Q:

What happens when blood reaches the lungs?

A:

Quick Answer

Blood that reaches the lungs travels throughout a network of small blood vessels, where oxygen moves into the blood and carbon dioxide moves out of the blood, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. This oxygen-rich blood is transported through the pulmonary veins and back to the heart, where it is pumped out to the rest of the body.

Continue Reading
What happens when blood reaches the lungs?
Credit: Science Picture Co Collection Mix: Subjects Getty Images

Full Answer

The air exchange in the lungs is important to the body's overall functioning. Oxygen that enters the blood in the lungs is obtained through air that is breathed in, or inhaled. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute explains that inhaled air travels down the windpipe, through the bronchial tubes and into small air sacs called alveoli. Small blood vessels called capillaries surround the alveoli. Oxygen passes through the thin walls of the alveoli and into the blood in the capillaries. A protein in the red blood cells called hemoglobin helps to transport the oxygen. At the same time, carbon dioxide passes from the blood into the alveoli. When air is breathed out, or exhaled, the air contained in the alveoli, which is rich in carbon dioxide, is forced out of the lungs and exits the body through the nose and mouth.

Learn more about Blood

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do red blood cells have no nucleus?

    A:

    Red blood cells have no nucleus, because most of their bulk is made up of hemoglobin, a compound that carries gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. In fact, about a third of a red blood cell is dedicated to hemoglobin alone, so no room remains for a nucleus or many of the structures that other cells have.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long does it take to get blood test results?

    A:

    Blood test results can take up to a few weeks to receive, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Patients should follow up with their doctor to discuss test results.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is TTP blood disease?

    A:

    TTP, or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, is a disorder which causes the formation of blood clots in blood vessels, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The clots, which develop in small vessels anywhere in the body, can reduce blood flow to body organs, and the clotting process uses up blood platelets. TTP can also cause the breaking apart of red blood cells.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes anemia?

    A:

    Blood loss, insufficient red blood cell generation and accelerated red blood cell destruction are the three primary causes of anemia, as reported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Anemia is a health condition characterized by a deficiency of normal red blood cells that produce the oxygen-carrying pigment, hemoglobin.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore