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Physiology

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Respiration

Question
4 out of 33
 

What is the reason that an infant can breathe while suckling breast milk? (AIIMS NOV. 2010)


A Small wide tongue.
B High position of the larynx

C Small pharynx
D short soft palate

Ans. B High position of the larynx(REF: Endoscopic evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders. Susan 6

In infants, the larynx is in a high position in the neck, residing adjacent to the cervical vertebrae C1-3, in contrast to position in adults, at the C6-7 vertebral level (Fig. 13-21.

I. As a consequence of the high resting level of the larynx, the epiglottis passes superiorly to the free margin of the soft palate and projects into the nasopharynx.

II. The high position of the larynx func-tionally separates the respiratory and digestive tracts until 4 to 6 months postnatally by minimizing the overlap of the hypopharyngeal airway and the esoph-ageal inlet tracts

III. This positioning forces a bolus to divert around the epiglottis as the pharynx fills with the bolus and contracts sequentially for swallowing .

IV. The close proximity of hypopharyngeal structures re-quires cessation of respiration during swallowing to minimize the risk of aspiration (Ardran et al, 1958; Bosssma, 1985; Koenig et al)

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