Transport of Gases in Human Bodily Fluids

Free Response

What would happen if no carbonic anhydrase were present in red blood cells?


Without carbonic anhydrase, carbon dioxide would not be hydrolyzed into carbonic acid or bicarbonate. Therefore, very little carbon dioxide (only 15 percent) would be transported in the blood away from the tissues.

How does the administration of 100 percent oxygen save a patient from carbon monoxide poisoning? Why wouldn’t giving carbon dioxide work?


Carbon monoxide has a higher affinity for hemoglobin than oxygen. This means that carbon monoxide will preferentially bind to hemoglobin over oxygen. Administration of 100 percent oxygen is an effective therapy because at that concentration, oxygen will displace the carbon monoxide from the hemoglobin.