Respiration System

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by trevorhoughton
Last updated 7 years ago


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Respiration System


By: Trevor Houghton

The cells of the human body require a constant stream of oxygen to stay alive. The respiratory system provides oxygen to the body’s cells while removing carbon dioxide, a waste product that can be lethal if allowed to accumulate. There are 3 major parts of the respiratory system: the airway, the lungs, and the muscles of respiration.

The lungs, are a pair of organs situated within the rib cage, consisting of elastic sacs with branching passages into which air is drawn, so that oxygen can pass into the blood and carbon dioxide be removed.

The airway, include the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles, carries air between the lungs and the body’s exterior

The diaphragm is the major muscle responsible for breathing. It is a thin, dome-shaped muscle that separates the abdominal cavity from the thoracic cavity. During inhalation, the diaphragm contracts, so that it's centre moves downward and its edges move upward.

When you breathe in, or inhale, your diaphragm contracts and moves downward. This increases the space in your chest cavity, into which your lungs expand. The inner muscles between your ribs also help enlarge the chest cavity. They contract to pull your rib cage both upward and outward when you inhale. The rib cage is used to protect your organs.

A respiratory control center at the base of your brain sends ongoing signals down your spine and to the muscles involved in breathing.Your breathing muscles contract and relax regularly. This allows your breathing to happen automatically, without you being aware of it.Your breathing will change depending on how active you are and the condition of the air around you.To adjust your breathing to changing needs, your body has many sensors in your brain, blood vessels, muscles, and lungs.

Diffusion is a process that occurs naturally within the lungs. After the transfer of gasses, oxygen which has traveled through the walls of both the alveoli and capillaries is picked up by hemoglobin and carried to cells to be utilized for glycolysis, the process of turning glucose into usable energy. Cellular waste is picked up and carbon dioxide is expelled back into the alveoli where it gets exhaled. Imbalances in the exchange of these gases can lead to dangerous respiratory disorders, such as respiratory acidosis or hyperventilation.


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