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diving reflex


Definition: a reflex by which immersing the face or body in water, especially cold water, tends to cause bradycardia and peripheral vasoconstriction; mean aortic pressure is little affected because the reduction in cardiac output tends to balance the increased peripheral resistance that reduces peripheral blood flow. Although relatively minor in most humans, the changes can be profound in some species of diving animal, ducks and seals.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.