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Toxic Plant Ingestions

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  1. Introduction
  2. Method
    1. The use of different instruments
    2. The use of a manual sphygmomanometer
    3. Oxygen consumption
  3. Results
  4. Discussion
  5. References

Plants have served as both poisons and medicines. Dioscorides listed several hundred plant species in his first Materia Medica in 78 BC. Galen, in second-century Rome, catalogued plants, including those containing opiates, ergotamines, and other alkaloids. Pharmacognosy was established as an independent discipline in nineteenth century Europe.
Toxic plants are ingested by curious children, by foragers mistaking poisonous plants for edible fare, by herbalists mistaking poisonous plants for nontoxic remedies, by pleasure seekers attempting to attain natural highs, and by suicidal patients attempting to harm themselves. Over 122,000 plant ingestions or exposures were reported to 65 poison control centers serving more than 257 million people in 1998. Plant exposures represented 5.5% of total toxic exposures reported in 1998 (fourth after cleaning substances, analgesics and cosmetics/personal care products). Approximately 7% of plant ingestions required treatment at a health care facility, with four deaths reported. More than 68% of all plant ingestions reported were in children under age 6 years.

[...] This percentage (in decimal form) is then multiplied by the amount of air exhaled every minute. CO2 clearance CO2/min) = CO2 of exhaled air) x (tidal volume (l/breath) x respiratory rate (breaths/min)) Oxygen consumption is calculated by subtracting the percent of exhaled air from which represents the oxygen concentration of the atmospheric air and multiplying that percent (in decimal form) by the amount of air exhaled every minute. O2 consumption O2/min) = O2 of exhaled air) x (tidal volume (l/breath) x respiratory rate (breaths/min)) Mean arterial pressure (MAP) is calculated using the diastolic and systolic blood pressure readings. [...]


[...] Subject one increased until the six minute point when the levels drecreased and only rose slightly after that at the end of the experiment. Oxygen consumption (and thus carbon dioxide clearance) should have reflected the pattern recorded for subject three. The values should have increased consistantly as the exercise became more strenuous. The only time an increase would no longer be noticed is when it plateued at the individuals VO2 max. The data collected was weak support of my hypothesis and next time to eliviate this error I would more closely monitor the subject as he or she is breathing into the tube to make sure they are doing it correctly and breathing normally. [...]


[...] Both will increase over the course of exercise as the body's need for oxygen increases, more will be consumed, and carbon dioxide will need to be cleared as a byproduct of the oxygen powering the regeneration of ATP. Body temperature will be lowest to start also. The temperature will increase throughout the exercise and then body temperature will gradually cool down during recovery. The increased need for oxygen to regenerate ATP will cause the hemoglobin saturation to increase during exercise. [...]

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