Category Archives: Respiratory System

How the Inhalation is done via the Respiratory System?

How the Inhalation is done through the Respiratory System?

Oxygen Inhalation Process via the Respiratory System

Do you know how the inhalation process done via respiratory system?

The respiratory system is the critical system that controls the breathing and helps perform the task of gas exchange. Following the above infographic, you may easily understand how the process of inhalation is done through the respiratory system. The air enters via the mouth or nose and travels down through the pharynx and larynx. From there the air enters into the trachea and moves to two different chambers of lungs through the left and right bronchi. The air then passes though the smaller branches of bronchi called bronchioles and finally terminates into the small air sacs known as alveoli.

To know more, read How does the Respiratory System Work?.

Acute Pulmonary Oedema: the ins and outs

Prehospital Researcher

Acute Pulmonary Oedema


Acute pulmonary oedema (APO) is the sudden accumulation of extravascular fluid, in particular plasma, in lung tissue and alveoli that will eventually compromise gas exchange. APO is caused most commonly by congestive cardiac failure (CCF) or left ventricular failure (1, 2). This is more commonly known as cardiogenic APO.

Cardiogenic APO

Cardiogenic APO is a clinical manifestation of a downward spiral of decreasing cardiac output and increasing systemic vascular resistance in the face of underlying cardiac dysfunction. Essentially, the left ventricle is unable to effectively eject blood from the ventricle and this causes an increase in the pressure inside the pulmonary veins and capillaries. As pulmonary hydrostatic pressure increases, the plasma portion of the blood is forced into the alveoli (3). Initially, the excess fluid is picked up by lymphatic vessels and removed from the lung. Once the flow into the…

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Own the Respiratory Examination

Watch this video to learn how the respiratory examination done.

Code Brown In My Pants

In a blatant and much less professional ripoff of lifeinthefastlane’s excellent Own The… series; here is a  one-stop collation of  videos for the respiratory clinical examination.

Let’s start off with this classic from the bible of Australian clinical examination

Then, let’s take a look at an American version from across the Pacific. Not entirely sure what’s going on with the stethoscope there, but it’s still a nice overview of the exam.

Lung sounds you’d expect to hear is nicely handled here

And we finish up with a squizz at lymph nodes

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Great example of a pleural effusion


This patient came in dyspenic, has a history of metastatic lung cancer:

Pleural effusion

This is a good example of a pleural effusion.  The upright chest xray shows a fluid level on the right representing a large right pleural effusion.  The patient had a therapeutic thoracentesis and felt much better.

Author:  Russell Jones, MD

Image Contributor:  Carieann Drenten, MD

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What is bronchiectasis…


This patient presented with dyspnea and had “bronchiectasis:”

BronchiectasisBronchiectasis CXR

Bronchiectasis is a disease process in which there is localized, irreversible dilitation of the bronchial tree.  The dilitation occurs because of destruction of the normal musculature and elastic connective tissue surrounding the bronchi.  Clinically it presents as an obstructive respiratory picture similar to asthma and COPD.  The most common causes are cystic fibrosis and multiple infectious organisms (bacterial, aspergillosis, tuberculosis, histoplasmosis).  The dilated bronchi easily collapse causing air and mucus trapping, which in turn can lead to frequent respiratory infections.

Radiographically, CT scan is the diagnostic modality of choice if bronchiectasis is suspected.  Classically on plain radiograph “tram-tracking” occurs (parallel thickening of the bronchial walls) as well as cystic changes.  CT scan can further deliniate bronchiectasis by showing “tree-in-bud” abnormalities as well as multiple other signs.  For more in-depth information on radiographic findings please refer to


Author:  Russell Jones, MD

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