Respiratory System

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The primary function of the respiratory system is to supply the blood with oxygen in order for the blood to deliver oxygen to all parts of the body.


Describe the features of alveoli that adapt them to gas exchange

Even though alveoli are so small there are large numbers of them at a time which result in a larger surface area for gas exchange. The wall of the alveoli is made up of a thin layer of cells, this creates a short diffusion distance for the gases. The alveoli are covered by blood capillaries which have low oxygen and high carbon dioxide concentrations. This allows oxygen to diffuse into the blood and carbon dioxide to diffuse out of the blood.

Discuss how carbon dioxide and oxygen are transported in the blood

Oxygen enters the blood from the lungs and carbon dioxide is taken out of the blood into the lungs. The blood serves to transport both gases. Oxygen is carried to the cells. Carbon dioxide is carried away from the cells.


Disorders in the respiratory system


Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passages between the nose and the lungs. About 12,511,999 people get it per year in the US.Symptoms include cough, production of mucus, fatigue, or shortness of breath. Treatment for bronchitis may consist of simple measures such as getting rest, drinking fluids, avoiding smoke, and possibly getting a prescription for an inhaled bronchodilator.


Cystic Fibrosis effects the cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, a dry cough, fatigue, unexplained weight loss. 80% of patients are diagnosed by the age of three. 10% of patients are diagnosed at the age of 18 and 3% patients are diagnosed in adulthood. Lung transplantation may be an option for younger people with severe pulmonary fibrosis who no longer benefit from other treatment options.