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primary function of the respiratory system

obtain oxygen and exchange it with carbon dioxide and to the blood for distribution

function of respiratory structures in the nasal cavity

filter, warm, and moisten inhaled air for entry into lungs

secondary functions of respiratory system

coughing, sneezing, talking, and singing (secondary because they are not due to oxygen delivery or carbon dioxide exchange)




voice box




one goes to each lung


smaller tubes of the bronchi


small air sacs that come from the bronchioles

process of air being inhaled

nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli


oily lubricant that reduces tension and keeps aveoli apart

muscles of inspiration

(inhalation) diaphragm and external intercostals

muscles of expiration

(exhalation) relaxation of diaphragm and external intercostals.
abdominals and internal intercostals when breathing is difficult or labored

membranes of the lungs

pleura and pleural cavity


double membrane, one layer covers the lungs the other lines the inner chest walls

pleural cavity

space in between the pleura that contains fluid that lubricates lung surfaces and reduces friction and creates pressure vacuum to protect the lung from collapsing

symptoms of respiratory disease

dyspnea, hemoptysis, tachypena, cyanosis
fever, coughs, fatigue, sinus throat and chest pain, sinus and nasal drainage, weakness of muscles and voice


labored breathing


coughing blood


rapid breathing


blue coloring due to decreaased oxygen

diagnostic procedures for respiratory disease

total lung volume: 6 liters
respirations per minute: 20-30
spirometry: measeures vital capacity

upper respiratory infections

common cold, sinusitis, nasal polyps, obstructive sleep apnea, allergic rhinitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, influenza

common cold

there are 200 strains of virus
acute inflammation of mucous membrane lining causing swelling and mucous secretions


inflammation of the mucus membranes of the sinuses
sinuses are the air filled spaces in the head

nasal polyps

noncancerous growths within the nasal or sinus passageway.
cause unknown but typically due to allergy to aspirin

obstructive sleep apnea

most common sleep disorder
interruption in the normal sleeping pattern is known as apnea
causes poor night sleep and decreases quality of life
75% cases decreased blood flow to the brain

allergic rhinitis

"hay fever"
sensitivity to airborne allergens
release of histamine causes excessive mucus, runny nose, and congestion


infection of lymphatic tissue
treatment: tonsils may be removed with recurrent infection


infection of the pharynx
strep throat caused by streptococci bacteria and diagnosed through immunological test


inflammation of the larynx and characterized by aphonia


hoarseness or lost voice


viral infection

lower respiratory infections

COPD, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, pneumoconiosis, pneumonia, pleurisy, pulmonary tuberculosis, pneumothorax, respiratory distress syndrom, bronchogenic carcinoma, atelectasis

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

numerous conditions where exchange of respiratory gases is ineffective


inflammation of the bronchi

acute bronchitis

cause: irritants (fumes, automobile exhaust)
dangerous in small children chronically ill and elderly characterized by chest pain, fever, chills

chronic bronchitis

repeated attacks of bronchitis with sputum productions lasting 3 months for 2 consecutive years
mucous reduces oxygen levels resulting in hypoxia

bronchial asthma

constriction of walls of the bronchi and bronchioles
breathing/expiration becomes difficult
mucous membranes are swollen, excessive secretions
major characteristic is wheezing sound
stale air becomes trapped
increased incidence with obesity

treatment of bronchial asthma

avoid allergens, epinephrine, cortisone
tracheotomy may be needed for status asthmaticus


disease caused by a restriction or obstruction resulting in the destruction of lung and vascular tissue

what happens in emphysema

alveolar walls break down
lungs lose elasticity causing difficulty exhaling
can result in atelectasis (lung collapse)

possible causes of emphysema

long term exposure to irritants and/or smoking

symptoms of emphysema

suffocating feeling and great distress

emphysema detected by


cystic fibrosis

disease that affects the exocrine glands that secrete mucus that blocks gland ducts
thick mucosal surface increases susceptibility to recurrent bacterial infections
manifests in young children
hereditary: autosomal recessive

cystic fibrosis primary cause of death

respiratory failure


is a COPD caused by dust particles


acute inflammation of the lungs where air spaces in the lungs are filled with an inflammatory exudate (fluid)

lobar pneumonia

entire lobe of the lung is involved


bronchi become obstructed
more common in debilitated patients who are less mobile or bedridden from other diseases

primary atypical pneumonia

"walking pneumonia"
diffuse pattern on x-ray

secondary pneumonia

immune system weakened from other conditions

legionnaire's disease

air borne bacteria on small droplets
potentially fatal


inflammation of pleural membranes
extremely painful

pulmonary tuberculosis

infectious disease causing necrosis of lung tissue
people lose weight and become cachectic (commonly called consumption) or "wasting away"

primary infection of pulmonary tuberculosis

bacteria causes caseous lesion (soft ad cheeselike)
heal and fibrose/calcify forming tubercles that wall off the bacteria

secondary infection of pulmonary tuberculosis

bacteria escape from the tubercles or a second exposure occurs
leukocytes now attack the bacteria and cause greater lung tissue destreuction (also attacks bone, liver, kidney, and brain)

pneumothorax means...

air in chest
outer air gets in


lung collapse

respiratory distress syndrome (adult)

due to aspiration or inhalation of food or vomit material into the respiratory pathways

respiratory distress syndrome (infant)

stiff lung

bronchogenic carcinoma

most common type of lung cancer
greatest danger of blockage of airway
80% of cancer related to smoking

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