The Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood vessels and blood.

The blood vessels transport blood around the body. It is also responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and cellular waste throughout the body.

The Heart

The heart is a vital organ for human life. It pumps blood around the body to supply tissues with nutrients and oxygen. Understanding how the heart works can help you look after your heart health.

The heart is a muscular organ that sits inside the rib cage, behind and just to the left of your breastbone.

The heart pumps blood to the lungs where it absorbs oxygen. This oxygen-rich blood then returns to the heart to be pumped to the rest of your body via arteries. The major artery coming from the heart is the aorta. The heart delivers blood to its own muscle via the coronary arteries.

The heart has 4 chambers. The upper chambers are the right and left atrium. They receive blood, which then flows through valves into the right or left ventricle (lower chambers) to be pumped to the lungs or body respectively. Heart valves stop the blood flowing backwards. When the valves shut, they create a sound that can be heard with a stethoscope.

Electrical pathways in the heart muscle make it pump. Your heart’s pacemaker cells automatically trigger heartbeats. The heart muscle then squeezes, causing blood to move.