The inflatable lungs demonstration uses pig lungs salvaged at a meat processing plant. Unless otherwise noted, anatomical and physiological information concerning pig lungs also holds true for human lungs. It should be noted that the lungs are flaccid organs. They are not muscular and cannot, under normal conditions in the living animal, be inflated to an internal pressure greater than the pressure of the air that surrounds the body.
The inflatable pig lungs in your kit preserved in an aqueous solution of 25% propylene glycol and have been tinted with a nontoxic red dye. Because the special preservation process ensures that the specimens contain insufficient available water for the growth of bacteria and fungi, the lungs can be used repeatedly if they are properly cared for. Do not wash the lungs with water. They should be returned to their storage container when not in use. The residual humectant fluid in the bag may be pink in color due to leaching of dye from the lungs.
- When removing the lungs from the bag, save excess fluid. Use the fluid to moisten a lightweight towel. Wrap the towel around the lungs and place in the plastic container supplied. Inflatable lungs DO NOT need to be submersed in fluid.
- DO NOT let the lungs come in contact with water. If the lungs become too dry, purchase humectant fluid or mix a 50% glycerin and distilled water solution and remoisten.
- When you first inflate the lungs, massage and rub any dead areas until the entire lung inflates.
- Some areas may not inflate as well as others due to rips or air leaks that may be present this is acceptable.
- Remember: These lungs are obtained from slaughterhouses and, although great care is taken with them, there may be some mechanical damage.
- Any small rips or tears can usually be fixed using a slender needle and lightweight nylon thread or simply Super Glue the tissue.
- If the outer pleura (the thin membrane on the surface of the lung) begins to pull away from the lungs during inflation, make a small cut in the pleura to curtail spreading.
- A special, unique process allows the lungs to retain their elasticity. They are completely safe to handle and hands-on teaching is encouraged.