Application #4: Throat Copy

Lesson
Materials

Throat

Anatomy:
The throat (pharynx and larynx) is a ring-like muscular tube that acts as the passageway for air, food and liquid. It is located behind the nose and mouth and connects the mouth (oral cavity) and nose to the breathing passages (trachea [windpipe] and lungs) and the esophagus (eating tube). The throat also helps in forming speech.
  • Tonsils and adenoids — made up of lymph tissue. Tonsils are located at the back and sides of the mouth and adenoids are located behind the nose. They both help to fight infections. Removal of tonsils and adenoids, when necessary, will not reduce your child’s ability to fight infections since there are many other tissues to perform that function.
  • Pharynx — is the muscle-lined space that connects the nose and mouth to the larynx and esophagus (eating tube).
  • Larynx — also known as the voice box, the larynx is a cylindrical grouping of cartilages, muscles and soft tissue that contains the vocal cords. The larynx is the upper opening into the windpipe (trachea), the passageway to the lungs.
    • Epiglottis — a flap of soft tissue and cartilage located just above the vocal cords. The epiglottis folds down over the vocal cords to help prevent food and irritants from entering the lungs.
    • Subglottic space — the space immediately below the vocal cords. It is the narrowest part of the upper airway
Vasculature:
The pharynx is a location with a rich amount of arterial anastomoses, making it a highly vascularized anatomical structure. Three main arteries are responsible for its blood supply, all of them originating from the external carotid artery:
  • Facial artery
  • Lingual artery
  • Maxillary artery
They supply the pharynx by either passing in close proximity to it, or by sending out ascending and descending pharyngeal arteries. In addition to these arteries, there are others that are closely related to the pharynx but do not necessarily supply it with fresh blood.

The venous drainage of this region is via the external palatine vein which drains into the pharyngeal plexus. In turn, the latter finishes in the internal jugular vein.

Innervation:
All the muscles of the pharynx are innervated by the vagus nerve (CN X), except for the stylopharyngeus, which is innervated by the glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX).

Possible Effects of a Strike:
  • increased blood pressure
  • enlargement of the blood vessels
  • loss of blood flow to brain leading to loss of consciousness
  • decreased heart rate
  • heart attack
  • loosening of plaque in carotid artery which can go to brain and lead to a stroke
  • loss of consciousness
  • damage to the thyroid cartilage, cricoid cartilage, and the epiglottis
  • collapse of the larynx leading to suffocation from obstructed airway
  • spasm of vocal cords
  • closure of the glottis
  • swelling of the epiglottis
  • broken hyoid leading to respiratory issues