Lungs What Are the Lungs? Term Paper

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What are the lungs?

The lungs form a part of the respiratory system. It is situated inside the rib cage in the chamber of the chest. The lungs are spongy, light, large, round and inflatable organ that performs the function of supplying oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide from the blood. Lungs are a pair of huge soft organs that almost cover the chamber of the chest. The left lung is comparatively smaller than the right lung that provides room for the heart chest cavity. While breathing, air is taken into the body through the nose and the mouth, which later proceeds down through a pipe known as the trachea. Trachea is divided into two pipes known as the primary bronchi. Each primary bronchus is connected to each lung. These bronchi branches out into tiny air paths which is later taken into smaller air sacs known as alveoli. All these organs, beginning from the nose till the alveoli gives the picture of a downside up tree. The alveoli are situated around very small blood vessels. It is that part of the lungs where gases move to and fro the blood. ("Organs-Lungs," n. d.)

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Oxygen is transported into the blood from the alveoli while carbon dioxide formed in the blood during catabolism of nutrient cell is transported back into the alveoli. The normal intake of air in a minute is calculated as five hundred ml. This quantity of air taken in is fifteen times a minute. If more oxygen is required by the body, the nervous system enhances the speed to breathe more air. This condition arises in a person while exercising. Breathing action is performed by the expansion and contraction of the breathing muscles and the diaphragm. While breathing in, the muscles surrounding the lungs are contracted to put the ribs apart and create space in the chest cavity. This activity is performed to decrease the pressure in the lungs and enable the entry of air into the lungs. While breathing out, these muscles expand to allow the ribs to join together. This is how air is flown in and out of the lungs. ("Organs-Lungs," n. d.)

Term Paper on Lungs What Are the Lungs? The Lungs Assignment

2. Describe the lungs role in the normal functioning of the human body and its contribution to maintenance of homeostasis.

Lungs give the energy required for the human body to function. This power is taken from the air in the atmosphere. The lungs act as the moderator through which this power is passed on to the body by breathing in and breathing out. When breathing stops in a body, all other organs also stop functioning. A simple example to prove the importance of lungs in our day-to-day activity is the impact on our breathing while walking fast or climbing up the stairs quickly. Thus, lungs are essential for the normal functioning of a body. (Fitch, 1850) While administering anesthesia it is important to stabilize homeostasis of the patient. This can be maintained by continuously observing the functioning of the cardiovascular system. Observation of the patient includes continuous check on the change in color of the mucus membrane, auscultation or electrocardiogram and blood pressure. Respiratory system should also be monitored. A change in the color of the mucous membrane shows that oxygenation is taking place. While conducting surgeries that take a long duration, the lungs are manually inflated to avoid atelectasis. Immediate recovery of the patient is expected if there is enough cardiopulmonary function during the surgery. (Bennett, 1996)

3. What are the anatomical, physiological, and cellular mechanisms behind the structure or performance parameter?

Breathing is a vital function of the body since it is through this process the oxygen required to form the energy that maintains life is taken in. While breathing air through the nose and the mouth, it is taken to the lungs via the trachea or windpipe. The air then moves through two huge air paths known as bronchi. Bronchi are divided into tiny pipes known as bronchioles which carriers oxygen to alveoli which constitute a million of air bags. Alveoli look similar to miniature balloons with very delicate walls comprised of blood vessels. The walls are very delicate that oxygen passes through it to get into the bloodstream. Thus oxygen is transported to the entire body from the alveoli. Hence by breathing in, the oxygen required for the function of the body is taken in and by breathing out the unwanted carbon dioxide formed as a part of breathing is given out. ("Lung Anatomy," 2008)

The breathing in and breathing out of gases takes place when the lungs are exposed to fresh air. Respiration takes place due to the routine contraction and expansion of the lungs. While breathing in, the diaphragm contracts and the intercostal muscle of the rib cage pulls air to the lungs. Later these two muscles work together to enable the expansion of the lungs. While breathing in, there is a reduction in the intrathoracic force and increase in intra-abdominal force. Contraction of the intercostals muscles leads to the opening up of the chest wall while the contraction of the diaphragm moves down the organs of the abdomen. In the case of opposite movement of the chest or the stomach, it suggests that any one of the system is feeble. (Effros, 2006)

Additionally, the right and the left diaphragm should move at the same time. The inability of any one of the diaphragm to move along with the other will result in the reduced intake of air. A sniff test is ideal to diagnose the proper movement of the diaphragm. Here, the patient is subjected to sniff while the movement of the diaphragm is monitored through fluoroscopy or ultrasound. In a positive case, the diaphragm moves downward during inhalation by enhancing the intra-abdominal force and reducing the intra-thoracic force. Under this condition, the weak side of the diaphragm moves upward. The weakness of the diaphragm results in a wound to the phrenic nerve. The wound may happen in any part of the diaphragm stretching from the C3-C5 of the vertebrae to the thorax and may stretch till the bottom of the diaphragm. Unilateral weakness of the diaphragm leads to a small disorder in the ventilation of the lungs. (Effros, 2006)

In the case of bilateral phrenic nerve weakness when the intercostal and auxiliary respiratory muscles continue to function, ventilation of the lungs cannot be stabilized. Instead, there will be an acute hindrance to the ventilation mechanism of the lungs.Auxiliary respiratory muscles that take part in the ventilation process comprises of scalenus which plays a significant role in routine respiration and sternocleidomastoid muscles which function only during stressed breathing. The capacity of a person to breathe can be found out by fixing a respiratory device blocking the mouth which records the maximum force exerted during inhalation and exhalation. Though breathing in air includes the tightening of the muscle, breathing out is an inactive method and relies on the stretching nature of the pulmonary tissues. While assisting mechanical ventilation, the abdominal muscles and the intercostal muscles should be tightened to verify the impact on the breathing process. The loss of stretching tissues in the lungs is called emphysema. (Effros, 2006)

Patients with this impairment will have difficulty in exhalation. Patients who experience intrathoracic hindrance will use muscles in the abdomen to push the diaphragm up while exhaling. This phenomenon decreases the width of the bronchi which in turn restricts the speed at which a patient can conduct exhalation. This is not a good condition of lung anatomy and hence a better understanding can be obtained from the formation of lungs as an extension of the gastrointestinal tract. Unicellular organisms exchange gas through the easy method of diffusion. The evolution and function or a respiratory system began with the formation of multicellular organisms in the Precambrian age which is estimated to be around 0.5 to 1.0 billion years. Gills are considered to be the first organ that assisted respiration. Remains of the gills are still found in various other organisms. Gills carry the tissues that carry out evagination that assisted gaseous exchange between blood and water. In human lungs, this phenomenon is seen as invaginations of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Hence, the characteristics of lungs make it the perfect organ to maintain terrestrial life. (Effros, 2006)

4. How are the lungs uniquely suited to its function?

Lungs are uniquely crafted in terms of its physiology and anatomy to enable the transportation of carbon dioxide and oxygen. The metabolic activity and exclusive features of the lungs have been recognized for over seventy years. This feature of the lung makes it a vital component in the formation of biological mixtures and medicines. A 1925 research stated that only by the inclusion of lungs in the cycle of the body, the kidneys could diffuse liquid sufficiently. In the absence of the lungs, the defibrinated blood transported to the kidneys formed a restriction to the vessel carrying them. The substance that causes constriction in the blood vessel was called serotonin or 5-HT… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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