Respiratory System Mechanics
O B J E C T I V E S 1. To explain how the respiratory and circulatory systems work together to enable gas exchange among the lungs, blood, and body tissues 2. To define respiration, ventilation, alveoli, diaphragm, inspiration, expiration, and partial pressure 3. To explain the differences between tidal volume, inspiratory reserve volume, expiratory reserve volume, vital capacity, residual volume, total lung capacity, forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, and minute respiratory volume 4. To list various factors that affect respiration 5. To explain how surfactant works in the lungs to promote respiration 6. To explain what happens in pneumothorax 7. To explain how hyperventilation, rebreathing, and breathholding affect respiratory volumes
he physiological functions of respiration and circulation are essential to life. If problems develop in other physiological systems, we can still survive for some time without addressing them. But if a persistent problem develops within the respiratory or circulatory systems, death can ensue within minutes. The primary role of the respiratory system is to distribute oxygen to, and remove carbon dioxide from, the cells of the body. The respiratory system works hand in hand with the circulatory system to achieve this. The term respiration includes breathing—the movement of air in and out of the lungs, also known as ventilation—as well as the transport (via blood) of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and body tissues. The heart pumps deoxygenated blood to pulmonary capillaries, where gas exchange occurs between blood and alveoli (air sacs in the lungs), oxygenating the blood. The heart then pumps the oxygenated blood to body tissues, where oxygen is used for cell metabolism. At the same time, carbon dioxide (a waste product of metabolism) from body tissues diffuses into the blood. The deoxygenated blood then returns to the heart, completing the circuit.... [continues]
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