Define dead space and its components (30% of marks).

Explain how these may be measured (35% of marks) and describe the physiological impact of increased dead space (35% of marks).

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College Answer

Some candidates failed to provide a correct definition of dead space. An outline of anatomical,
alveolar and physiological dead space was expected. The Bohr equation was commonly
incorrect, and many did not comment on how to measure the components of the Bohr equation.
Fowler’s method was generally well described though some plotted the axes incorrectly.
The impact of increased dead space was not often well explained. Very few people stated the
major impact of increased dead space is reduced minute ventilation and how this would affect
CO2.