Now what is a bronchospasm?
This is what we're coming to, right?
We did all that work on the anatomy so you
can really understand what a bronchospasm is.
We've got three pictures here, the one farthest
and closest to the word "what" is a normal airway.
So take a lookayay at that, you've
got alveoli at the bottom,
you've got smooth muscle wrapped around,
those are the darker bands around the outside
and then you see the airways really open.
Now the one in the middle
kind of looks like some trouble.
Notice how that is thicker, right so the
opening is smaller because that one is thicker.
Wow, the third one looks like real trouble.
It's all three of them have that smooth muscle around
it but that third one ass significantly narrow airway
and it looks like those bands
around it are just squeezing it.
That's what a bronchospasm is.
It's a sudden tightening or construction of the
smooth muscle of the walls of the bronchioles,
it makes it very difficult for the person to breathe.
So looking at that picture, we know that if you
think about smooth muscles being wrapped around
the outside and it's also in the
walls when it suddenly clamps down,
what's happening to my finger, right?
Blood supply is stuck at the tip of my finger.
Well if this were my airway, air would not be able
to get down through my bronchioles to my alveoli.
So in a bronchospasm, this happens super quickly.
So it's a constriction and a tightening, it's the
smooth muscle of the walls and the bronchioles
and the external ones that are wrapped around
it that makes it difficult for a person to breathe.
Now how I learned about
bronchospasms was I watched a movie.
It's called "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" - doesn't
matter if you seen it or not but just know that in the end,
someone tries to kill a woman by taking all her
inhalers, all her medication and punching holes in them.
So I watched the whole movie, really sympathetic because
I watched this person just crawl through the house and
just make it to their inhaler that
would save their life and nothing.
So I promise you, by the end of that
scene, I was completely out of breath
because I was sympathy bronchospasming
with the actress, it was horrible.
So if you want to see a really Hollywood version of
what a bronchospasm looks like, check that movie out.
But what's most important is you're
recognising that this is an emergency
for your patient or anyone experiencing it.