Minute Respiratory Volume Equals Respiratory Rate Times Tidal Volume
The minute respiratory volume is the total amount of new air moved into the respiratory passages each minute; this is equal to the tidal volume times the res-piratory rate per minute. The normal tidal volume isabout 500 milliliters, and the normal respiratory rate is about 12 breaths per minute. Therefore, the minuterespiratory volume averages about 6 L/min. A personcan live for a short period with a minute respiratory volume as low as 1.5 L/min and a respiratory rate of only 2 to 4 breaths per minute.
The respiratory rate occasionally rises to 40 to 50 per minute, and the tidal volume can become as great as the vital capacity, about 4600 milliliters in a young adult man. This can give a minute respiratory volume greater than 200 L/min, or more than 30 times normal. Most people cannot sustain more than one half to two thirds these values for longer than 1 minute.
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