BI 231 - Human Physiology and Anatomy
Respiration and Oxygenation Study Guide

Compiled by Pat Bowne, Sherry Dollhopf,and Justin LaManna, 2007-11


Our respiratory and cardiovascular systems work together to supply oxygen and remove CO2 from body tissues. This involves three processes: ventilation, in which air moves into the lungs; perfusion , in which blood circulates through the lungs; and gas exchange, in which Oxygen is passed from the lungs to the blood and CO2 is passed from the blood to the air in the lungs.

The body not only manages all these tasks, it can adjust them to maintain your gas balance under different circumstances.
Before class, make sure you: Understand the path of blood flow in the body, including the pulmonary and systemic circuits.

Understand the concepts of pH, diffusion, and gas partial pressure.
Tutorials and reading assignment: red blood cell life cycle tutorial
CO2 tutorial

Chapter 19, pages 742-747, 751-762
Ch 14, pages 534-538 (red blood cells and hemoglobin)

What you should know for the assessment: Inspiration and expiration

What structures does air pass through as it enters the lungs?

What structures are needed to inhale, and why?

What structures are involved in exchanging gas with the blood?

Red blood cell life cycle

What triggers red blood cell production?

Where are the red blood cells made?

How long do they circulate in the blood stream?

How are the breakdown products of worn out red blood cells removed or recycled?

Oxygen transport

Know the structure of hemoglobin

How many O2 molecules can hemoglobin hold?

What are O2 saturation, O2 affinity, and O2 capacity?

Use a hemoglobin oxygen saturation curve to predict how much oxygen has been released to cells based on oxygen concentrations.

Predict the changes in hemoglobin's O2 affinity caused by:

A)Changes in blood carbon dioxide concentration

B)Changes in blood pH

C)Presence of Carbon monoxide

D)Presence of 2,3-DPG

CO2 transport

What happens to carbon dioxide as it is transported in the blood?

How does increased or decreased CO2 affect blood pH?

How does increased or decreased respiration affect pCO2 and pH?

Control of respiration

How do the central chemoreceptors control respiration?

How do the peripheral chemoreceptors control respiration?

How is this related to a client with chronic lung disease?

List of terms to know about respiration and RBCs

Practice Questions

ANSWER the following questions using physiology concepts to support your answers:

A.) What does it mean for O2 supply to the tissues and hemoglobin oxygen affinity when the hemoglobin dissociation curve shifts to the left or to the right?

B.) In carbon monoxide poisoning, carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin, thereby preventing the uptake of oxygen by hemoglobin. In addition, when carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin, the oxygen-hemoglobin saturation curve shifts to the left. What are the consequences of this shift on the ability of tissues to get oxygen? Explain.

C.) What does an elevated reticulocyte count indicate? Would the reticulocyte count change during the week after a person had donated a unit of blood? Explain.

D.) Cigarette smoke produces carbon monoxide. If a nonsmoker smoked a pack of digarettes a day for a few weeks, what would happen to the number of red blood cells in the person’s blood? Explain.

E.) What effect does hyperventilation and holding one’s breath have on blood pH? Explain. 

F) Explain why persons with chronic respiratory disease should not be given high levels of Oxygen

Practice question with example answer

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