Ventilation describes the volume of air that flows into and out of the lungs per unit time. There are different ways of describing ventilation. For example, the total volume of air that flows into and out of the lungs per minute is minute ventilation. The volume of air that is exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide at the alveolar level is called the alveolar ventilation. It is important to understand that ventilation rates will affect gas partial pressures in the blood, particularly carbon dioxide. A mismatch in the ventilation of alveoli and either the production or removal of carbon dioxide in the blood would develop a mismatch that has physiological consequences.
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