To get oxygen into our bodies we breathe in. We breathe in by taking in air into our bodies through the nose or mouth. At the nose, air is warmed and moisturized (1). Then the air goes into the lungs where it gets into the air sacs. The air sacs are surrounded by blood vessels and that’s where oxygen is passed to the bloodstream (2). The blood now has oxygen in it and the blood travels to the heart to be pumped throughout the body.
The human body is made up of small cells that all require oxygen to function. There are about thirty trillion cells in our body (3). Once the blood reaches a cell, it will drop off oxygen and pick up the carbon dioxide waste that the cell has produced. The carbon dioxide is carried in the bloodstream back to the heart and then to the lungs where it goes into the lungs and we breathe it out (3). We inhale about seventeen thousand times per day (4). The heart pumps an average of a hundred thousand times per day (5).
I was really surprised to find out how the oxygen can move from the air sacs into the blood and how fast we can get oxygen into our bodies and carbon dioxide out of our body. What surprises you about the respiratory system?
In my next round of research I will look into why we need oxygen in our cells.