Gas Exchange in the Lungs

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Picture of gas exchange in the lungs

Illustration copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

In the lungs, oxygen and carbon dioxide (a waste product of body processes) are exchanged in the tiny air sacs (alveoli) at the end of the bronchial tubes. The alveoli are surrounded by capillaries. When a person inhales, oxygen moves from the alveoli to the surrounding capillaries and into the bloodstream. At the same time, carbon dioxide moves from the bloodstream to the capillaries and into the alveoli. The carbon dioxide is removed from the lungs when a person exhales.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014

Current as of: September 9, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology