2.0 Respiration physiology Listen

Breathing consists of two processes:

  • breathing in (inspiration)
  • breathing out (expiration/exhalation)

As mentioned in section 1.5, due to the negative pressure in the lungs during inspirationair is pulled into the lungs. During expirationpositive pressure is restored, which pushes the air out again when the elastic lungs recoil.

Learning Outcomes:
After studying the topic of respiratory physiology, you should be able to:

  • explain what air pressure and partial pressure are
  • account for various respiratory volumes
  • explain what is meant by ”dead space”, and the implications of it
  • specify ways for oxygen and carbon dioxide gases to be transported via the blood
  • explain the oxygen-haemoglobin dissociation curve and how it changes with increased temperature and carbon dioxide amount in the blood and the physiological consequences of this
  • explain the nervous system regulation of respiration and how various chemical factors affect this