Anatomy And Physiology

Anatomy Physiology

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There's no doubt that the world is a dangerous place for people. Bullets, fire, steam, car accidents, bear attacks, lightening strikes, falls, and a million other things can all cause harm to our bodies. Some parts of the human body are more susceptible to damage than others.

First first and most easily damaged organ is also the largest and most exposed organ in the body - the skin. Yes, skin is an organ. It's the largest organ you have by weight and it serves a variety of functions, the most important of which is protection. Think of skin as natural human armor. Because it's primary job is protection, it is also the most likely to be damaged.

Your skin protects you from not only mechanical damage such as cuts, but also from microbial infections. People with severe burns have lost this protection and are at greatly increased risk of getting life threatening infections. Note also, that skin is the organ most vulnerable to fire. How often do you hear of someone getting their liver burned? Not often. At least not if they are still alive.

Fortunately skin is also excellent at healing. If this were not so, all the accumulated damage you suffer over the years would add up. Most of us would then walk around looking like we'd been in a fight with a weed-whacker.

Another vulnerable set of organs are the genitals. In men, the testes and penis are external and more than a little exposed. Any man who has taken a kick, punch or other trauma to this area can attest to the incredible pain associated with getting hurt there. In many cases, damage to the testes can be a medical emergency.

Of course females have genitals as well, and although they are not as exposed as in a man, they are still quite sensitive to damage. A woman's breasts are also quite sensitive to trauma and can easily be damaged as well. Blunt trauma to the breast can cause a condition known as fat necrosis. This happens when a woman's breast is physically injured and the damaged cells for a lumpy mass.

The most easily damaged internal organ in people is the spleen. The spleen is a small organ located on the left side of your abdomen, near your left kidney. The spleen contains a large number of blood vessels and a small "reserve" of blood. It is frequently injured in accidents involving contact and blunt trauma. Car accidents, sports injuries, explosions, fights, or any other injury involving contact with the abdomen can cause a splenic rupture.

Damage to the spleen can be quite serious and if the damage is severe enough, can easily be a medical emergency requiring surgical correction.

The last structure to mention as a vulnerable organ, isn't strictly an organ at all. The ligaments holding the knee together are quite vulnerable to damage. There are several ligaments aiding in the support of the knee, one of which is commonly known to anyone who is a sports enthusiast. The anterior cruciate ligament helps prevent the knee from bending forward. It is commonly damaged by athletes, especially those involved in contact sports. Other ligaments in the same area which can also be injured are the posterior cruciate and meniscal ligaments.

The human body is certainly an amazing structure. It is capable of absorbing a lot of damage while remaining functional. But there are some organs which are quite vulnerable and must be taken care of to prevent injury.

More about this author: Erich Rosenberger M.D.

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