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Unformatted text preview: respiratory membrane. In a healthy individual, the respiratory membrane is about 0.5 mm thick. Certain pulmonary diseases increase the thickness of the membrane, gases diffuse across a much thicker membrane and the efficiency of gas exchange decreases. A second factor that affects gas exchange is the surface area of the respiratory membrane. Recall that increasing surface area increases diffusion. If completely flattened out, the surface area of the alveoli would be over 70 m 2 . Some diseases decrease the surface area of the alveoli and decrease respiration. Lastly, the lungs and capillaries respond to environmental factors to ensure that the amount of ventilation to particular alveoli matches the amount of perfusion to those same alveoli....
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2012 for the course BSC BSC1085 taught by Professor Sharonsimpson during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
- Fall '10