Respiratory System

Respiration and Breathing

How does the body introduce oxygen to the blood and where does this happen?

Blood entering the right side of the heart (right atrium) contains carbon dioxide, a waste product of the body. The blood travels to the right ventricle, which pushes it through the pulmonary artery to the lungs. In the lungs, the carbon dioxide is removed and oxygen is added to the blood. Then the blood travels through the pulmonary vein carrying the fresh oxygen to the left side of the heart. It first enters left atrium, where it goes through a one-way valve into the left ventricle, which must push the oxygenated blood to all portions of the body (except the lungs) through a network of arteries and capillaries. The left ventricle must contract with six times the force of the right ventricle, so its muscle wall is therefore twice as thick as that of the right ventricle.


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