Understand the foundation of your heart with a step-by-step approach. In order for one heart beat to occur, there are 8 critical steps.
The heart has four different sections, also known as chambers. These four chambers are the right and left atriums and the right and left ventricles.
The right side of the heart (right atrium and right ventricle) is separated from the left side of the heart (left atrium and left ventricle).
This separation is called the interventricular septum, and it is responsible for separating the oxygenated blood from the deoxygenated blood.
From start to finish, I will describe how your blood is pushed through your heart.
- The blood is received through the vena cava (superior and inferior) into the right atrium.
- The deoxygenated blood advances into the right ventricle.
- The deoxygenated blood is then pushed through the pulmonary system into the lungs.
- The blood becomes oxygenated in the lungs.
- The oxygenated blood travels back through the pulmonary veins.
- The oxygenated blood is pushed to the left atrium.
- It is then delivered to the left ventricle.
- The oxygenated blood is pushed through the aorta, which is the largest artery in the human body, into the rest of the body.
This is a continuous, unending cycle.
Therefore, the heart has a two-step pumping action:
The relaxation phase, in which the heart receives deoxygenated blood from the vena cava (Steps 1-3), is known as the diastolic pressure.
The contraction phase, in which the heart pushes oxygenated blood away from the heart through the aorta (Steps 5-8), is known as the systolic pressure.
Arteries are large vessels that carry blood away from the heart.
Veins are blood vessels that bring blood back to the heart.
The best analogy for how arteries and veins function is water passing through a hose or tube. When water is passed through a hose or tube, imagine the water as your blood, and the outside surface as your arteries and veins.
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