What Is the Smallest Blood Vessel?

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What Vessels Carry Oxygenated Blood?....5

The smallest blood vessels are the capillaries, which is where the exchange mechanism of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. Learn about the tiny wall space within capillaries that moves oxygen and nutrition to surrounding tissue with information from a nurse and respiratory therapist in this free video on blood vessels.

Part of the Video Series: Blood Vessels
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Video Transcript

What is the smallest blood vessel in the human body? It is the capillaries. In the capillaries is where the exchange mechanism of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place with the waste materials coming out. It lines itself up very closely to the alveoli so that the exchange takes place with the air coming in, the carbon dioxide coming out and the byproducts of the carbon dioxide and waste materials coming out. It's an amazing network, a bed of capillaries. There are other small vessels, but not as small as the capillaries. There are the small arteries which are known as the arterioles. There are small veins, they are known as the venials in all the body tissue. The network of capillaries is the one that stretches; if you stretched it all out in a human lung it would stretch for thousands of miles. Each of the capillaries has a thin wall tiny space and this tiny space has fluid that moves with oxygen and nutrition to the surrounding tissue. So, that just gives you a little bit of an idea of how wonderful the capillary bed is.

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