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A Climb-atization-2014 APS Video Contest

This video demonstrates the acute ventilatory response of the main character, Jane, when she is exposed to the low barometric pressure and the decreased atmospheric oxygen content at altitude. Feeling depressed and boring, ‘Plain Jane’ decides that leading a more exciting life includes putting her studies on hold to climb Mt Suhfac?sôn, a local mountain with its own indigenous population. After hailing a helicopter and dropping herself off close to the mountainous peak, she quickly realizes that the drastic change in atmospheric pressure and amount of oxygen in the air has caused her to hyperventilate, or breathe extremely fast in order to maintain the same blood oxygen content that her body is used to at sea level. Luckily for her, a passing Sherpa and her yak explain how the decreased oxygen content in her blood is due to reduced oxygen diffusion from the air in her lungs to her bloodstream since there is a lower partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere driving the oxygen across the blood-­?gas barrier. This decrease is then sensed by chemoreceptors receptors that stimulate her respiratory system to increase her ventilation. In order to prevent any further respiratory problems, the Sherpa assists Jane down the mountain to her home at a lower elevation. Jane stays with the Sherpa for one week, where her ventilation rate remains elevated but breathing has now become easier since she has acclimatized to the low barometric pressure and decreased atmospheric oxygen content.

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Classifications


Resource Type: Video
Audience Level: High School lower division (Grades 9-10), High School upper division (Grades 11-12), Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14), Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)

Author and Copyright


Authors and Editors: Christine Petrovec of San Jose State University Dept. of Physiology, Amanda Guevara of San Jose State University Dept. of Physiology, Julie Van Fosson of San Jose State University Dept. of Physiology, Silscilla Taheri of San Jose State University Dept. of Physiology
Publisher: San Jose State University Dept. of Physiology
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: No
Cost: No

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Collection:
American Physiological Society


     
   

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