What Does the Respiratory System Consist Of.

The respiratory system carries out two vital things which enable us to live. That is, body cells need a constant supply of oxygen, and they also need to get their waste product in the form of carbon dioxide.

The respiratory system consists of all the necessary organs involved in the act of breathing which provides the vital supply of oxygen to the body cells.

All of the breathing apparatus can be likened to a series of pipes which enable air to reach the lungs, where small sacs called alveoli act to transfer oxygen to the bloodstream and dispel carbon dioxide.

The respiratory system which controls the breathing process consists of the nose and mouth, trachea, larynx, pharynx, bronchi, and the lungs.

The Trachea and Upper Air Passage.

Both the nose and mouth are part of this system. Air from the outside enters the body via either of these air entrances

-          Air which is taken in, usually through the nasal cavities (nostrils), but occasionally through the mouth, travels initially down the throat (pharynx) to the larynx (voice box ).

-          The air then travels down directly into the lungs via the trachea (windpipe).

It is important that the upper air passage is always  free from any obstruction which could prevent the proper intake of air. The upper air passageway also assists in warming and moistening the air prior to it reaching the lungs.

The Lungs.

The lungs consist of two cone shaped organs which along with the heart occupy most of the space in the chest cavity. They are designed to supply the body cells with oxygen via the bloodstream and eliminate the waste carbon dioxide.

Each time we inhale we take in air containing oxygen, and when we exhale we breath out, the CO2  waste gas.

We posses two lungs, the left and the right. Each lung is divided into large sections of tissue which are separated by dividers. In the right lung there are three dividers, and in the left lung two, since part of the lung space is taken up by the heart muscle.


The bronchi consist of a system of pipes starting with the bronchiole which is attached to the bottom of the trachea. Initially the system splits into two branches, but subsequently branch out many times through all of the lungs.

Eventually the bronchi form the alveoli where the oxygen transfer takes place into the bloodstream. The alveoli are the main areas of gas exchange so it is important that they are situated closely to the capillaries, which contain the blood vessels involved in the gas exchange.

When we inhale, air, which has a high oxygen content travels down the trachea, through the bronchi, and into the alveoli. It is then transferred into the bloodstream. At the same time, but traveling in the opposite direction, the blood vessels carrying the waste carbon dioxide transfer the gas to the air in the alveoli and it is exhaled.

The respiratory system consists of all of these vital organs which ensure that we can take in the oxygen gas necessary for life, and eliminate the carbon dioxide gas which would rapidly poison the whole body.

Written by on March 22, 2011 under Health.


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