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Anatomy and Physiology
The Respiratory System
• The Respiratory System
is the system that takes
in O2 from the
environment and
exchanges it for CO2.
• In addition, this system
traps particles from the
air (that came in with the
O2), control
temperature and water
loss, produce vocal
sounds and aid in smell
and maintaining blood
• The Organs of the Respiratory System: nose,
nasal cavity, sinuses, pharynx, larynx, trachea,
bronchial tree, and lungs.
The Nose:
• this contains 2 nostrils or nares (openings),
bone and cartilage, & internal hairs.
• Its function is for air exchange and trapping
of particles from the air
The Nasal Cavity:
• This is the opening
(hollow space) behind
the nose.
• It is divided into 2
parts by the nasal
septum (bone).
• It also contains
passageways divided
by nasal conchae
The Nasal Cavity:
• It is lined by mucous membranes which has cilia
& BVs
– The mucus traps particles
– The cilia provide sweeping movements that
direct the air & particles
– The BVs warm incoming air into the body
(adjusting it to the body’s temp)
The Paranasal Sinuses:
• are air-filled spaces in the skull bones
(specifically, frontal, maxillary, ethmoid, &
• are lined with mucous membranes
• affect the sound quality of the voice
• a sinus headache is (not only painful but) a
blocked sinus (it cannot drain properly). This
can be caused by allergies or infection.
Paranasal Sinuses:
The Pharynx:
• a.k.a. throat
• passageway for
both food (leading
to esophagus) and
air (leading to
• aids in sound
The Larynx:
• a small passageway that connects the pharynx to the
• allows air to pass through, preventing particles from
entering the trachea
• houses the vocal cords
• composed of muscle and cartilage:
– thyroid cartilage (a.k.a. Adam’s apple): largest of these;
found in the mid-section of the larynx. Do women have
Adam’s apples?
– epiglottic cartilage: found at the top of the larynx; supports
the epiglottis (a flaplike structure that allows air to pass
through the trachea but prevents food & liquids to enter)
The Trachea:
• a.k.a. windpipe
• the tube in front of the esophagus
• splits into the left and right bronchi
• contains a ciliated mucoid lining which filters air
particles and transports air down into the bronchial
• the wall is lined with C-shaped hyaline cartilage that
hold the tube open while the opening of the “C” is
supported with muscle which is movable. This
allows room for the esophagus to expand when
The Bronchial Tree:
• branched airways (left &
right) that come from the
• these are supported by
cartilage until they get
smaller & smaller in size (the
amount of cartilage
decreases with the decrease
in size)
• these provide the
passageway of air into the
From largest (and the trachea) to the
• Bronchi move air into bronchioles.
• Bronchioles move air into alveolar ducts
then to alveolar sacs then finally alveoli
• Alveoli are where gas exchange takes place;
capillaries (a capillary net) are in close contact
with these, allowing gases to enter and exit the
• Gas exchange occurs here via diffusion.
The Lungs:
• these are soft spongy organs that are found within
the thoracic cavity
• they are enclosed & protected by the ribs and
sternum and separated by the mediastinum
• they contain: air passages, alveoli, BVs, connective
tissue, lymphatic tissue & nerves
• the right lung contains 3 lobes while the left lobe
contains 2 lobes.
• Each lobe is supplied by a branch of the bronchial
• Each lung is covered by:
– Visceral pleura: serous
membrane that follows
the shape of the lung
– Parietal pleura: serous
membrane that covers
the visceral pleura
– Pleural cavity: potential
space in between these;
contains small amount of
serous fluid to reduce
friction during breathing
Respiratory Physiology
• Cellular respiration is the use of O2 by
cells (and release of CO2); this is how we
produce ATP from food.
• Respiration is the exchange of O2 with
Respiration occurs in 4 steps:
1. ventilation: breathing in O2 & out CO2
(lungs fill with air & empty)
2. external respiration: gas exchange between
air & blood
3. gas transport by blood throughout body
4. internal respiration: gas exchange between
blood & body cells
Breathing Mechanism:
• a.k.a. ventilation
• occurs by inspiration (breathing in, or
inhalation) and expiration (breathing out, or
• the pressure on the inside of the lungs is about
the same as the pressure on the outside of the
thoracic cavity
• The diaphragm contracts & relaxes, allowing
inspiration & expiration.
Nonrespiratory Air Movements:
• Air movements with the respiratory system for
reasons other than air exchange.
– This can be coughing, sneezing, laughing, crying,
hiccupping, or yawning.
– A hiccup is a spasm of the diaphragm.
– Yawning is usually to aid the body in taking deep
– These are considered reflexes.
– Coughing & sneezing generally clear air passages
Respiratory Imbalances:
• Emphysema is a disease of the lungs in which the alveolar walls
• This is a progressive disease that reduces the elasticity of the
• This is caused by tobacco smoke, pollution or heredity.
Respiratory Imbalances:
• Lung cancer is the abnormal cell growth in the
lungs. This has a variety of causes, from tobacco to
asbestos. This disease metastasizes to major organs
and is not treated with much success.
Bronchoscope (to detect
Collapsed Lung:
Lung Cancer:
Breathing Control:
• Breathing is a reflex
(occurs even when
• It is rhythmic and
• The muscles can be
controlled, however
• Respiratory Center:
– This is a group of
neurons found in the
brain: pons and medulla
Control of Respiration:
• Physical Factors: nonrespiratory
• Conscious Control: exercise
• Emotional Factors: fear; pain
• Chemical Factors: levels of O2 & CO2
In the United States, the term "COPD" includes two main
conditions—emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Heimlich maneuver
APGAR SCORE for newborns
This slide show was developed by Dana Halloran,
Cardinal Mooney High School, Sarasota, FL.
Used with her personal permission,
adapted and amended by Rosa Whiting,
Manatee School for the Arts, Palmetto, FL.