Keeping Us Alive, Pt. 3- A Precious Pump…

Hey guys!

I’m back to haaaaunt you’ll… [cue scary ghost noises!]

Only joking. I have a hard time falling asleep, haunting somebody else is SEVERAL lifetimes away…

Okay, without wasting anymore time- you’re probably wondering what I mean by “A Precious Pump.” Well, I meant the heart. Today we’re gonna talk wholly and solely about hearts and hearts only. [Hey, that kinda rhymed!]


What is the heart?

No. No, we’re not doing this. You’re joking. You guys really have to know by now!


Flow of Blood and Anatomy->

The above GIF is looks intimidating- but really, it isn’t. There are ALOT of names, but once you understand what they all do, it’ll be far easier to remember. I’m not going to elaborate on anatomy in a different para- anatomy and flow of blood are interrelated, so it’ll be easier, quicker and shorter to do both together.

Well, let’s begin already! Deoxygenated blood pours into the right atrium from the superior and inferior venae cavae[just the fancy plural of vena cava]. This blood comes from all over the body- the inferior vena cava delivers it from the legs and body below the heart while the superior vena cava delivers from the head and shoulders. All this blood is pumped through the tricuspid valve[tricuspid because it’s made of three cusps] and into the right ventricle. The right ventricle then pushes all the blood through the pulmonary valve and into the lungs to get oxygenated!

See? We finished the ENTIRE right side in 4 sentences! Not difficult at all. Onto the left…

Blood rushes back from the lungs into the heart via the pulmonary veins and into the left atrium. This blood is fresh and oxygenated, ready to to rounds of the body and deliver nutrients to cells! The left atrium pumps it through the bicuspid valve-which is also known as the mitral valve- into the left ventricle. From there, the blood moves to the aorta via the aortic valve to the rest of the body!

Structural Adaptations->

The structure of the heart is actually very unique, and it’s perfectly adapted to all its functions.

Well, for starters- the wall of the left ventricle is quite thick. It’s actually thicker than the right side, because it has to deal with higher pressure blood. Not to mention- the right ventricle only has to pump to the lungs, whereas the left ventricle has to pump to the entire body via the aorta. This means it needs greater strength- hence a thicker wall.

Another great example could be the pacemaker. Some people who have irregular heartbeats have to have an artificial pacemaker inserted, but your heart already has a natural one. It helps to regulate heartbeat! How does it do this? When you exercise, more CO2 is released into the blood. The pH of blood is already slightly acidic, and the more CO2 there is, the more acidic the blood becomes. The pacemaker detects these changes and makes the heart beat faster, so that more blood can reach your oxygen-starved muscles quicker. Isn’t that cool?

We’re done for today! Sorry, it was a very text heavy post. Apologies.

Before you leave- I took quite some time to find all those GIFs. While searching, I stumbled upon this lovely one:

It’s probably anatomically incorrect, but the artwork is gorgeous! That’s all I wanted to show you’ll. I thought it was insanely cool, so… yeah. Whatever.


love always,

Published by girrrrrl_of_two_worlds

hi! just a nerdy girl here. lover of science, english and learning on the whole. spreading knowledge is one of my favorite things to do! nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. ~marie curie

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