Basics of the Respiratory System

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1) What is the primary function of the respiratory system?

2) How many lobes do the lungs have? Why do you think that one side has fewer lobes than the other?

3) Besides providing a path for air, what are the 3 main functions of the nose? Or another way of phrasing the question: what are the benefits of breathing through your nose rather than breathing through your mouth?

4) Describe the pathway of air. Where does it enter the body? What structures does it pass through? Describe it in words or draw a picture and label it. Hint: It starts with your nose!

5) What is surfactant? Where do you find it? What is its function?

6) What would happen to the alveoli if there was not enough surfactant? In what kind of patient would you expect to see a lack of surfactant (hint: the answer to the second question is probably in your Maternity textbook)?

7) The first question in this study guide asked you what the primary function of the respiratory system is. In what part of the respiratory system does this primary function happen?

8) What is the difference between “Impaired Gas Exchange” and “Ineffective Airway Clearance?” Name a few reasons why air might not be able to get to the alveoli for Gas Exchange.

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