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Topic: The Circulatory System (Heart and Blood Vessels)

Introduction:

 The circulatory system is a network consisting of blood, blood vessels, and the heart.
 This network supplies tissues in the body with oxygen and other nutrients, transports hormones,
and removes unnecessary waste products.

The Heart:
 The heart is made of specialized cardiac muscle tissue that allows it to act as a pump within
the circulatory system.
 The human heart is divided into four chambers. There are one atrium and one ventricle on
each side of the heart. The atria receive blood and the ventricles pump blood.
 The human circulatory system consists of several circuits:
 The pulmonary circuit provides blood flow between the heart and lungs.
 The systemic circuit allows blood to flow to and from the rest of the body.
 The coronary circuit strictly provides blood to the heart (not pictured in the figure
below).

Diagram showing the flow of blood from the heart to the rest of the human body.
Blood and blood vessels:
 Blood from the heart is pumped throughout the body using blood vessels.
 Arteries carry blood away from the heart and into capillaries, providing oxygen (and other
nutrients) to tissue and cells.
 Once oxygen is removed, the blood travels back to the lungs, where it is reoxygenated and
returned by veins to the heart.
 The main artery of the systemic circuit is the aorta which branches out into other arteries,
carrying blood to different parts of the body.
The circulatory system (heart and blood vessels):
 The body contains about five litres of blood, which circulates to all the tissues of the body.
 It is kept moving round the body by the heart, a muscular pump about the size of a clenched
fist situated in the chest behind the breastbone, lying between the lungs, rather more on the
left than on the right.
 The heart has two sides; the right side receives the venous blood coming back to it from the
body in general and pumps it through the lungs, where it passes through minute tubes, gives
up carbon dioxide, and takes up a supply of oxygen.
 The oxygenated blood now passes to the left side of the heart, which pumps it to all parts of
the body through the arteries.
 This blood carries oxygen, food, water, and salts to the tissues; it is bright red in colour. It also
conveys heat to all parts of the body and contains various substances to counteract infections
in the tissues.
 The arteries are like thick-walled tubes and decrease in diameter away from the heart.
 In the tissues the smallest blood vessels are very minute and are called capillaries.
 The blood, having supplied the tissues with oxygen and other substances and removed the
carbon dioxide that has accumulated, becomes darker in colour .
 The capillaries take it into the veins, thin-walled tubes that carry the blood back to the right
side of the heart.
 Some of the blood passes to the stomach and intestines and, having taken up food products,
carries them away to be stored in the liver.
 Blood is also taken by arteries to the kidneys and there gets rid of waste products, which are
passed in the urine.
 As the blood passes along the arteries, they pulsate at the same rate as the heart is pumping.
 The average normal pulse rate is about 70 per minute, but it increases with exercise,
nervousness, fear, fever, and various illnesses.
 The pulse is usually counted by feeling the artery at the front of the wrist just above the ball
of the thumb.