Main content

    Health Information

    Respiratory System

    Respiratory System

    The respiratory system

    Illustration copyright 2000, 2004 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

    The main function of the respiratory system is to supply the blood with oxygen in order for the blood to deliver oxygen to all parts of the body. The respiratory system does this through breathing.

    The upper respiratory tract (upper airway) consists of the nose, mouth, sinuses, pharynx (upper section of the throat), and larynx (voice box). The lower respiratory tract consists of the trachea (windpipe), bronchial tubes, and lungs. The bronchial tubes carry air into the lungs and branch into smaller and smaller bronchioles. These end in alveoli (air sacs).

    By Healthwise Staff
    E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology
    Last Revised July 10, 2012

    Last Revised: July 10, 2012

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

    1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.