• Question: Does our blood have nitrogen?

    Asked by 434cesk28 to Tom, Paul, Natasha, Ildiko, Ester, Eoin on 8 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Natasha Myhill

      Natasha Myhill answered on 8 Nov 2017:

      I dont think so, no. Nitrogen is in the air that we breathe into our lungs but only the oxygen in air is transferred from the lungs to the blood stream and nitrogen is breathed out as a waste product.

    • Photo: Ester Gil Vazquez

      Ester Gil Vazquez answered on 9 Nov 2017:

      Yes, we always have a little bit of nitrogen in the system (that is normal because 3/4 parts of air are nitrogen). This is not a problem normally, but it becomes one when we get inside the water. Have you ever been scuba-diving? when we get inside the water there is a different in pressure (you can feel it in your ears when you are diving). This has an effect on our capability of absorbing different gases and…guess what: it makes the levels of nitrogen in our blood go up! as a result, people can get quite dizzy. This is know as “nitrogen narcosis” because it makes people sleepy (almost like anesthesia).

    • Photo: Paul McKeegan

      Paul McKeegan answered on 9 Nov 2017:

      So our red blood cells are adapted to carry Oxygen, whereas Nitrogen dissolves in in tiny amounts. It doesn’t usually have any effect unless you’re diving, as Ester explains!

    • Photo: Eoin McKinney

      Eoin McKinney answered on 15 Nov 2017:

      we don’t have nitrogen as a gas, but nitrogen is an important component of most proteins and our blood is stuffed full of those.