This is a basic introduction to the physiology of oxygen transport. It is aimed at first year health care professionals.
For you to be alive it is essential that oxygen from the air around you to is transported to the cells within your body. Within the cells oxygen is metabolised with glucose to produce energy and also carbon dioxide and water.
First air (including oxygen) is brought into your lungs and down to the alveoli by breathing (there is quite a lot to this, but I'm not going to cover it here). Alveoli are minute 'air sacs' in the lungs. Blood flows very close to them through tiny blood vessels called capillaries.
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page last modified 19/11/2007