KEGS Biology Blog

Monday 21st January Section 1
January 21, 2013, 2:04 pm
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Different elements of lung volume
– Tidal volume- the volume of air moved in and out of the lungs with each breath when you are at rest.
– Vital capacity- the largest volume of air that can be moved into and out of the lungs in any one breath.
– Residual volume- the volume of air which always remains in the lungs, even after the biggest possible exhalation.
– Dead space- the air in the bronchioles, bronchi and trachea.
– Inspiratory reserve volume- how much air can be inspired over and above the normal tidal volume when you take in a big breath.
– Expiratory reserve volume- how much air can be expired over and above the amount that is breathed in a tidal volume breath.

– These different elements of lung volume can be shown on a trace diagram.

– A spirometer consists of an oxygen-filled chamber which floats on a water tank. A person breathes from a mouthpiece attached to a tube connected to the chamber- breathing in removes oxygen from the chamber, which therefore sinks down. Breathing out pushes air into the chamber, which then floats up.

Safety precautions:
– Soda lime is used to remove carbon dioxide from the air in the chamber’s enclosed space.
– The chamber is filled with medical-grade oxygen.
– The tubes must be above the level of water.
– The person must wear a nose clip in order to make sure no air escapes from the nose/ensures that the experiment is valid.
– Always use a disposable mouthpiece to prevent the spread of diseases.
– The person who breathes into the mouthpiece must not suffer from asthma.

– If the spirometer experiment is carried out in different temperatures, the readings will change. For example, in hot temperatures gases expand, which results in different volumes of the gases.

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