Breathing: What You Should Know

Respiration is about how animals get oxygen. Oxygen is in the air and in water. Animals get their oxygen in different ways. Without breathing, every animal dies after a short time.

Mammals, including humans, breathe with their lungs. A lung sucks in the air and expels it again. The oxygen gets into the blood in the fine alveoli. The blood carries oxygen to the cells and takes carbon dioxide with it. It travels from the blood to the air in the lungs and leaves the body on exhalation. So, in addition to mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and some species of snails breathe.

Fish breathe through gills. They suck in water and let it slide through their gills. The skin there is very thin and has many veins. They take in oxygen. There are other animals that breathe like this too. Some live in water, others on land.

Another possibility is breathing through the tracheae. These are fine tubes that end on the outside of an animal. They are open there. The air gets into the tracheae and from there into the whole body. This is how insects, millipedes, and some species of arachnids breathe.

There are several other types of breathing. Humans also breathe a little bit through their skin. There are also bony fish that breathe air. Different plants can breathe too.

What is artificial respiration?

When a person stops breathing, the first brain cells die after a short time. This can mean that the person can no longer speak or move properly afterward, for example.

Breathing can stop when a person is electrocuted or by other events. He can no longer breathe underwater either. With general anesthesia, breathing also stops. So you have to artificially ventilate people so that they stay alive.

In an accident or when a person is submerged, the air is blown through their nose into their lungs. If that doesn’t work, breathe through the mouth. You have to learn that in a course to make it work. One has to hold the patient’s head properly and pay attention to many other things.

During an operation under general anesthesia, the anesthesiologist puts a tube down the patient’s throat or puts a rubber mask over the mouth and nose. This allows him to ventilate the patient during the operation.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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