How Your Heart Works

The heart is the most important organ in the human body.  We can’t live without it, as it has the very important job of circulating blood through the body. You rely on your heart to work 24 hours a day, even when you are sleeping.

The heart pumps blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen, and then pumps blood through the body to deliver that oxygen. Together, the heart and blood vessels make up the body’s cardiovascular system- a system necessary to supplying the body with the necessary oxygen and nutrients needed to survive.

How Your Heart Is Structured

The heart is a two-sided pump made up of four chambers.  The two upper chambers are the Atria and the two lower chambers are the Ventricles.

1)    In the right side of the heart, the right Atrium and right Ventricle both work together to pump non-oxygenated blood back to the lungs to be re-oxygenated.

2)    In the left side of the heart, the left Atrium and left Ventricle both work together to pump oxygenated blood back through the body.

 

Your Heart Valves

Each of the four valves in the heat has a  flap that prevents blood from flowing in the wrong direction.  These flaps also open to allow the forward flow of blood.

The Controls

A heartbeat is caused by an electrical impulse that travels through the heart- a built-in electrical system controls the speed of the pumping. This electrical impulse originates in the sinus node which functions as the heart’s natural pacemaker. Your sinus node is located in the top of the right Atrium. Your heart’s electrical signals travel through the heart tissue causing the contraction and relaxation of the Atria and Ventricles. This pattern of contraction and relaxation is what causes blood to be pumped through the body.

Am I at Risk of Heart Disease?