Pulmonary function may be assessed clinically by means of a technique known as spirometry. In this procedure, a subject breathes in a closed system in which air is trapped within a light plastic bell floating in water. The bell moves up when the subject exhales and down when the subject inhales. The movements of the bell cause corresponding movements of a pen, which traces a record of the breathing called a spirogram (fig. 16.16).
More sophisticated computerized devices are also commonly employed to assess lung function.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.