Question: How do the lungs work?

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  1. Hi narellesimons,

    That’s a complex one! The lungs are one of the most important organs in the body and work really closely with another important organ – the heart.

    The primary role of the lungs is to exchange carbon dioxide in the ‘used’ blood with oxygen from the air. The reason for this is that all our cells need oxygen to live. The red blood cells have the job of transporting that oxygen to our cells and then removing the carbon dioxide from the cells and delivering it back to the lungs as trash.

    In the lungs, there are hundreds and hundreds (or probably millions) of tiny blood vessels that carry the red blood cells through past all the air sacs within the lungs. This makes it easy for the oxygen and CO2 to diffuse across the lung membranes into the blood.

    The muscles of your diaphragm control your breathing, with a bit of input from your brain, although all this control is completely sub-conscious and operates like a reflex – you can’t control it!