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Mastering Medical Coding: The Respiratory System




To master medical coding, it is necessary to know anatomy. Today, we are focusing on the respiratory system. The respiratory system exchanges gases between our bodies and the environment. It consists of several organs, including the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli, and lungs.

The main function of the respiratory system is to supply oxygen to the body and remove carbon dioxide, a waste product of cellular respiration. This process is known as gas exchange.

The nose and mouth work together to bring air into the body. The turbinates, small bony structures inside the nose, help to filter and warm the air before it enters the respiratory system. The accessory sinuses, located above and below the eyes and behind the nose, also play a role in filtering and humidifying air. The nasal sinuses include four sinuses: the ethmoid sinus, maxillary sinus, sphenoid sinus, and frontal sinus. The ethmoid sinus and the maxillary sinus drain into the nasal cavity. The sphenoid sinus, located behind the eyes, connects to the upper part of the nasal cavity. The frontal sinus, located above the nose, drains into the nose.

Together, these structures help to protect our respiratory system from harmful particles and bacteria that may be present in the air we breathe.

The pharynx, or throat, is located behind the mouth and is a passageway for air and food. The air passes through the pharynx or throat into the larynx or voice box. From there, it enters the trachea, also known as the windpipe.

The trachea is connected to the lungs through two large tubes called bronchi. The bronchi then branch off into smaller tubes known as bronchioles, which end in tiny air sacs called alveoli.

The alveoli are where gas exchange takes place. They are surrounded by blood vessels and have thin walls that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the air and the blood. Oxygen is then carried by red blood cells to all parts of the body, while carbon dioxide is removed from the body through exhalation.

Apart from gas exchange, the respiratory system also plays a role in regulating the body's pH balance. Carbon dioxide, which is produced during cellular respiration, can increase acidity in the body. The respiratory system helps maintain this balance by removing excess carbon dioxide through exhalation.

In addition, this system also serves as a defense mechanism against harmful substances and infections. The nose and mouth have tiny hair-like structures called cilia that trap dust, bacteria, and other foreign particles from entering the body. The mucus produced by cells in the respiratory tract also helps to remove these particles.

The respiratory system works seamlessly with other systems, such as the cardiovascular system, to ensure our bodies receive proper oxygen levels and remove waste products efficiently.

Unfortunately, the respiratory system is prone to various disorders and diseases. Some common respiratory disorders include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pneumonia. These conditions can affect the normal functioning of the lungs and may require medical treatment.

In conclusion, the respiratory system facilitates gas exchange but also helps regulate pH balance, protects against foreign particles and infections, and works with other systems to maintain overall health.

Test your knowledge!

Click on the link below to test what you've learned about the respiratory system.


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