About Heart Circulatio In Our Body
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The human circulatory system is really a two-part system whose purpose is to bring oxygen-bearing blood to all the tissues of the body. When the heart contracts it pushes the blood out into two major loops or cycles. In the systemic loop, the blood circulates into the body’s systems, bringing oxygen to all its organs, structures and tissues and collecting carbon dioxide waste. In the pulmonary loop, the blood circulates to and from the lungs, to release the carbon dioxide and pick up new oxygen. The systemic cycle is controlled by the left side of the heart, the pulmonary cycle by the right side of the heart. Let’s look at what happens during each cycle:
The systemic loop begins when the oxygen-rich blood coming from the lungs enters the upper left chamber of the heart, the left atrium. As the chamber fills, it presses open the mitral valveand the blood flows down into the left ventricle. When the ventricles contract during a heartbeat, the blood on the left side is forced into the aorta. This largest artery of the body is an inch wide. The blood leaving the aorta brings oxygen to all the body’s cells through the network of ever smaller arteries and capillaries. The used blood from the body returns to the heart through the network of veins. All of the blood from the body is eventually collected into the two largest veins: the superior vena cava, which receives blood from the upper body, and theinferior vena cava, which receives blood from the lower body region. Both venae cavae empty the blood into the right atrium of the heart.
From here the blood begins its journey through the pulmonary cycle. From the right atrium the blood descends into the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve. When the ventricle contracts, the blood is pushed into the pulmonary artery that branches into two main parts: one going to the left lung, one to the right lung. The fresh, oxygen-rich blood returns to the left atrium of the heart through the pulmonary veins.
Although the circulatory system is made up of two cycles, both happen at the same time. The contraction of the heart muscle starts in the two atria, which push the blood into the ventricles. Then the walls of the ventricles squeeze together and force the blood out into the arteries: the aorta to the body and the pulmonary artery to the lungs. Afterwards, the heart muscle relaxes, allowing blood to flow in from the veins and fill the atria again. In healthy people the normal (resting) heart rate is about 72 beats per minute, but it can go much higher during strenuous exercise. Scientists have estimated that it takes about 30 seconds for a given portion of the blood to complete the entire cycle: from lungs to heart to body, back to the heart and out to the lungs.
Systemic circulation carries oxygenated blood from the left ventricle, through the arteries, to the capillaries in the tissues of the body. From the tissue capillaries, the deoxygenated blood returns through a system of veins to the right atrium of the heart.
Location of the Heart
The center of the circulatory system is the heart, which is the main pumping mechanism. The heart is made of muscle. The heart is shaped something like a cone, with a pointed bottom and a round top. It is hollow so that it can fill up with blood. An adult’s heart is about the size of a large orange and weighs a little less than a pound.
The heart is in the middle of the chest. It fits snugly between the two lungs. It is held in place by the blood vessels that carry the blood to and from its chambers. The heart is tipped somewhat so that there is a little more of it on the left side than on the right. The pointed tip at the bottom of the heart touches the front wall of the chest. Every time the heart beats it goes “thump” against the chest wall. You can feel the thumps if you press there with your hand. You can also listen to them with your ear.