Pulmonary ventilation is an essential part of breathing, enabling air to be renewed in the lungs. This process is made possible by the coordinated action of the respiratory muscles, principally the diaphragm.

Lung ventilation comprises two phases: inspiration and expiration. During inspiration, the respiratory muscles contract, causing the thoracic cavity to expand. This expansion creates a negative pressure inside the lungs, allowing outside air to enter the airways and fill the pulmonary alveoli.

Once the air has been inhaled and gas exchange has taken place in the alveoli, the respiratory muscles relax. The respiratory muscles relax, the thoracic cavity contracts and the stale, carbon-dioxide-rich air is expelled from the lungs.

In a healthy human being, the normal breathing rate is around 16 breaths per minute, equivalent to around 23,000 breaths per day. This rate may vary according to physical activity, state of health and other factors.

Pulmonary ventilation is essential to ensure a continuous supply of oxygen to the tissues and to eliminate carbon dioxide, a metabolic product. This respiratory process maintains the body's acid-base balance and meets the metabolic needs of the entire body.

Pulmonary ventilation is a fundamental process of respiration, enabling the renewal of air in the lungs. Thanks to the action of the respiratory muscles, inhalation and exhalation follow one another to ensure a continuous supply of oxygen and the elimination of carbon dioxide. This is a vital process for maintaining the body's equilibrium and supporting metabolic functions.


Definition and function

Pulmonary ventilation is the process by which air is renewed in the lungs. This is done through the action of the respiratory muscles, including the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles.

The diaphragm is a flat muscle that separates the rib cage from the abdomen.

It is responsible for the majority of breathing by contracting and lowering to increase the chest capacity, allowing air to enter the lungs. This process is called inspiration.

When the diaphragm relaxes, the chest capacity decreases, expelling air from the lungs. This process is called expiration.


Frequency and importance

On average, a human being takes about 16 breaths per minute (23,000 breathing cycles per day). Pulmonary ventilation is an automatic and unconscious process, however it is possible to control it voluntarily by practicing certain breathing techniques. Pulmonary ventilation is essential to life because it allows oxygenation of the cells and the elimination of gaseous waste such as carbon dioxide.

In the event of respiratory problems, it is important to consult a doctor in order to restore normal functioning of the pulmonary ventilation.