The goals of respiration are to provide oxygen to the tissues and to remove carbon dioxide. To achieve these goals, respiration can be divided into four major functions: (1) pulmonary ventilation, which means the inflow and outflow of air between the atmosphere and the lung alveoli; (2) diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the alveoli and the blood; (3) transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood and body fluids to and from the body's tissue cells; and (4) regulation of ventilation and other facets of respiration. This chapter is a discussion of pulmonary ventilation, and the subsequent five chapters cover other respiratory functions plus the physiology of special respiratory abnormalities.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.