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Respiratory System
Medical Careers
Eden Area ROP
• Air exchange
– Oxygen carried to tissues
– Carbon dioxide carried out of body
• Filtration
– Cilia: small hairs line respiratory tract and trap
substances that enter
• Sound production:
– Enhances sound produces during speech
• Sense of smell:
– Receptors in the nose
• 1 inhalation + 1 exhalation = respiration
• Inspiration/inhalation: breathing in oxygen
• Expiration/exhalation: breathing out carbon
Types of Respiration
• External respiration (Pulmonary):
– Process of getting oxygen to the capillaries in
lungs and getting rid of carbon dioxide from
capillaries in lungs
• Internal respiration:
– Oxygen rich blood travels from the capillaries in
the lungs to all areas of the body.
– Carbon dioxide travels through the blood to the
capillaries in the lungs to be removed.
Where air enters/exits
• Nose:
– Mucus warms and
– Cilia filters air as it enters
• Mouth:
– Where air enters when
nasal passage is blocked
Structures of respiratory tract
• Pharynx: throat
• Epiglottis: flap-like
structure that covers
trachea when we
swallow to prevent
food/liquid from
entering lungs
Structures of respiratory tract
• Larynx: voicebox
– Triangular chamber
located below
epiglottis that includes
vocal cords and
produces speech.
• Windpipe
• Extends from the neck
into the chest, directly
in front of the
• Held open by C-shaped
cartilage rings
Bronchi and Bronchioles
• The lower end of the
trachea divides into two
bronchi (tubes) that
carry air into the lungs.
One bronchus goes to
the left lung, the other
to the right lung.
• Bronchioles: The
smallest branches of
the bronchi
The “bronchial tree”
• The respiratory system
structures are called the
bronchial tree because
they resemble an
upside-down tree.
• Contained in the lungs
• Microscopic grape-like
cluster of air sacs at the
end of each bronchiole.
• Approximately 500
million in human body
• Exchange of oxygen and
carbon dioxide takes
place here
• Flat muscle that lies
under the lungs
• Contracts= flattens;
pulls air into lungs
• Relaxes=increases in
size; pushes air out of
• Separates thoracic and
abdominal cavities
• Organ that surrounds
the bronchial tree and
is filled with alveoli
• right lung: 3 sections
• Left lung: 2 sections
(lobes) and cardiac
notch (where heart sits)
• Thin membranes that
cover lungs and thoracic
• Visceral pleura: covers
• Parietal pleura: covers
thoracic cavity
• Pleural space: airtight
space between the two
membranes that contains
a lubricating fluid.
• Asthma: chronic allergic disorder causing
severe breathing difficulty, coughing and
• Bronchitis: inflammation of the bronchial
• Pneumonia: inflammation of the bronchioles
and alveoli; alveoli fill with fluid
• Croup: acute viral infection characterized by a
barking cough
• Cyanosis: bluish discoloration of the skin
caused by lack of oxygen in the blood
• Emphysema: progressive loss of lung function
due to decrease number of alveoli and loss of
elasticity of remaining alveoli
• Lung Cancer: Growth
of malignant cells in
the lungs that destroy
healthy tissue