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The Respiratory System. Presentation created by: Lisa DeFino and Jacquelyn Flick. The Respiratory System:The organs working together for the breathing process to take place. Main function: Passes oxygen through the body and removes waste gases.

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The Respiratory System

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The Respiratory System

Presentation created by:

Lisa DeFino and Jacquelyn Flick

The Respiratory System:The organs working together for the breathing process to take place.

  • Main function:

    • Passes oxygen through the body and removes waste gases.

    • Transports gases to and from the circulatory system.

The Respiratory System

  • The Respiratory System is divided into the Upper Respiratory Tract and the Lower Respiratory Tract





What is the breathing process?

  • “Oxygen in the air is brought into the lungs and into close contact with the blood which absorbs it and carries it to all parts of the body. At the same time the blood gives up waste matter (carbon dioxide) which is carried out of the lungs when air is breathed out.”

    • American Lung Association, 2004

Two Phases of Breathing

  • Inspiration (Inhaling)

    • Taking in oxygen

    • Rib muscles contract causing rib cage to expand

    • Diaphragm contracts moving down

  • Expiration (Exhaling)

    • Giving off carbon dioxide (air pressure increases forcing the air out)

    • Rib muscles relax making rib cage contract

    • Diaphragm relaxes moving up



  • Breathing is an involuntary action

  • Three important steps occur when air is breathed in:

    • Oxygen is removed

    • Carbon Dioxide is added

    • Water Vapor is added

Components and Functions

  • Sinuses (frontal, maxillary, and spheniod)

    • Hollow spaces in the bones of the head

    • Regulate the temperature and humidity of air breathed in

  • Nose

    • Preferred entrance for outside air

    • Hairs act as air cleaning system

  • Mouth (oral cavity)

    • Alternate entrance for outside air

Components and Functions

  • Adenoids

    • Lymph tissue at the top of throat

    • Sometimes interfere with breathing and can be removed

    • The lymph system consists of nodes and connecting vessels carries throughout body and helps body resist infection

  • Tonsils

    • Lymph nodes in wall of throat

    • Germ fighting system of the body

  • Throat (pharynx)

    • Collects incoming air from the nose and mouth and passes it downward to the windpipe (trachea)

  • Epiglottis

    • A flap of tissue that guards the entrance to the windpipe, closing when anything is swallowed that should go into the esophagus and stomach

Components and Functions

  • Voice Box (larynx)

    • Contains the vocal chords. It is the place where moving air being breathed in and out creates voice sounds

  • Esophagus

    • The passage leading from the mouth and throat to the stomach

  • Windpipe (Trachea)

    • The passage leading from the throat (pharynx) to the lungs

  • Lungs

    • Are a pair of cone-shaped organs made up of spongy, pinkish- gray tissue

    • Takes in oxygen and gets rid of carbon dioxide, a waste product of the body’s cells

  • Lymph nodes

    • Contained in lungs against the walls of the bronchial tubes and windpipe

Components and Functions

  • Ribs

    • Bones supporting and protecting the chest cavity

    • Move to a limited degree, helping lungs to expand and contract

  • Bronchial tubes

    • Division of the windpipe, one for each lung

  • Lobes

    • Right lung contains 3/Left lung contains 2

    • Filled with sponge-like tissue

    • Air moves in and out through one opening –a branch of the bronchial tubes

  • Pleura

    • The two membranes, one continuous and one folded on itself, that surround each lobe of the lungs and separate the lungs from the chest wall

Components and Functions

  • Cilia

    • Small hairs with wave-like motion that line bronchial tubes

  • Mucus

    • Sticky liquid carried by cilia motion

    • Collects dust, germs, and other unwanted material in the lungs

  • Diaphragm

    • The strong wall muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity

    • By moving downward it creates suction in the chest to draw in air and expand the lungs

  • Bronchioles

    • Smallest subdivision of the bronchial tubes, located at the end of which are the air sacs or alveoli (alveolus)

Components and Functions

  • Alveoli

    • Very small air sacs that are the destination of air breathed in

  • Capillaries

    • Blood vessels that are imbedded in the walls of the alveoli, blood gives off C02 and takes O2 from the air in the alveoli

  • Pulmonary Artery

    • Carries blood through the capillaries

  • Pulmonary Vein

    • Takes away blood through the capillaries


Exchange of gases (CO2 & O2) in the tissues of the body

Air comes in and oxygen is diffused to parts of the body- carbon dioxide is expelled

Disease of the Respiratory System

  • Lung Cancer

    • Two types

      • Non-small cell lung cancer (more common)

      • Small cell lung cancer

Lung Cancer

Healthy Lung


Causes of Lung Cancer

  • Smoking

  • Radon

  • Exposure to cancer causing substances such as

    • Asbestos

    • Uranium

    • Arsenic

  • Pollution (new study in effect)


  • Chronic cough

  • Hoarseness

  • Coughing up blood

  • Weight loss/loss of appetite

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fever without a known reason

  • Wheezing

  • Repeated bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia

  • Chest pain


  • Treatment is based on the type of lung cancer, size or location, and extent of tumor and general health of patient

    • Surgery

      • Used in limited stage of disease

      • Some tumors can’t be removed due to size or location

    • Radiation Therapy

      • Form of high energy X-rays that kills the cancer cells

      • Used in combination with Chemotherapy or to relieve pain or blockage of airways

    • Chemotherapy

      • Use of drugs that kills the cancer cells

        • May be injections or pills

      • Used with surgery or to relieve symptoms in more advanced stages or in all stages with small cancer cells

Works Cited

  • Respiratory

  • American Lung Assosication:

  • Respiratory System:

Works Cited

  • Respiratory System:

  • UAB Health System:

Study Guide

  • Know the two main functions of the Respiratory System.

  • Know what the breathing process is.

  • List and describe the two phases of the breathing process.

  • Recognize the three steps involved when air is breathed in.

  • Know the two main gases involved in the Respiratory System.

  • Know the components and functions of the Respiratory System, especially lungs, ribs, diaphragm, and nose. Be able to label lungs, ribs, diaphragm, nose, and esophagus. (Diagram-Slide #14)

  • Define diffusion.

  • Breathing is an involuntary action.

  • Know the two tracts of the Respiratory System (Upper and Lower) and what they contain.

  • Know the two types of Lung Cancer, its causes, symptoms, and treatments.

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