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Cardiovascular System
Heart anatomy by Patrick J. Lynch on Flickr

  • The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, the blood vessels and the blood. 
  • The cardiovascular system is responsible for the transport of blood to the bodies organs. RBC contain Hb which O2 binds to. O2 required for cellular respiration
  • The heart is just a big muscle that contracts and relaxes sending blood to the body to supply the cells with nutrients and carries waste away for excretion.
  • The heart and lungs have their own private communication - oxygenated blood travels from the pulmonary vein to the heart and de-oxygenated blood travels from the heart via the pulmonary artery back to the lungs to be expelled from the body
  • The heart is a bigamist! It also has a relationship with the rest of the blood. Blood is pumped from the heart and carried by the systemic arteries to all cells of the body and de-oxygenated blood returns to the heart via the systemic veins.
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Heart anatomy by Vintage Collective on Flickr

The heart is a pump and has four chambers;

  • two atria (top chambers)
  • two ventricles (bottom chambers)

Oxygenated blood travels from the PULMONARY VEIN to the left atrium, then onto the left ventricle and with deep contraction is pumped under high pressure through the aorta. This is THE ONLY VEIN IN THE BODY THAT CARRIES OXYGENATED BLOOD.


De-oxygenated blood (high in CO2 from cellular respiration) enters the right atrium from the inferior or superior vena cava to be then sent back to the lungs via the PULMONARY ARTERY. This is THE ONLY ARTERY IN THE BODY THAT CARRIES DEOXYGENATED BLOOD!


Running through the middle of the heart is a septum which separates the chambers.

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Blood Vessel Model 3 by GreenFlames09 on Flickr

The heart contains four valves. The valves are designed to prevent backflow of blood.


mitral valve -  L atrium & L ventricle.


Aortic valve -  L ventricle & Aorta


Pulmonic - R atrium & R ventricle


Tricuspid - R atrium & pulmonary artery

lub dub - sound of the heart through a stethoscope


lub = closing of mitral & tricuspid valves

dub = closing of aortic & pulmonary valves



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circulatory system by derek*b on Flickr



Systemic arteries - thick, muscular, elastic walls that carry oxygenated blood under high pressure, from the heart to the rest of the body.


Systemic veins - thin walls, contain valves (to prevent backflow of CO2 rich blood) that take de-oxygenated blood from the bodies cells after cellular respiration back to the heart (which is then sent onto the lungs by the pulmonary artery for excretion - exhale)


Capillaries - one cell thick - allow the blood to exchange gases, nutrients and wastes with tissues.

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696 - demons - Seamless Pattern by Patrick Hoesly on Flickr



Red Blood Cells (RBC) = carry O2. Assist in transfusions if pt anaemic (& not requiring blood volume


Plasma = mostly water = increases blood volume. Assists in trauma when pt bleeding lots.


Platelets = clotting. Assists in pts with inability to clot effectively. E.g. haemophilia


White Blood Cells (WBC) = infection fighting cells. Assist in pt with decreased immunity and unable to fight infection with antibiotics.

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heart attack anatomy by gandhiji40 on Flickr



Any disease of the heart, blood or its vessels.

Disease interrupts the flow of O2 to body organs

CVD = Not Contagious

CVD = Poor Lifestyle Choices (smoking, poor diet, high BP, lack of exercise)

CVD = Signs/Symptoms...chest pain/discomfort, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, fatigue.

CVD - CardioVascular Disease

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