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    Gas Exchange in the Lungs

    Gas Exchange in the Lungs

    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.

    By Healthwise Staff
    E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
    Last Revised November 29, 2011

    Last Revised: November 29, 2011

    Author: Healthwise Staff

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

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