Ross Willson Anatomy and Physiology 9th Edition

Ross Willson Anatomy and Physiology 9th Edition

Ross and Wilson has been a core text for students of anatomy and physiology for almost 40 years. This latest edition is aimed at health care professionals including nurses, nursing students, students of the professions allied to medicine, paramedics, ambulance technicians and complementary therapists. It retains the straightforward approach to the description of body systems and how they work, and the normal anatomy and physiology is followed by a section that covers common disorders and diseases: the pathology.

Ross Willson Anatomy and Physiology 9th Edition

The human body is described system by system. The reader must, however, remember that physiology is an integrated subject and that, although the systems are considered in separate chapters, they must all function together for the human body to operate as a healthy unit.

The first three chapters provide an overview of the body and describe its main constituents. A new section on introductory biochemistry is included, forming the basis of a deeper understanding of body function The later chapters are gathered together into three further sections, reflecting three areas essential for

normal body function: communication; intake of raw materials and elimination of waste; and protection and survival. Much of the material for this edition has been extensively revised and rewritten. There is a new chapter on immunology, reflecting the growing importance of this subject in physiology.

The artwork has been completely redrawn using full colour, and many new diagrams have been included. A new list of common prefixes, suffixes and roots has been prepared for this edition, giving meanings and providing examples of common terminology used in the study of anatomy and physiology. Some biological values have been extracted from the text and presented as an Appendix for easy reference. In some cases, slightly different 'normals' may be found in other texts and used by different medical practitioners.

The body and its constituents

The human body is complex, like a highly technical and sophisticated machine. It operates as a single entity, but is made up of a number of operational parts that work interdependently. Each part is associated with a specific, and sometimes related, function that is essential for the well-being of the individual. The component parts do not operate independently, but rather in conjunction with all the others. Should one part fail, the consequences are likely to extend to other parts, and may reduce the ability of the body to function normally. Integrated working of the body parts ensures the ability of the individual to survive. The human body is therefore complex in both its structure and function, and the aim of this book is to explain the fundamental structures and processes involved.

Anatomy is the study of the structure of the body and the physical relationships involved between body parts. Physiology is the study of how the parts of the body work, and the ways in which they cooperate together to maintain life and health of the individual. Pathology is the study of abnormalities and how they affect body functions, often causing illness. Building on the normal anatomy and physiology, relevant illnesses are considered at the end of the later chapters.


Blood is a connective tissue. It provides one of the means of communication between the cells of different parts of the body and the external environment, e.g. it carries:

• oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs for excretion

• nutrients from the alimentary tract to the tissues and cell wastes to the excretory organs, principally the kidneys

• hormones secreted by endocrine glands to their target glands and tissues

• heat produced in active tissues to other less active tissues

• protective substances, e.g. antibodies, to areas of infection

• clotting factors that coagulate blood, minimising its loss from ruptured blood vessels.

Blood makes up about 7% of body weight (about 5.6 litres in a 70 kg man). This proportion is less in women and considerably greater in children, gradually decreasing until the adult level is reached. Blood in the blood vessels is always in motion. The continual flow maintains a fairly constant environment for the body cells.

Blood volume and the concentration of its many constituents are kept within narrow limits by homeostatic mechanisms.

Intake of raw materials and elimination of waste

The cells of the body need energy for their chemical activity that maintains homeostasis. Most of this energy is derived from chemical reactions which can only take place in the presence of oxygen (O2). The main waste product of these reactions is carbon dioxide (CO2). The respiratory system provides the route by which the supply of oxygen present in the atmospheric air gains entry to the body and it provides the route of excretion of carbon dioxide.

The condition of the atmospheric air entering the body varies considerably according to the external environment, e.g. it may be dry, cold and contain dust particles or it may be moist and hot. As the air breathed in moves through the air passages to reach the lungs, it is warmed or cooled to body temperature, moistened to become saturated with water vapour and 'cleaned' as particles of dust stick to the mucus which coats the lining membrane. Blood provides the transport system for these gases between the lungs and the cells of the body. Exchange of gases between the blood and the lungs is called external respiration and that between the blood and the cells internal respiration. The organs of the respiratory system are:





Two bronchi (one bronchus to each lung)

Bronchioles and smaller air passages

Two lungs and their coverings, the pleura

Protection and survival

The skin completely covers the body and is continuous with the membranes lining the body orifices. It:

• protects the underlying structures from injury and from invasion by microbes

• contains sensory (somatic) nerve endings of pain, temperature and touch

• is involved in the regulation of body temperature.

The skin has a surface area of about 1.5 to 2 m2 in adults and it contains glands, hair and nails. There are two main layers:

• epidermis

• dermis.

Between the skin and underlying structures there is a layer of subcutaneous fat.

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