Cardiovascular Physiology & Anesthesia
Anesthesiologists must have a thorough under-standing of cardiovascular physiology both for its scientific significance in anesthesia and for its prac-tical applications to patient management. Anesthetic successes and failures are often directly related to the skill of the practitioner in manipulating cardiovas-cular physiology.
The circulatory system consists of the heart, blood vessels, and blood. Its function is to provide oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and to carry away the products of metabolism. The heart pro-pels blood through two vascular systems arranged in series. In the normally low-pressure pulmonary circulation, venous blood flows past the alveolar– capillary membrane, takes up oxygen, and elimi-nates CO2. In the high pressure systemic circulation, oxygenated arterial blood is pumped to metabo-lizing tissues, and the by-products of metabolism are taken up for elimination by the lungs, kidneys, or liver.