Physiology of normal breathing vs mechanical ventilation

3 min readNov 14, 2020

Our lungs have 23 generations of airway branches. Surface area increases as we travel deeper within the lung. The functional unit of the lungs are the alveoli, responsible for oxygenation and ventilation, which together have a surface area of around 70 m².

For healthy individuals, total lung capacity (TLC, after maximal inspiration) is 6–8 liters. Residual volume…


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