Cardiovascular System

Topics: Heart, Blood, Artery Pages: 3 (965 words) Published: June 17, 2013
Body Systems

Cardiovascular System
- relates to the heart, blood vessels and circulation in the body. The cardiovascular system, also known as the circulatory system, refers to the network that transports blood throughout the body. It is composed of the heart, blood vessels, and blood. There are actually two circulatory systems:

* The pulmonary circulation – sends blood from the heart to the lungs. * The systemic circulation – sends blood from the heart to all the other parts of our bodies. Blood consists of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. It is pumped by the heart to flow through blood vessels to provide nutrients to and remove waste from cells and tissues of the body. The heart is the key organ in the cardiovascular system. Its main function is to supply blood and oxygen to all parts of the body. It produces electric impulses through a process called cardiac conduction. These impulses cause the heart to contract then relax, producing the ‘heart beat’. The beating of the heart drives the cardiac cycle, which pumps blood throughout the body. The heart has four chambers, enclosed by thick muscle walls. It is situated between the lungs, slightly left of the middle of the chest cavity. The lower two chambers of the heart are called the right and left ventricles. These are divided by a wall called the interventricular septum. The upper two chambers of the heart are the right and left atria. These are divided by the interatrial septum. The ventricles and the atria are separated by atrioventricular valves. The lower and upper halves have different uses. Ventricles pump blood out of the heart, whereas atria receive blood entering the heart. Blood vessels are a network of pipes or tubes through which blood flows throughout the body. Arteries, veins and capillaries are forms of blood vessels. Arteries carry blood away from the heart. They have thick, muscular walls that contract to keep blood moving from the heart, through the body....
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