Q:

Explain the process of gas exchange in the lungs?

A:

Quick Answer

Gas exchange in the lungs allows oxygen to diffuse through the small air sacks or alveoli at the end of one's bronchial tubes into the blood, and it allows carbon dioxide to move from the blood into the alveoli to allow the individual to expel the waste. Fresh oxygen comes into the lungs when one inhales and is removed upon exhaling, according to WebMD.

Know More

Full Answer

A healthy human inhales six to 10 liters of air per minute, with 0.3 liters of oxygen transferred to the blood per minute. As oxygen molecules attach to the red blood cells, a similar amount of carbon dioxide releases from the blood into the alveoli.

The tissue separating air from the blood averages 1 micron in thickness. In most locations, only one cell separates the two. This allows rapid gas exchange to occur. Once oxygenated, blood is transported through pulmonary veins to the heart, where it is then pumped to the rest of the body. Inside the body, the oxygenated blood provides oxygen to cells, and it removes carbon dioxide. The deoxygenated blood returns to the right side of the heart where it is forced to the lungs again in order to begin the gas exchange that creates oxygen-rich blood again.

Learn more about Organs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where does gas exchange take place?

    A:

    In the respiratory tract, gas exchange takes place in the alveoli of both of the lungs. The alveoli are small sacs of air that are covered in a material known as surfactant. This substance allows the alveoli to expand and contract during inhalation and exhalation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens in the alveoli?

    A:

    The exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen occurs in the alveoli of the lungs. Oxygen is taken into the body through the process of inhalation while carbon dioxide is eliminated through exhalation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of the bronchioles?

    A:

    Bronchioles are tiny airways that carry oxygen to alveoli, or air sacs, in the lungs and help stabilize breathing in the respiratory system, according to About.com. Bronchioles are lined with smooth muscular walls that constrict or expand to regulate airflow and prevent irritants from passing further along the respiratory tract.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is the heart considered a double pump?

    A:

    The heart is a single organ, but it functions as a double pump sending oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs to pick-up oxygen and unload carbon dioxide, while simultaneously sending oxygen-loaded blood coming from the lungs to cells throughout the body. The heart's right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs, while the left ventricle pumps the oxygenated blood to the body cells. The left ventricle is the stronger of the two and performs the more demanding part of the double-pump work.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore