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The Circulatory System
Transcript of The Circulatory System
The circulatory, or cardiovascular, system is a very significant part of our body. It keeps us alive and never stops working. Even when the rest of the body takes a break,the circulatory system is always functioning. As blood is constantly pumped through the body, oxygen is delivered to tissues and organs while carbon dioxide and other wastes are disposed of.
This vital organ made of muscle and tissue and is located in the center of your chest between your rib cage. The lower section of the heart is tilted slightly to the left. It is shaped kind of like an upside down pear and it's about the size of your clenched fist. An adult man's heart weighs about 10 ounces and a woman's heart weighs about 8 ounces.
Inside the Heart
The heart is a hollow organ that's enclosed by thick, muscular walls. Inside, there are 4 chambers. The top and bottom sections have 2 chambers. On top, there is the right atrium and the left atrium, both separated by the interatrial septum. On the bottom, there is the right ventricle and the left ventricle, both separated by the interventricular septum. The atria receive blood and the ventricles pump out blood. The atrioventricular valve separates the atria and ventricles. The tricuspid valve separates the right atrium and the right ventricle while the mitral valve separates the left atrium and left ventricle.
The Major Valves
The 4 major valves in the heart are the aortic valve, the pulmonary valve, the mitral valve, and the tricuspid valve.To ensure that blood flows in one direction, the valves have leaflets, or flaps. With support from the chordae tendineae, the flaps open and close to let blood flow through. The mitral valve only has 2 leaflets while the other valves have 3 leaflets.
Circulation Through the Heart
Coronary circulation is when blood circulates though the heart. Low oxygen blood enters the right atrium and flows through the tricuspid valve. Then, it enters the right ventricle and is pumped through the semilunar valve. From there, the blood goes through the pulmonary artery to the lungs. After passing through the lungs, the oxygenated blood is sent back to the heart through the pulmonary vein to be sent to other parts of the body.
How Does the Heart Beat?
The sinoatrial node, also known as the heart's pacemaker, is a clump of cells in the top left corner of the right atrium. An impulse starts in these cells and the electrical activity spreads through the atria and ventricles. This causes them to expand and contract, making the heart beat. One to two gallons of blood are pumped through the heart every minute.The heart beats about 60-100 times per minute, 100,000 times per day,30 million per year, and 2.5 billion in an average 70 year old lifetime.
2 Other Types of Circulation
The two other types of blood flow are pulmonary circulation and systemic circulation.
Pulmonary circulation is the circulation of blood from the heart to the lungs and back. First, low oxygen blood is pumped through the pulmonary artery to the lungs. As the blood flows through tiny blood vessels in the lungs, small holes called air sacs in the lungs give off oxygen. The oxygen travels from the air sacs through the walls of the blood vessels into the blood. The oxygenated blood then goes back to the heart through the pulmonary vein.
Systemic circulation is the circulation of blood from the heart to all other parts of the body. It occurs when oxygenated blood is sent through the aorta. As it branches into smaller and smaller blood vessels, oxygenated blood is sent to the body's muscles, organs, and tissues. After the oxygen is used up, the deoxygenated blood is sent back to the heart and the process is repeated again.
Red Blood Cells
Red blood cells carry oxygen and carbon dioxide. Hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells, helps hold these gases. Red blood cells pick up oxygen and transport it through the body. They carry carbon dioxide away to the lungs so we can breathe it out. Red blood cells are made in bone marrow.
White Blood Cells
White blood cells fight off infection and sickness. They attack and destroy germs. When you're sick, the body makes more white blood cells. However, if they can't do the job by themselves, antibiotics are prescribed by doctors to help fight larger infections. White blood cells are made in bone marrow.
Platelets are cells that help stop bleeding. When we get a cut, a blood vessel gets cut and blood leaks out. Platelets stick onto the open vessel and skin. As more and more hook on, they plug up the skin and stop bleeding. The plug they form is called a scab. Platelets are made in bone marrow.
Plasma is the liquid part of blood. This substance makes up about half of blood. It is about 95% water and 5% other substances such as salts, minerals, and proteins. It carries blood cells and other substances through the body. Plasma is made in the liver.
A Closer Look...
In 1 drop of blood, there is...
half a drop of plasma
about 5 million red blood cells
about 10,000 white blood cells
about 250,000 platelets
Blood in a Centrifuge
(white blood cells and platelets)
red blood cells
If blood was put in a centrifuge, the machine would spin so fast, the layers of blood would separate.
Amount of Blood
An average 12-13 year old has about a gallon of blood. An average adult has about 5 quarts of blood.
The three main types of blood vessels are arteries, veins, and capillaries. Nutrients, oxygen, and wastes pass in and out of the blood vessel walls.
Arteries carry oxygen rich blood away from the heart to other parts of the body. The blood in arteries is thin and bright because of the oxygen. Small arteries are called arterioles.
Veins bring back low oxygen blood to the heart. The blood in veins is thick and dark because of lack of oxygen. Small veins are called venules.
Capillaries are very tiny blood vessels that connect arteries and veins. Some capillaries are 60 times thinner a strand of hair.
Around the World
If you laid all your blood vessels end to end, they would be about 60,000 miles long. That's enough to wrap around the equator twice!
A bruise, also known as a contusion or ecchymosis, is when you hit something and your blood vessel gets cut but your skin doesn't. Blood leaks into your skin and gets stuck because it cant get out. Bruises disappear as the body reabsorbs the blood.
When you first get a bruise, it will be red because of the blood.
After 1-2 Days
After 1 or 2 days of getting the bruise, the bruise will turn bluish purple. This is because the oxygen will get cut off from the blood causing the hemoglobin to change color.
