Lungs

Picture of the lungs

The lungs are the organs in the chest involved in breathing. The lungs are surrounded and protected by the rib cage. The lung on the left side of the body is a little smaller than the lung on the right.

The lungs transfer oxygen from the air to the bloodstream and remove carbon dioxide (a waste material) from the blood. When you breathe in, oxygen moves out of the air sacs of the lungs into the blood vessels. At the same time, carbon dioxide moves out of your blood and into the air sacs. You remove the carbon dioxide from your lungs when you breathe out. This process is called respiration.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Dennis L. Stevens, MD, PhD - Infectious Disease
Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine

Current as ofNovember 18, 2017

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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