Anatomy And Physiology

Information on how the Heart Works



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The heart is the most important muscle in the human body. Without a heart the human body would die. It is located a little too left side of the middle of your chest and is approximately the size of your fist. Its purpose is to provide your body with oxygen and nutrients you need and also gets rid of waste you don't need. To understand how the human heart works we must first understand a little bit about the anatomy of the human heart. The heart is an amazing organ and lies in what is called the thoracic cavity. Your heart is a beating muscle whose sole purpose is to transport blood through the body.

Your heart is made up of four different blood chambers. There are two chambers on the right and two on the left. There is one chamber on the top and one on the bottom on both sides of your heart. The two top chambers are called the atria and if you're referring to one of these chambers it is called the atrium. The atria are the chambers that fill with blood returning to the heart from the body and lungs. Your heart has a right atrium and a left atrium.

The two chambers that are found at the bottom of the heart are called ventricles. The heart holds a left and right ventricle. The job of these ventricles is to dispose of all blood to the body and lungs. In the center of the heart you will find a thick wall of muscle which is called the septum. This acts as a wall to separate the left and right side of the heart.

The atria and ventricles work together and this happens when the atria fill with blood and send it to the ventricles. The next process for the ventricles is to squeeze out the blood out of the heart. This is all done in unison, when the atria is sending the blood to the ventricle the ventricle is already pumping out the blood that it's holding. Both are getting ready to contract as the blood flows in and out.

To ensure that your blood knows exactly the way to go there are special valves in the heart that close and stops the blood that has just passed through it from coming back in. two of these heart valves are mitral and the tricuspid and these let the blood flow from the atria into the ventricles. The other two valves that your heart possesses are called the aortic and pulmonary valve. These valves are in control of the flow of blood when it leaves the heart. These valves are designed to keep the blood flowing forward. These valves open to let the blood flow out and close to prevent it from returning.

During normal heartbeat oxygen poor blood that returns from the body will enter the right atrium through the vena cavae. This is when the right atrium contracts and pushes blood through the tricuspid valve and directly into the right ventricle, this ventricle contracts to pump blood through the pulmonic valve and in to the pulmonic artery which is connected to the lungs.

At the same time that this is taking place oxygen-rich blood returning from the lungs is sent to the heart through the pulmonary veins. These veins empty into the left atrium where the atrium contracts to push the oxygen-rich blood on through the mitral valve and into the left ventricle. The left ventricle then contracts pushing the blood through the aortic valve and into the aorta. The aorta then distributes the blood to the arteries throughout your body. The blood is supplied to the heart through the coronary arteries throughout the body.

Amazingly it takes less than sixty seconds for the heart to do its job of pumping blood to every cell in your body and it does this without you having to think about it at all. It is one muscle of the body well worth keeping in shape and to do this you need a good diet and plenty of exercise, pretty simple for an organ in that was doing its work before you were born and will continue to do this for the rest of your life.

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