Respiratory System

By: Francisco Colina-Salas

Function

Supply the blood with oxygen in order for the blood to deliver oxygen to all parts of the body.

Alveoli


Even though alveoli are so small there are huge numbers of them which results in a large surface area for gas exchange. Also the wall of the alveoli is made up of a single layer of thin cells and so are the capillaries, this creates a short diffusion distance for the gases. Therefore this allows rapid gas exchange. The alveoli are covered by a dense network of blood capillaries which have a low oxygen and high carbon dioxide concentrations. This allows oxygen to diffuse into the blood and carbon dioxide to diffuse out of the blood. Finally, there are cells in the alveolar walls which secrete a fluid that keeps the inner surface of the alveoli moist, allowing gases to dissolve. This fluid also contains a natural detergent that prevents the sides of the alveoli from sticking together.

Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen

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.
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Diseases

Asthma

  1. A condition in which a person's airways become inflamed, narrow and swell, and produce extra mucus

  2. Breathing through the mouth, wheezing, difficulty breathing, frequent respiratory infections, shortness of breath at night, fast breathing, or hyperventilation

  3. More than 3M US cases per year

  4. Steroids

Bronchitis

  1. Inflammation of the lining of bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the lungs

  2. Cough: can be persistent, with phlegm or dry, mild. Respiratory: wheezing, respiratory infection, or shortness of breath. Chest: tightness or discomfort Whole body: fever, malaise, chills, or fatigue. Also common: headache, sleeping difficulty, impaired voice, or runny nose

  3. More than 3M US cases per year

  4. Antibiotics and steroids.