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Cardiovascular & Pulmonary System

Updated on May 12, 2010

Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system, also known as part of the heart and circulatory system consists of blood, the components for the diffusion of oxygen, nutrients and waste products throughout the bodies arteries, the blood vessels, cells and the heart. The heart and circulatory system is one of the 10 major organ systems of the human body. The other part of the heart and circulatory system is the pulmonary system.

Blood circulates throughout the human body. An average adult body contains approximately 4 to 5 litres of blood. As blood arrives into the heart it has already been de-oxygenated and contains no oxygen. The blood leaves the heart through the aorta after passing through the left ventricle, becoming oxygenated and is then full of oxygen before it continues the re-occurring path of the cardiovascular system.

The main component of the cardiovascular system is the heart. The heart is the living pump of the human body. The pumping of the heart muscle manages an individuals blood pressure and blood flow throughout their body. The human heart contains four chambers known as the left atrium, the right atrium, the left ventricle and the right ventricle as well as four main blood vessels. The four main vessels of the heart are the inferior vena cava, the superior vena cava, the pulmonary artery and the aorta. The inferior vena cava and the superior vena cava deliver the blood into the right atrium of the heart. The pulmonary artery takes blood from the hearts right ventricle and delivers it into the aorta and the lungs.

The right side of the heart contains de-oxygenated blood (no oxygen) and the left side of the heart contains oxygenated blood (with oxygen).

The pulmonary system is the system that solely circulates blood from the heart to the lungs and from the lungs back to the heart. The blood leaves the heart from the right ventricle, entering the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery is the artery which leads from the heart, directly to the lungs. Diffusion takes place of carbon dioxide and oxygen inside the lungs, before returning to the heart, through the left atrium. This continues as enriched blood passes though the body.

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