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Bitte einmal ganz tief Luft holen | Animus Medicus GmbH

Please take a deep breath

How are our lungs actually structured? 

Divide the two lungs of the paired lungs further into lung lobes. The right lung consists of 3 lobes and 10 segments, the left only consists of 2 lobes and 9 segments (the location of the heart makes it a bit tight here). As a result, the left lung has less space and has only developed two lobes.

The whole thing brings with it another special feature. For example, if you choke, there is a greater chance that the object will end up in your right lung. You can see the whole thing quite clearly in the photos. This is simply because the right bronchial branch runs somewhat vertically, as an extension of the trachea, and the left branch branches off at an angle, so it is less likely that something will fall in here.

Functionally, the air-conducting bronchial system is differentiated from the gas-exchanging alveoli. 

Bronchial system (air-conducting):

The division of the lungs into lobes and segments corresponds to that of the bronchial system. A lobe bronchus supplies a lung lobe with breathing air, and a lung segment is also assigned to the segmental bronchi. 

The bronchial tree splits open almost 20 times. A distinction is made between main, lobar, segmental and subsegmental bronchi. Accordingly, the lungs are divided into lungs, lobes and segments. 

These sections only serve to transport air from the lungs to the outside and vice versa. But not only that. These sections also have an important filter function. The air you breathe in is filtered here using various mechanisms so that pollutants, dirt, germs and dust don't just get into your lungs.

Gas Exchange: 

The respiratory bronchioli represent the starting point for gas exchange in the lungs. At its end, the alveolar duct (ductus alveolaris), there is a collection of alveoli (sacculus alveolaris). The total of almost 300 million alveoli cover an area of ​​100 m². Interalveolar septa separate the alveoli from each other. 

That sounds really crazy doesn't it? But it gets even better. The alveoli have a great connection to your blood system and are surrounded by many tiny vessels. This is where the actual gas exchange takes place. The fresh air you breathe in is full of oxygen, which your cells need for numerous metabolic processes. On the other hand, your blood in the vessels is enriched with CO2 and contains little oxygen because your cells have already used it.

Through this gradient and complicated biochemical processes, the CO2 now migrates into the air we breathe and is exchanged for fresh O2. Your blood now has fresh oxygen again and can continue to supply your cells. You now breathe out the old air and thereby breathe out the carbon dioxide.

Ever heard of a pulmonary artery embolism? This can occur, for example, if a thrombus detaches from the leg and travels up to the lungs. This causes pulmonary vessels to be partially or completely closed. The result? You have filled alveoli, but without blood. This means that gas exchange can no longer take place in these areas --> increased dead space. This leads to a lack of oxygen and shortness of breath because your body can no longer breathe out enough CO2 and absorb O2.

Smoking and the lungs

Knowledge? Just consuming one cigarette can shorten your lifespan by 7 minutes. If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, your lifespan will be reduced to 35 days per year! 

Is tobacco consumption really worth it? Probably not. Smoking also represents a risk factor for a wide variety of diseases and tumors.

Pretty much any illness can be caused by smoking. In this respect, it is extremely questionable why smoking is so encouraged. Where Actually not, because money obviously plays a major role here, but that's a different topic now!

That's it for the little view of the lungs. Did you like the post? Please let me know and ask your questions in the comments. You are also welcome to add any additions. :-)