Chapter 5- Gas Exchange

A summary of the 5th chapter, Gas Exchange, of the AQA GCSE Human Health and Physiology textbook

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  • Created by: R_Hall
  • Created on: 13-06-12 09:40

5.1 Gas exchange

  • The lungs are the vital organs that allow the gas exchange between obtaining oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide
  • When you breathe, the intercostal muscles between the ribs contract to pull up the rib cage, and the diaphragm contracts and flattens. This increases the volume and decreases the internal pressure of the thorax, to air is pulled in.
  • When we breathe, large particles enter the nose, and are filtered out by mucus and hairs
  • Cilia are tiny hairs on the surface of air tubes, and beat to move mucus up the throat to be coughed up or swallowed (cigarette smoke kills cilia, so mucus accumulates and smokers cough a lot)
  • The air passes through the bronchial tree, and enters millions of tiny alveoli
  • Carbon dioxide makes the blood acidic, which is detected by pH receptors, which tells the brain to increase the breathing rate
  • Mouth-to-mouth depends to delivering respired air to the casualty, increased CO2 is detected and breathing is stimulated
  • Scientists are working to develop a portable, artificial lung. The ultimate goal is to create an artificial lung for transplant
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