WCU Blood Hydrogen Carbonate Buffer System Discussion

Describe the blood hydrogen carbonate buffer system. What happens when blood acidity rises? Show the equation.

What happens when the blood becomes more alkaline? Show the equation.

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Distinguish between strong and weak acid. List some clinical uses of these acids and write equations for their dissociation in water.

  • Did you find any of these to be a challenge? Why or why not?
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  • To answer this part C Pg 215 of the lab manual(Pg 142 in the old lab manual) is a helpful guide. If you do not have access to it contact me and I can send you a picture.
  • In order to answer the entire question though let me provide some context as to what buffers are. Buffers resist change to pH. pH is the system we use to measure acidity.
  • The human body needs a blood pH between 7.35-7.45 and uses the behavior of H2CO3 to resist any pH changes caused by outside influence such as O2 intake or CO2 removal.

    As shown in the image below whether an acid is added or a base is added the system will respond by forming the opposite molecule. Since overall the amount of base and acid has not changes the pH will not change either.

    There is a limit to how much the buffer can prevent the pH change however.

    This is for a buffer solution of sodium acetate. 

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