After 5-10 Days
After about 5 to 10 days of getting the bruise, the bruise will turn greenish because the hemoglobin will start breaking down. At this stage, the body will start healing itself and it will start reabsorbing the blood.
After 10-14 Days
After 10 to 14 days of getting the bruise, the bruise will be yellowish brown or light brown. The body will be reabsorbing the blood.
After 14-16 Days
Finally, after 14 to 16 days of getting the bruise, the body will finish reabsorbing the blood and the bruise should disappear.
According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of deaths in the United States.
Hypertension is caused by high blood pressure. This makes the heart work harder and it can lead to stroke or a heart attack. Treatments include various medications and drugs.
An aortic aneurysm occurs when the aorta gets clogged with fat and starts to bulge and tear. This results in severe internal bleeding. Treatments include surgery or changing your lifestyle to make sure your aneurysm doesn't grow.
Leukemia is the cancer of blood cells. It happens when the bone marrow starts making too many abnormal white blood cells. They grow too fast and don't stop. This crowds out growth of other blood cells so your body won't have enough oxygen and you won't be able to form scabs. You're also more vulnerable to disease. The cause is currently unknown. Chemotherapy, radiation, and drugs are a few types of treatments.
Anemia is when the body doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells because when you bleed, you lose more red blood cells than you can make. This can cause severe fatigue or heart failure. Treatments include changes in diet or iron pills.
DVT, or deep vein thrombosis, is when a blood clot forms in a vein deep in the body. A clot forms when blood thickens and clumps together. This clot can travel and end up blocking veins that supply blood to the lungs. A loose clot is called an embolus. There are anticoagulant drugs like aspirin and heparin that prevent clots.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is when arteries get clogged with fat, cholesterol, and plaque. This build up is called atherosclerosis. Less blood can flow through the arteries and it can result in a heart attack. Coronary angioplasty is a treatment to restore blood flow. A long and thin flexible catheter, or tube, with a balloon at the tip is threaded through a blood vessel to the damaged artery. The balloon then inflates, compressing the fat and restoring blood flow. A stent graph can also be put in to ensure that the artery doesn't clog up again.
Chest pain, angina, occurs when the heart doesn't get enough oxygenated blood. This results in a feeling like pressure and squeezing in the chest or a heart attack. Treatments include drugs and angioplasty.
Rheumatic fever is caused by a germ found in strep throat and scarlet fever. It attacks valves and can cause valve stenosis, which is when a valve narrows resulting in less blood flow or heart failure. Treatments include antibiotics or drugs.
The cause for Kawasaki Disease is unknown, although certain genes can cause it. It causes swelling in blood vessels and can cause aneurysms. This can cause severe internal bleeding. Treatments include surgery or changing your lifestyle to make sure your aneurysm doesn't grow.
Cardiomegaly, or enlarged heart, happen you have high blood pressure or another disease. It causes heart failure so it wont be able to pump blood efficiently. Treatments include drugs or surgery.
16th century B.C.- Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian document provides the earliest writing on the heart and arteries.
As you can see, the circulatory system is an interesting and vast topic. There are discoveries being made about it every day and as our technology improves, hopefully we will learn new information and new cures.
1. aortic aneurysm- when the aorta is damaged and starts to bulge and tear.
2.arterial blood- bright red and thin blood in arteries with plenty of oxygen
3.arteries- a blood vessel that takes blood away from the heart
4.arterioles- thin arteries
5.ayurveda- system of alternative medicines made from natural items native to India
6.capillaries- small blood vessels that connect arteries and veins
7.centrifuge- a machine that spins so fast the cells and other substances get separated
8.coronary circulation- circulation of blood through the tissues of the heart
9.electrocardiodiagram- also called ECG measures heart rate, rhythm, and timing of electrical signals
10.heart- a mandatory organ made of muscle that pumps blood 24/7
11.implant- when an organ, vein, or bone is inserted into someone's body
12.open-heart surgery- a method of surgery where the surgeons make direct contact with the heart
13.plasma- a substance in blood made of 95% water and 5% other materials.
14.platelets- small cells found in blood
15.pulmonary circulation- circulation of blood between heart and lungs
16.pulse meters- monitor heart rate, rhythm, and dropped beats
17.rheumatic fever- fever that attacks valves
18.sphygmomanometer- measures blood pressure
19.systemic circulation- circulation of blood between heart and all other body parts
20.transplant- when an organ, vein or bone is removed from someone's body.
21.veins- blood vessel that carries blood back to the heart
Suzanne Dixon MPH RD
Taylor-Butler, Christine. The Circulatory System. New York: Scholastic, 2008. Print.
clevlandclinic.org. Circulatory System and Heart.
6th century B.C.- Ayurvedic physician Sushruta in ancient India describes vital fluids circulating throughout the body.
2nd century A.D.- Greek physician Galen documents how blood vessels carry blood.
1628- William Harvey, an English physician, first describes blood circulation.
1706- Raymond de Vieussens, a French anatomy professor, first describes the structure of the heart's chambers and vessels.
1733- Stephen Hales, an English clergyman and scientist, measures blood pressure for the first time.
1816- Rene T.H. Laennec, a French physician, invents the stethoscope.
1902- American physician James B. Herrick first documents heart disease resulting from hardening of the arteries.
1903- Dutch physiologist Willem Einthoven invents the electrocardiograph.
1952- The first successful open heart surgery takes place by F. John Lewis, an American surgeon.
1967- South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard performs the first transplant of a whole heart from one person to another.
1982- American physician Robert Jarvik designs the first artificial heart and American surgeon Willem DeVries implants it.
Blood is a substance made of liquids, solids, carbon dioxide, and oxygen. The main parts of blood are red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma.