Nursing patients with problems of oxygenation
Part of the The Essentials of Nursing book series (TEON)
Normal maintenance of respiration Oxygen (O2) is required continuously by all body tissues for normal metabolism, during which carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced and, as a waste product, must be excreted. Before birth, this gas exchange is performed by the placenta, and exchange is between the blood of the mother and that of the foetus. After birth, this function becomes a gaseous exchange between blood and air and is taken over by the lungs, whose alveoli are so constructed that there is only a very thin barrier between blood and air, which facilitates the movement of O2 and CO2 between them.
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© Patricia Hunt and Bernice Sendell 1987