Oxygen-Carbon Dioxide Exchange

Definition of Oxygen-Carbon Dioxide Exchange The process by which oxygen passes from the air in the lungs to the hemoglobin in the blood, and carbon dioxide from the hemoglobin passes into the air in the lungs. Oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange is fundamental to life and is the primary function of the lungs. Oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange takes place between the alveoli, the […]

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Positive Airway Pressure

Definition of Positive Airway Pressure Positive Airway Pressure is methods to maintain higher than normal air pressure against the inner walls of the bronchi and trachea during breathing. Positive airway pressure may be a treatment for atelectasis (collapsed lung), chronic respiratory failure, and sleep apnea. It is also an important aspect of mechanical ventilation. The most common method is continuous positive airway pressure […]

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Respiration Rate for Adults and Children

Definition of Respiration Rate The number of respiratory cycles a person completes in one minute. A typical healthy adult has a rate of 15 to 20 per minute, measured by counting each inhalation or each exhalation (a respiratory cycle is one of each). Normally is lower at rest and during sleep, and accelerates as well as […]

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Respiratory Cycle – Definition and Human Lungs

Definition of Respiratory Cycle Respiratory Cycle is one repetition of the pattern of inhalation (breathing air into the lungs), oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange, and exhalation (breathing air out of the lungs). In health a typical adult completes 15 to 20 respiratory cycles a minute, called the respiration rate. The brainstem regulates the respiratory cycle in response to feedback mechanisms from other […]

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Thoracentesis Procedure – Definition

Definition of Thoracentesis Procedure Thoracentesis is the removal of fluid from the pleural cavity (the space between the pleural surfaces of the lung and thoracic cavity). The doctor typically uses chest x-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (ct) scan to assess the appropriate site for the thoracentesis and may use any of these imaging procedures to guide […]

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Thoracotomy Surgery (procedure) – Definition and Complications

What is Thoracotomy Surgery, Procedure and Definition Thoracotomy is a major operation in which the surgeon opens the chest cavity to remove part or all of a lung. Surgeons most commonly perform thoracotomy to treat lung cancer or severe trauma to the lungs. Other reasons for thoracotomy include lung abscess that does not respond to antibiotic therapy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease […]

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Aging, Pulmonary Changes That Occur With

What is this article about? The lungs and tracheobronchial structures undergo few but significant changes over the course of the lifespan. From moments after birth to near the end of life the lungs function continuously and consistently, bringing air into the body to deliver oxygen to the blood and carrying air out of the body […]

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Tracheostomy Procedure – Definition and Complications

Definition of Tracheostomy Procedure Tracheostomy is a surgical opening created in the trachea to allow air to enter the lungs, bypassing the upper throat and mouth. A tracheostomy may be temporary or permanent. The doctor may perform a tracheostomy when extensive surgery such as to treat laryngeal cancer results in removing the shared structures of the throat that allow […]

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Auscultation (lung) – Heart and Breath Sounds

Definition of Auscultation Auscultation is the diagnostic procedure of listening to the lungs using a stethoscope held to various placements on the chest and back. Auscultation allows the doctor to hear normal and abnormal breath sounds, the noises of air flowing through the respiratory tract. The doctor typically listens to the same location for each lung, to compare the sounds, and […]

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Breathing Exercises – Deep Breathing and Yoga

Definition of Breathing Exercises Breathing exercises are methods to improve lung capacity. Exercises are especially helpful for people who have chronic or progressive lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd), bronchiectasis, and pulmonary fibrosis. The pulmonologist or respiratory therapist may prescribe specific breathing exercises to accommodate an individual’s unique needs and health status. General exercises often recommended include […]

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