Pulmonary compliance is the ability of the pulmonary wall to bear the pressure exerted by the air present and the air inspired. Lung compliance is measured as a change in the volume of lungs per unit change in the pressure. It determines the capacity of the lungs to accommodate the volume of air in liters for each centimeter change in the pressure of water. The combined average value of the compliance for the lung and the chest wall is 0.1 L/cm of water. The wall of the lungs and the thoracic wall recoil, but the compliance of only the lung wall is 2.0 L/cm of water.
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