What Does the Respiratory System Do?

respiratory-system Credit: Dorling Kindersley/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

The respiratory system is a group of organs that provide the body with oxygen. Oxygen is needed for cells in the human body to live.

The respiratory system consists of the lungs, throat, diaphragm, nose and mouth. Working together, these organs convert the air that is breathed into oxygen for the blood.

The process begins when a person breathes in air. Once taken into the body, the air travels through the throat into the chest cavity where it is processed by the bronchial tubes into the alveoli of the lungs. There, unneeded air such as carbon dioxide is removed and prepared to exit the body.

If one of these components of the respiratory system fails, oxygen intake is compromised, and the result can be serious if not fatal.