How the Heart Works

The cardiovascular system, composed of the heart and blood vessels, is responsible for circulating blood throughout your body to supply the tissues with oxygen and nutrients.

The heart is the muscle that pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients through the blood vessels to the body tissues. It is made up of:

  • Four chambers (two atria and two ventricles) that receive blood from the body (the atria) and pump out blood to it (the ventricles).

    • The right atrium receives blood from the body, which is high in oxygen and low in carbon dioxide.

    • The right ventricle pumps the blood from the right atrium into the lungs to provide it with oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. 

    • The left atrium receives blood from the lungs, which is rich in oxygen.

    • The left ventricle pumps the blood from the left atrium into the body, supplying all organs with blood.

  • Blood vessels, which compose a network of arteries and veins that carry blood throughout the body.

    • Arteries transport blood from the heart to the body tissues.

    • Veins carry blood back to the heart.

  • Four valves to prevent backward flow of blood.

    • Each valve is designed to allow the forward flow of blood and prevent  backward flow.

  • An electrical system of the heart that stimulates contraction of the heart muscle.

Reasons for a Heart Transplant Procedure

Heart transplantation is performed to replace a failing heart that cannot be adequately treated by other means.

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