How Does Artificial Respiration in CPR Override Gas Exchange in Lungs?

Learn how artificial respiration in CPR aids gas exchange in the lungs, overriding O2 and CO2 levels. Essential for emergency response.

How Does Artificial Respiration in CPR Override Gas Exchange in Lungs?
Photo by National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

An emergency situation often calls for the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a technique that can make the difference between life and death.

But how does the act of pushing air into someone’s lungs, wherein carbon dioxide is exhaled, serve as the key to saving a life?

Understanding Gas Exchange in Lungs

When we inhale, the air consists of approximately 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 0.04% carbon dioxide.

However, upon exhalation, the composition changes to 78% nitrogen, ~15% oxygen, and 5% carbon dioxide.

Thus, while the exhaled breath contains less oxygen, a significant amount is still present.

Assisted Breathing in CPR

Assisted breathing becomes necessary when an individual is unable to breathe independently due to cardiac arrest, drowning, or other medical emergencies.

During CPR, the rescuer provides artificial ventilation, delivering a higher concentration of oxygen directly into the patient's lungs to support vital organ function.

Ensuring Oxygen Supply

Whether administering CPR through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or using a ventilation device, the rescuer forces a higher concentration of oxygen into the patient's lungs.

This ensures that vital organs continue to receive oxygenated blood, sustaining bodily functions until emergency medical services arrive.

Further Scientific Implications

The complex biochemical processes underlying gas exchange in the lungs during CPR deserve close examination.

Understanding the precise distribution of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the respiratory system could significantly enhance the efficacy of rescue breathing techniques and medical interventions in critical situations.