood enters the right atrium and passes through the right ventricle
  • The right ventricle pumps the blood to the lungs where it becomes oxygenated
  • The oxygenated blood is brought back to the heart by the pulmonary veins, then enter the left atrium
  • From the left atrium blood flows into the left ventricle
  • The left ventricle pumps the blood to the aorta which will put the oxygenated blood throughout the whole body

Four Valves:

  • The mitral valve and tricuspid valve, which control blood flow from the atria to the ventricles
  • The aortic valve and pulmonary valve, which control blood flow out of the ventricles


  • Fluid filled sac that surrounds the heart (reduces friction between the pericardial membranes) and the proximal ends of the aorta, vena-cava, and pulmonary artery.
  • It keeps the heart contained in the chest cavity
  • prevents the heart from over-expanding when blood volume increases
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Major Blood Vessels


  • Away from heart
  • Mainly carry oxygenated blood
  • High pressure
  • No valves
  • Thick outer wall (pumps a lot more blood)
  • Thick inner layer of muscle and elastic fibers
  • Narrow central tube, small lumen ( where blood flows through)


  • Wall only one cell thick-really thin -diffusion
  • smallest blood vessel


  • Blood into heart
  • Most carries de-oxygenated
  • Lower pressure
  • Valves
  • Thin outer walls
  • Thin inner layer
  • Wide central tube -large lumen


  • An electrocardiogram is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart
  • Checks and translates the hearts electrical activity into line tracings on paper
  • Finds chest pains, which could be caused by a heart attack
  • Find the cause of symptoms of heart disease, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, or rapid, irregular heartbeats
  • Find out if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick
  • Check how well medicines are working and whether they are causing side effects that affect the heart
  • Check the health of the heart when other diseases or conditions are present, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes, or a family history of early heart disease.
  • P,Q,R,S,T waves
  • P wave represents the normal atrium (upper heart chambers) depolarization
  • Q,R,S complex (one single heart beat) corresponds to the depolarization of the right and left ventricles (lower heart chambers)
  • T wave represents the repolarization (or recovery) of the ventricles
  • To interpret, need to focus on the frequency (heart rate), regularity, shape and size of each individual waves and the timing and interaction between waves
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Blood Pressure

  • Arterial blood pressure
  • is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels
  • responsible for blood flow from one location to another in the circulation

Five Factors:

  • Blood Volume- the larger the volume, the more pressure is exerted on vessel walls
  • Strength of heart contractions- affect cardiac output,stronger heartbeat increases pressure, weaker beat decreases it
  • Heart rate- increased rate increases pressure, decreased rate decreases pressure
  • Blood viscosity (thickness)- less than normal viscosity decreases pressure, more than normal viscosity increases pressure
  • Resistance to blood flow (peripheral resistance)- affected by many factors, including the vasomotor mechanism ( vessel muscle contraction/ relaxation)

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Cardiac Cycle:
  • sequence of events that occurs when the heart beats
  • one cardiac cycle is completed when the heart fills with blood and the blood is pumped out of the heart
  • enters the heart, is pumped to the lungs, travels back to the heart and is pumped out to the rest of the body

Diastole Phase- the heart ventricles are relaxed and the heart fills with blood

Systole Phase- the ventricles contract and pump blood to the arteries

Stroke Volume:

  • amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart in one contraction
  • only about two-thirds of the blood in the ventricle is expelled with each beat
  • determines the output of blood by the heart per minute


  • The pulse may be checked from any place that allows an artery to be compressed against a bone- neck, wrist, behind knee, inside of elbow, and ankle
  • count of arterial pulse per minute- is equivalent to measuring the heart rate
  • can be taken also by listening to the heart beat directly, using a stethoscope and counting it for a minute.

Heart sounds and what causes them!

What is a normal heart vs. an atrial fibrillated heart?

3 Blood Tests

Hematocrit- screens for diagnose, or monitor a number of conditions and diseases that affect the proportion of the blood made up of red blood cells

WBC count- white blood cell count, screens for a wide range of diseases and conditions

Platelet count- determine the number of platelets in a sample of your blood as part of a health exam; to screen for, diagnose, or monitor conditions that affect the number of platelets, such as a bleeding disorder, and bone marrow disease, or other underlying condition

Case Study!

  • Male: 30
  • Causes: Fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, pale skin, chest pain, coldness
  • EKG: abnormal, perfusion defects
  • Pulse: Decreased
  • BP: lower than normal
  • Stroke Volume: Decreased, Blood transfusions decrease stroke risk
  • Cardiac Output: Increased/high
  • Heart Sounds: heart failure, decrease, abnormal
  • Blood Tests: high-performance liquid chromatography, Hemoglobin Electrophoresis
  • Solutions: hydroxyurea, antibiotics and blood transfusions relieves, but no cure


"Sickle cell anemia - PubMed Health."National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <