This image contains a chart of the normal excursion of the lung. The physiology is too complicated to explain here, but it is severely compromised in diseases such as Asthma, and the respiratory function charts produced in this condition for example can be very useful in making the diagnosis and following the course of the disease.
To produce this image I have taken a set of weathered floorboards and warped them to give the impression of boat timbers and filtered the image through a drawing with irregular lines roughly in a broken hysteresis loop. The colours were too dense and required to be modified, so I introduced a predominantly grey picture of a load of little glass animals which can just be seen in the background. The respiratory chart and the X-ray of a child with an acute asthma attack were then introduced.
For years there has been controversy over whether it is appropriate to expose a child with asthma to radiation because the diagnosis is essentially a clinical one and the X-ray doesn’t help in the acute condition. On the other hand it is easy, in a wheezing child to miss certain things, such as a pneumothorax where air leaks out of the lung into the thoracic cavity, if a chest X-ray is not taken. So the debate will continue.