Help with Question Relating to Nervous System Breathing

Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!
New forum link:

Moderators: honeev, Leonid, amiradm, BioTeam

The new Biology Online has arrived!

We are very pleased to announce the website's new design and features. As a biology website pioneer in 2001, it has grown to become the world's most comprehensive online database for biology terms and topics. Thus, we would like to invite you to take part in this significant milestone by checking out these latest features from Biology Online.

Biology Dictionary

The largest online biology dictionary with over 70,000 biology terms! Learn various topics, concepts, and principles in biology. Start by searching here.

Biology Articles

Get the latest biology news, insights, trends and discoveries in biology and other related research fields. We have over 5,000 articles you can choose from.

Biology Tutorials

From the basics to the more advanced lessons, our tutorials will help you learn various topics in biology. Browse from over 100 free biology lessons here.

New Biology Forum

We hold one of the largest discussion boards in biology online! Join our community by signing up here or log in here if you already registered with us before.

Thank you and we hope you will join us as the site continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

Biology Online Team

Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:17 am

Help with Question Relating to Nervous System Breathing

Post by CrimJusticeMajor » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:22 am

On my homework this question came up.

"Marco, a member of the swim team, routinely hyperventilates before a meet, as he says, “to sock some more oxygen into my lungs so I can swim longer without having to breathe.”
Well, for one thing, the hemoglobin in blood leaving the lungs is basically fully saturated with oxygen even under normal breathing conditions, so hyperventilating won’t load any extra oxygen into Marco’s blood. However, hyperventilating does get rid of more than the usual amount of carbon dioxide, lowering its concentration in the blood.
One day, during an especially intense training session when his coach and teammates are not present, Marco loses consciousness in the middle of the pool. He’s found 3 hours later at the bottom with his lungs full of water."

Use what you’ve learned about the physiological controls for breathing to explain what happened.

I am confused as to why Marco passed out. From reading the text book pages I came up with this but I am not sure if it is right:

"The reason Marco lost consciousness because respiration is controlled entirely by receptors that respond to CO2 rather than O2. It's controlled by the need to get rid of CO2 rather than to obtain O2. Since Marco got rid of an unusual amount of CO2 by hyperventilating, the chemical receptors that monitor CO2 didn't single the Medulla Oblongata to produce more O2, since it didn't see that there was more CO2 that it need to get rid of. Because of this, Marco became oxygen starved, ran out of energy, passed out and drowned."

Am I going about this the right way?