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How to Get Oxygen to Cells

Ever wonder what happens after you take a deep breath? Take a closer look at how your respiratory and cardiovascular systems work hand in hand.

Instructions

  • Step 1: The oxygen in your arterial blood vessels will then transfer to smaller capillaries. From there, it will go to the cells in the extremities of your body. Now take another breath and relax after all that hard work.
  • FACT: Blood changes color from bright red to dark red or purple once it has dropped oxygen off to the cells in your body.
  • TIP: Oxygen is carried by hemoglobin in the red blood cells in blood vessels.
  • Step 2: From there, the oxygenated blood in the tiny capillaries moves to your heart, from which it will be pumped through larger arteries to other regions in your body.
  • TIP: The air is warmed, moistened and cleaned by your upper airways on its way to your lungs.
  • Step 3: Draw the air through your trachea into you lungs. From there it passes through the tube-like bronchioles to tiny air sacs called alveoli, where oxygen in the air is transferred to tiny blood vessels called capillaries.
  • Step 4: Take a deep breath.

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