Topic: Physiology/respiratory

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Liquid Breathing

Medicine Medicine/Pulmonology Physiology Scuba diving Physiology/respiratory

Liquid breathing is a form of respiration in which a normally air-breathing organism breathes an oxygen-rich liquid (such as a perfluorocarbon), rather than breathing air.

This requires certain physical properties such as respiratory gas solubility, density, viscosity, vapor pressure, and lipid solubility which some, but not all, perfluorochemicals (perfluorocarbon) have. Thus, it is critical to choose the appropriate PFC for a specific biomedical application, such as liquid ventilation, drug delivery or blood substitutes. The physical properties of PFC liquids vary substantially; however, the one common property is their high solubility for respiratory gases. In fact, these liquids carry more oxygen and carbon dioxide than blood.

In theory, liquid breathing could assist in the treatment of patients with severe pulmonary or cardiac trauma, especially in pediatric cases. Liquid breathing has also been proposed for use in deep diving and space travel. Despite some recent advances in liquid ventilation, a standard mode of application has not yet been established.

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