Human Body system project

Respiratory System Created by: Michael Marbry

Function of the system

The human respiratory system is a series of organs responsible for taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. The primary organs of the respiratory system are lungs, which carry out this exchange of gases as we breathe.

The features of alveoli that adapt them to gas exchange

Fresh air goes into the alveoli and removing the stale air. It maintains the concentration gradient of carbon dioxide and oxygen between the alveoli and the blood in the capillaries which is vital for oxygen to diffuse into the blood from the alveoli and carbon dioxide out of the blood into the alveoli.

Gas exchange is the process of swapping one gas for another. It occurs in the alveoli of the lungs. Oxygen diffuses into the capillaries from the air in the alveoli and carbon dioxide diffuses out of the capillaries and into the air in the alveoli.

How carbon dioxide and oxygen are transported in the blood?

Oxygen enters the blood from the lungs and carbon dioxide is expelled 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.

Major disorders

- COPD - involves two diseases that are related; bronchitis and emphysema. Both bronchitis and emphysema involve a chronic obstruction of airflow out of a person's lungs which is commonly both permanent and progressive over time.

Symptoms - Commonly, after smoking a pack of cigarettes per day for greater than twenty years, persons with COPD develop shortness of breath (referred to as, 'Dyspnea'), a chronic cough, and experience frequent respiratory infections. Persons affected by emphysema experience shortness of breath as a major symptom. Dyspnea is a symptom that is commonly noticeable during physical activity, although as emphysema progresses the person affected by emphysema may experience dyspnea even while at rest.

Common: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 24 million Americans have COPD, and only about half have been diagnosed. In the United States, COPD is the third leading cause of death.


- Cessation of cigarette smoking

- Medications to dilate airways and decrease airway inflammation
- Vaccination against influenza and pneumonia

- Oxygen supplementation
- Pulmonary rehabilitation

- Asthma - asthma narrows the tubes present in the lungs during an acute attack, which makes it more difficult for the sufferer to breathe.

Symptoms: Coughing, especially at night, Wheezing, Shortness of breath, Chest tightness, pain, or pressure

Common: Asthma can occur at any age, although it most often begins early in life. Young children who have frequent respiratory infections and episodes of wheezing are at the highest risk of developing asthma that continues beyond age six.

Treatment: There is no cure for asthma, with the right care, most people with asthma can minimize their symptoms, prevent asthma flare-ups, and improve their quality of life.

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