Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiolo...

7th Edition
Des Jardins + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning,
ISBN: 9781337794909

Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiolo...

7th Edition
Des Jardins + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning,
ISBN: 9781337794909


Chapter 4, Problem 8RQ
Textbook Problem

Under normal resting conditions, the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide is usually completed in about

1. 0.25 second

2. 0.50 second

3. 0.75 second

4. 1.0 second

5. one-third of the time available:

A. 2 only

B. 3 only

C. 4 and 5 only

D. 1 and 5 only

Expert Solution
Summary Introduction


The exchange of gases is performed in the alveolar space and capillaries. The deoxygenated blood in the capillaries, carrying carbon dioxide, is oxygenated with the oxygen carried into the alveolar space. This exchange of gases takes place during the transit time of the blood through the alveolar-capillary system.

Explanation of Solution

Justification/ Explanation for the correct answer:

Option (D) is 0.25 seconds. When blood enters the alveolar-capillary system the gaseous exchange is facilitated by the difference between the pressure gradient of the two gases. The pressure gradient of oxygen is 60 mm Hg and that of carbon dioxide is 6 mm of Hg. This facilitates the diffusion of two gases. This diffusion takes place in one-third of the transit time available. In resting or normal conditions, the transit time is 0.75 seconds. This makes the time for exchange of gases as 0.25 seconds. Hence, option (D) is correct.

Explanation for the incorrect answers:

Option (A) is 2 only, that is, 0.50 seconds. This time is double the actual value. The exchange of gases takes one-third of transit time...

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