Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Respiratory System

What Function Do the Lungs Have?

The lungs are the main organs of the respiratory system. They are the sites of gas exchange. Air passages in the lungs branch into smaller and smaller tubes. They end up at tiny air sacs. The air sacs provide a lot of surface area for gas exchange. Tiny blood vessels take in oxygen from the air sacs. This is how oxygen in the lungs enters the bloodstream. Then the blood carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Carbon dioxide also moves from the blood to the air sacs. It leaves the body when you breathe out.

How Does the Respiratory System Help the Body?

Each of your body's cells needs oxygen to get energy. Oxygen is used in the reaction that breaks down sugar. Each cell needs to perform this reaction to get energy. Carbon dioxide and water are the waste products of that reaction. Your body also needs to get rid of carbon dioxide gas. The job of your respiratory system is to exchange gases between your body and the atmosphere.

How Does Air Travel Through the Respiratory System?

Air enters the body through the nose and mouth. The air travels through the trachea  a tube in your neck and chest. The trachea divides into two tubes called bronchi. The bronchi continue to divide into smaller and smaller tubes that end in the air sacs of the lungs. The diaphragm muscle sits under the lungs. When it expands the lungs expand and take in air. When it contracts the lungs contract and air is forced out.
 

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