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What is Hemodynamics?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2016
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Hemodynamics is the analysis of blood flow and the factors which can influence it. In clinical settings, hemodynamics is a very important part of patient assessment, because a healthy flow of blood throughout the body is critical to a patient's well being. A number of factors can play a role in how well the blood travels the body, and one of the goals of clinical treatment is to make a patient hemodynamically stable, or to keep a patient hemodynamically stable if his or her blood flow has not been compromised.

Blood carries a supply of oxygen and nutrients into every corner of the body, keeping the cells functioning. It starts at the heart, working its way through an array of arteries and capillaries and then back to the heart through the vein so that it can be infused with oxygen to start the process all over again. An interruption of the blood supply can cause tissue death and a variety of other problems.

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The study of hemodynamics includes the heart and circulatory system, and the lungs are often included as well, as issues with the lungs can inhibit oxygenation of the blood. Using measurements such as blood pressure, a doctor can gather information about a patient's circulatory system to determine how healthy it is, and which steps, if any, need to be taken to improve patient welfare. Because the cardiovascular system is so critical to general health, hemodynamic assessments are often made at routine doctors appointments and physicals, in addition to being performed in emergency situations to establish baseline information about the patient.

In addition to blood pressure, doctors may also look at the consistency of the blood, as this can interfere with blood flow, and they can examine issues like the network of valves which push blood through the body, and the condition of the heart. Cardiovascular conditions like congestive heart failure or vasoconstriction usually cause changes in a patient's hemodynamics. In the hospital, hemodynamic monitoring is commonly used to look out for danger signs like rising or dropping blood pressure.

If a patient is hemodynamically unstable, steps must be taken to correct the instability. The first step involves determining the cause of the problem. A number of things can interact with the circulatory system, ranging from hormones in the body which direct the blood vessels to contract, to traumatic injuries and accompanying loss of blood. After the cause has been identified, it can be addressed, with the goal of reestablishing a healthy hemodynamics so that the patient's blood supply will remain steady and consistent.

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anon143795
Post 2

its due to an increase in hydrostatic pressure.

taoni33
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If a person's skin holds an impression for a few seconds, what does that tell a physician about their medical condition?

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