The respiratory system comprises of organs that are responsible for gaseous exchange to and from the circulatory system. Air is taken in through the nasal cavity, larynx and pharynx to the primary bronchi, trachea and bronchial tree, then into the small bronchioles and alveoli within the lung tissue. The system is divided into two parts. The upper respiratory tract and the lower respiratory track. The upper part consist of mouth, nose and the beginning of the trachea (Bates, Rossi, & Milic-Emili, 1985).
Then there is the lower respiratory tract, which consists of bronchi, trachea, lungs and bronchial tree. The lower respiratory organs are located in the chest cavity. These organs are protected by the chest bone, rib cage and muscles in the ribs and the diaphragm.
The trachea is the tube that connects the bronchi to the throat
The bronchi are two tubes. One is attached to the left lung while the other is attached to the right lung. Once in the lungs, the two bronchi are divided into smaller bronchi. The bronchi the branches into smaller tubes known as bronchioles, which goes in the pulmonary alveolus (Jakab, 2006).
The lungs are a pair of organs located in all vertebrates. The inner surface of the lungs is usually large to enable the exchange of gases. The lungs structure includes air tubes, bronchial tree and smaller air tubes that end in a pulmonary alveolus. Lungs are divided into lobes. The right lung has the upper lobe while the left lung is composed of the lower, the middle and the upper lobes.
Pulmonary alveoli are tiny sacs demarcated by a thin layer of the membrane with blood capillaries
The gaseous exchange usually take place through the pulmonary alveolus membrane that contains air. Oxygen absorbed from the blood capillaries is taken to the heart and then circulated to the other parts of the body (Weibel, 1984). The same process is used to expel carbon dioxide from the blood capillaries through the alveoli, and it is then expelled through the upper respiratory tract.
Mechanics of breathing
When inhaling, external intercostal muscles usually contract, moving the ribcage out and up. At the same time, the diaphragm moves down, creating negative pressure in the thorax. Pleural membranes hold the lungs to the thoracic wall and expand outwards too. This process creates negative pressure in the lungs, creating a place for the air to rush in through the lower and upper airways.
There are many risks associated with respiratory system malfunctions. Airways and lungs malfunctions are associated with illness in children and if no proper action is taken these children may even die. Mature people also die from diseases related to respiratory system malfunctions.
ReferencesBates, J. H., Rossi, A., & Milic-Emili, J. (1985). Analysis of the behavior of the respiratory system with constant inspiratory flow. Journal of Applied Physiology, 58(6), 1840-1848.
Jakab, C. (2006). The respiratory system. North Mankato, MN: Smart Apple Media.
Weibel, E. R. (1984). The pathway for oxygen: structure and function in the mammalian respiratory system. Harvard University Press.
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