Heart and Lungs
January 27, 2013
Starting with the right ventricle of the heart, describe the function of the heart and the movement of the blood through the pulmonary and systemic circuit. Include a description of gas exchange within the lungs. The function of the heart is to pump blood throughout the body. The heart pumps blood containing oxygen from the lungs to body. It passes blood without oxygen back to the lungs for more oxygen. The heart has four chambers; the two upper chambers are called atriums, and the two lower chambers are called ventricles. The left atrium is located above the left ventricle, and they are separate by a valve called the mitral valve. The right atrium is located above the right ventricle, and they are separated by a valve called the tricuspid valve. The left atrium receives blood that contains oxygen from the lungs and passes through the pulmonary veins. Through the pulmonary veins, the blood travels to the left ventricle, which pumps the blood into the aorta. From the aorta, the oxygenated blood is passed throughout the body, or the systemic circuit. (McMillan, 2010) The oxygenated blood is carried back to the right atrium. Now consider what happens if Jake starts smoking. Discuss in detail how this will affect the heart and lungs. Think about how this habit might affect the homeostasis of the cardiovascular and respiratory system. The smoke from one cigarette can prevent cilia in bronchioles for beating for hours. There are toxic particles in smoke that can stimulate mucus secretion and destroy the infection-fighting phagocytes. (McMillan, 2010). Smoking can also make a person more susceptible to colds and other illnesses. Smoking has many risks, including bronchitis, cancer, asthma, emphysema, COPD, cardiovascular disease, slow bone healing and many more. Tobacco smoke in the body can convert into carcinogens, which can lead to lung cancer. Smoking can...
References: Starr, C. & McMillan, B. (2010) Human Biology (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks & Cole
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