Describe what happens if one of the parts in the respiratory system stops working?

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The respiratory system has organs that work in unison and if one or more fails to work properly, respiration could be compromised leading to illness or death. The nose is used for inhalation and there are hairs lining the nasal cavity along with mucous that filter out and trap bacteria and dust, preventing these from reaching the lungs. Air is also warmed to body temperature in the nose. The trachea consists of a tube containing cartilaginous rings and functions as a passageway for the air to travel towards the lungs. The trachea branches into two bronchi and each leads to a lung. The bronchi further subdivide into smaller and smaller tubes; the smallest are called bronchioles. There are tiny airs sacs at the ends of these tubes, which fill with air when someone inhales, and the oxygen can be absorbed by tiny capillaries associated with these air sacs or alveoli. In this manner, oxygen enters the circulatory system and can be delivered to the body's cells. In certain illnesses, a part of the respiratory system is affected which can negatively impact breathing. For instance, in asthma, the bronchial tubes close due to allergies to dust and other allergens, or due to exertion. This makes it difficult for a person to breathe. Other illnesses affecting the respiratory system include lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, pneumonia. Each disease affects a different part of the respiratory system, which can have a negative impact on a person's health.