Chemistry - Equilibrium in living systems
Equilibrium in living systems
Human blood is an important example of a buffered solution. It is slightly
basic with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45 at 25C. In a healthy person blood pH
never varies by more than 0.2 units.
If the pH of blood rises above 7.45 alkalosis sets in and at pH 7.8 death
is very close. Alkalosis may the result from severe vomiting where
excessive loss of HCl from the stomach occurs.
If the pH of blood drops below 7.35 acidosis sets in and at pH 7.0 the
person may lapse into a coma and will be close to death. Acidosis -
effectively an 'excess' of acid - may result from untreated diabetes!
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