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Blood and the respiratory system
Blood and the respiratory system

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3 Lung function

Changes in the compliance and resistance of the lungs can affect the capacity of the lungs to hold and exchange air. Lung capacity is calculated from the volume of air that is exchanged during normal and forceful breathing. The volumes that are used to calculate total lung capacity are described in Video 10.

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Video 10 Calculating lung capacity.
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Activity 6 Lung capacity

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Part 1

Match the volume with the corresponding definition:

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. expiratory reserve volume

  2. inspiratory reserve volume

  3. residual volume

  4. tidal volume

  • a.extra volume breathed in during forceful inhalation

  • b.amount of air entering or leaving the lungs in a single resting breath

  • c.extra volume breathed out during forceful exhalation

  • d.amount of air left in the lungs in addition to the expiratory reserve volume

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = c
  • 2 = a
  • 3 = d
  • 4 = b


tidal volume


inspiratory reserve volume


residual volume


expiratory reserve volume

The correct answer is c.


Correct. The vital capacity is the sum of the tidal volume, inspiratory reserve volume and expiratory reserve volume.