Gas Transport to the Periphery, Part 1
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Your lungs suck in oxygen gas (O2) and blow off carbon dioxide (CO2). They suck, and they blow. All day long. That’s what lungs do.
Your tissues need O2 to live. CO2 is a waste product of cell metabolism, and needs to be got rid of.
Take for example, your brain. The cells there need lots of O2, or they will die. If they die, that is bad. The cells there also generate buckets and buckets of CO2 as a waste product. You got to get rid of the waste product, or the cells will die. It is bad to let your brain cells die. Now your lungs have lots of O2, and are very good at getting rid of CO2. But, unless you’re a mutant, your brain is nowhere near your lungs. So how do these gases get transported?
This is why you have BLOOD!
O2 gets dissolved into blood. It can then be pumped from your lungs (where there is plenty of it) to your peripheral tissues (where it is needed).
CO2 is also dissolved in blood. It is then taken from the periphery (where it is generated) to the lungs (which blow it out of the body and make it go bye-bye).
How does this work? These gases are actually transported in significantly different ways.
Here are some other concepts with which you should be familiar:
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