School help-preload and afterload

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Maxy24, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

    Nov 29, 2006
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    I'm working on a case study for AP&P and am having trouble figuring something out. The case study involves a guy who had a heart attack that resulted in damage to the left ventricle wall. His blood pressure us 105/80 and he is suffering from pulmonary edema. The question I am answering is this:
    "Which term more accurately describes the stress placed on Ed’s heart – increased preload or increased afterload – explain?"

    So I'm thinking he has increased preload because his left ventricle cannot eject all of its blood volume, causing it to overfill and backup (which is why he has pulmonary edema). The increased blood volume in the left ventricle means an increase in pressure and thus in preload.

    But I'm not entirely certain how afterload is affected. I thought maybe afterload would increase because the heart would try pumping with more force in an attempt to eject more blood, but I don't know if that's what an increase in afterload is exactly (we have not learned about preload or afterload before, so this is just what I've gathered from googling). Or would afterload just stay normal because there is not an increase in blood pressure?

    Can anyone help clarify what would happen to afterload in this case (and why)?

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