Lung Capacities and the Anatomy and Physiology of the Respiratory System

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Six people were used to measure their inhaling and exhaling volumes. A spirometer was used to “record the volume of all air inhaled and exhaled by the subject” (book. 875). The six people did four breathing techniques to find their tidal volume, expiratory reserve volume, inspiratory reserve volume and vital capacity. Then calculations were done to find out the MRV, RV and percent predicted VC. Comparing all of the 6 people’s results showed how your health affects your lung capacity. Introduction

This experiment was performed to show the difference of lung capacities between normal people, athletes, and people who have asthma or are sick. Respiration is “the process by which oxygen is taken up and carbon dioxide is discharged.” (human) Inhalation is where oxygen comes in through the nose or mouth and travels down the pharynx and into larynx then to the trachea to reach the lungs. The pharynx is a tube made up of three sections that connects the nasal cavity and the mouth to the larynx. The larynx is made up of cartilage that holds the vocal cords. The larynx has a flap of tissue at the superior end which is what keeps food and water out of the trachea and lungs. The trachea also known as the windpipe is “a tube about ten to twelve centimeters long and two centimeters wide” (human). “It is supported by 16 to 20 C- shaped rings of hyaline cartilage” (book. 860). The reason that the cartilage does not go all the way around the trachea is so the esophagus can expand when food is being swallowed. The trachea then splits to reach the right and left lung. Oxygen then fills the lungs. The lungs expand and the diaphragm moves down to allow the lungs more room for expanding. The oxygen is then transported to the aorta to go through the heart and pumped out with the blood to be carried to all the rest of the cells. Expiration is taking the carbon dioxide from the blood and goes through the heart which pumps it into the lungs. The lungs then contract and the diaphragm moves up pushing the carbon dioxide up through the trachea, larynx and pharynx and out through the nose or mouth.

The human body needs oxygen to survive without oxygen the brain cannot function and cells will die. If the respiration process is not working properly it can lead to people having complications with inhaling and or exhaling. This can lead to serious problems. Asthma, smoking, respiratory infections, and how fit a person is can be a factor of how well or poor their breathing is.

The amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide a person can inhale or exhale is the respiratory volume level. The tidal volume (TV) is “the amount of air inhaled and exhaled in one cycle of quiet breathing, normally about 500 mL.” The inspiratory reserve volume (IRV) is the “amount of air in excess of tidal volume that can be inhaled with maximum effort”. The opposite of this is expiratory reserve volume (ERV) is the “amount of air in excess of tidal volume that can be exhaled with maximum effort”. The residual volume (RV) is the “amount of air remaining in the lungs after a maximum expiration; the amount that can never voluntarily be exhaled”. (book. 875) The vital capacity is the “amount of air that can be inhaled and then exhaled with maximum effort; the deepest possible breath”. The vital capacity can be found by the equation: VC=TV+IRV+ERV. Lastly, the minute respiratory volume (MRV) is the “amount of air inhaled per minute”. (book.876)

This lab gives the lung capacities of six people, one normal guy, and one normal girl, one guy athlete, and one girl athlete, one girl with asthma and one girl who is sick. They will all use a spirometer to find their lung capacity. If the athletes have more lung capacity than normal people, they will definitely have a bigger lung capacity then someone with asthma or who is sick. Materials and Methods

Chart, pen or pencil, spirometer, lab book
On Thursday November 3rd 2011 the experiment began in Cunningham hall. Each person...
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