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Tidal volume

Amount of air inhaled or exhaled during normal breathing; approx 500mL

Inspiratory reserve volume

Maximum amount of air inhaled after a normal inhalation; approx. 3100mL

Expiratory reserve volume

Maximum amount of air exhaled after a normal exhalation; approx 1,200mL

Residual volume

The amount of air that remains in the lung after you forcibly exhale

Minimal volume

The amount of air in the lungs after they've collapsed; approx. 100ml

Vital capacity

Maximum amount of air you can exhale after a maximum inhalation; tidal volume + IRV + ERV = 4800mL

Inspiratory capacity

Maximum amount of air that one can inhale; tidal volume + IRV = 3600mL

Functional residual capacity

Amount of air left in lungs after normal exhalation; residual volume + ERV = 2400ml

Total lung capacity

The total of all respiratory capacities; approx 6000mL/6L per minute

Dalton's law

Law stating that in a mixture of gases, the total pressure is the sum of the pressure of each of its individual components; explains the process of simple diffusion of gases in the lungs and tissue; partial pressure determines rate of diffusion for O2 and CO2; all gasses move from greater to lesser pressure

External respiration

Exchange of O2 and CO2 between alveoli and the blood in the pulmonary capillaries; factors that make external respiration efficient: thin and large surface area of alveolar membranes, extensive branching of pulmonary capillaries, pressure gradient across the membrane, and short distance during exchange


Disease that affects external respiration due the thickening of alveoli; caused by a bacteria which causes a fibrous thickening of the wall


Disease caused by smoking where the alveolar walls burst, thus complicating the process of external respiration (gas exchange)

Internal respiration

Gas exchange between oxygenated blood and all of the body tissues

Henry's law

Law stating that the ability of a gas to dissolve in a solution depends on its partial pressure and its solubility coefficient; explains how gases are carried in the blood

Solubility coefficient

Measurement of how easily gases dissolve in solutions; higher partial pressure and greater SC - will dissolve if numbers are high

O2 and CO2

Have a low solubility coefficient and is thus hard to dissolve into blood


Any environment where you have more of any amount of oxygen; forces more than normal amount of O2 into blood

Hyperbaric chamber

Treatment for patients who are deprived of O2

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