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Essential to health yet overlooked: the vital role of the lymphatic system

09 July 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 13

When healthy, every component of the human body works in harmony, continually making adjustments through complex feedback systems to enable the body to balance its ever-changing internal environment and external demands. When things go wrong and the body, or any of its components come under threat, there are multiple mechanisms to protect, defend and enable the body to heal.

Despite its highly specialised features enabling it to serve multiple functions, the lymphatic system is neglected in textbooks and given little attention until it goes wrong. However, greater understanding of the lymphatic system and how it works makes it possible to help it to work more effectively and reduce the risk of problems such as lymphoedema and cellulitis. In this way, nurses can help educate patients.

This article briefly summarises the role and importance of the lymphatic system and explains how it can be supported, based on understanding how it works, particularly as a transport system and in regulating volume homeostasis.

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