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The lungs are responsible for oxygenating the blood and removing carbon dioxide from the body. They are also responsible for a very substantial burden of disease in the UK and worldwide population, and for the cancellation or complication of many surgical procedures. This brief article reviews the basic mechanics of the respiratory system, and highlights some of the important and interesting aspects of the regulation of ventilation, focussing on the role of the peripheral and central chemoreceptors. A sound knowledge of this basic respiratory physiology and pathophysiology is a prerequisite for effective preoperative assessment and good perioperative care. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





212 - 216