Anatomy Physiology

Circulatory systems are necessary for living organisms to transport nutrients, waste and gases from all the cells in the body. Even single cell organisms perform this function and use their surface as an exchange point. In humans, the pulmonary circulation system is just one of many circulation systems that keeps the body running in top condition.

Pulmonary circulation is responsible to deliver oxygenated blood to the heart, and to remove waste. The function of the lungs is very important in this continual route of blood from the heart, to the lungs, and back to the heart again. The cardiovascular system can not function without the lungs.

The lungs are cone shaped organs that are housed in the chest. The right lung has 3 lobes and the left lung has 2 lobes. Each lung is protected by a thin membrane called pleura. The rib cage also gives the lungs protection. Below the lungs is a dome shaped muscle called the diaphragm. This muscle helps the lungs to take in and release air.

Lungs have a double supply of blood. The pulmonary circulation is for gas exchange with the alveoli. The alveoli are tiny little air-sacks where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. The second is the bronchial circulation. This supplies the parenchyma (tissue) of the lung itself.

When a breath of air is taken in it passes through the bronchial tubes to reach the lungs.These bronchial tubes are lined with cilia. The cilia uses a wave like motion to move mucus .The mucus catches germs, dirt, and other unwanted elements. Then when you sneeze, cough or swallow this matter is removed and keeps the lung safe from contamination.

At the end of the bronchial tubes are the tiny little subdivisions referred to as bronchioles. The alveoli are located at the very end of these.

Take a look at how the pulmonary system works with the lungs. After the blood goes through the body and exchanges the oxygenated blood and collects the carbon dioxide it returns to the heart. Veins bring the blood to the right atrium of the heart through two large veins called vena cavae.  The right atrium fills and then pushes the blood through a one way valve to the right ventricle.

The right ventricle contracts to push the blood carrying waste through the pulmonary artery to the lungs. Once the blood reaches the lungs, the capillaries in the lung begin to do their job. The carbon dioxide is released and exhaled out of the lungs. The capillaries then fill the blood with oxygen. The blood, now full of oxygen enters the pulmonary veins. The blood passes through a one-way valve going into the left ventricle. It will then be pumped through the body by the heart.

Clearly, if the lungs don’t function properly then the entire body suffers.