Pulmonary Volumes and Capacities

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Pulmonary Volumes and Capacities

I. Pulmonary Volume

  • Volume of air in the lungs.
  • It is divided into four different types, according to the completely or incompletely filled lungs during breathing.

1. Tidal Volume (TV) : The volume of air inspired or expired involuntarily in each normal breath. It is about 500 ml of air in average young adult man.

2. Inspiratory Reserve Volume (IRV) : The maximum volume of air which a person can inhale over and above tidal volume by deepest possible voluntary inspiration. It is about 3000 ml.

3. Expiratory Reserve Volume (ERV) : The volume of air which can be expired over] and above the tidal volume with maximum effort. It is about 1100 ml.

4. Residual Volume (RV) : The volume of air left in the lungs even after maximum forceful expiration. It is about 1200 ml.

II. Pulmonary Capacities : Combination of two or more pulmonary volumes.

  • Inspiratory Capacity (IC) : TV + IRV. It is about 3500 ml.
  • Functional Residual Capacity (FRC) : ERV + RV. It is about 2300 ml.
  • Vital Capacity (VC) : IRV + TV + ERV. It is the maximum amount of air a person can expel forcefully from his lungs after first filling these with a maximum deep inspiration. It is about 4600 ml.
  • Total Lung Capacity (TLC) : TV + IRV + RV + ERV. It is about 5800 ml.

Note :

All pulmonary volume and capacities are about 20% to 25% less in women than in men, more in athletic people than non – exercising ones and more in non smokers than the smokers.
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Respiratory Disorders in Human Body

Asphyxia : It is a condition caused by increase in CO2 concentration in tissue.

Hypoxia : Shortage of oxygen supply to body.

Hypopnoea : Slow breathing.

Hyperpnoea : Rapid breathing.

Apnoea : No breathing.

Dyspnoea : Painful breathing except in upright position.

Orthopnoea : Difficult breathing.

Tachypnoea : Rapid shallow breathing.

COPD : Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which includes Emphysema, Chronic bronchitis and Asthma.

Emphysema : A situation of ‘short breath’ due to die break down of alveolar walls and reduction of respiratory area as it happens due to smoking.

Tuberculosis : A bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Pneumonia : Infection of lungs by Diplococcus pneumonia and leads to accumulation of mucous and lymph in alveoli, impairing gaseous exchange.

Whooping cough or Pertussis : An infectious disease caused by bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

Asthma : Difficult breathing due to spasm in bronchial muscles and narrowing of bronchi.

Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (SAS) : Persons with snoring habit suffer with sleep apnoea syndrome because their upper respiratory tract closes on inhalation leading to apnoea and sleep breaks.

Cough : A reflex in lower respiratory passages followed by forceful expulsion of air to remove any irritant.

Sneeze : A reflex similar to cough but applies to nasal passageways instead of lower respiratory passages.

Hypercapnia : Excess of CO2 in the body.

Cyanosis : Means blueness of skin because of excessive amount of deoxygenated haemoglobin.

Atelectasis : Means collapse of alveoli. Lack of surfactant also leads to atelectasis.

Hiccups : Exact reason unknown; due to spasmodic contraction of diaphragm (possibly due to irritation of phrenic nerve which supplies the diaphragm).

Pleurisy : Inflammation of pleural membrane causing severe chest pain.

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