The heart is one of the most important organs of the body that allows flow of blood through it and the entire physical system of a person. But have you ever though how blood exactly flows through the heart? Read on to know all about it.
Structure of the Human Heart
It is important to have a clear idea about the structure of the human heart to understand all about circulation of blood through it.
The human heart is a hollow, pear-shaped muscular organ that looks like a vessel that has been turned upside down. The inner part of the heart is divided into four chambers. These are
- The Right Atrium
- The Left Atrium
- The Right Ventricle
- The Left Ventricle
The Atriums (known as “Atria” in plural) are the upper chambers while the Ventricles are the lower chambers of the heart. The left and right atria constitute the upper cardiac chambers while the left and right ventricles together form the lower chambers of the heart. Together, the two atria form the curved upper section of the heart. These are located above the right and left ventricles.
The ventricles, just like the atria, meet each other at the lower section of the heart. Together, the ventricles provide the heart with a tapered down appearance. The bottom of the heart points towards the left part of the chest. It is the left ventricle that contracts with the greatest force. This is the reason why heart beats are strongly experienced at the left region of the chest.
The left and right sides of the heart are separated by a wall known as the Septum. This wall is located between the left atrium and ventricle and the right atrium and ventricle. The two ventricles and the two atria are connected by the bicuspid or mitral valve. The ventricles and the atria are also linked to each other by a valve.
How Does Blood Flow Through The Heart?
The process of the flow of blood through the heart is a complicated one. It requires a joint functioning of all the cardiac chambers to make proper circulation possible. The left and right sides of the heart function jointly in pumping the de-oxygenated and oxygenated blood. However, each cardiac chamber has its unique function that leads to proper circulation. Read the rest of this article that explains the flow of blood through the heart.
Blood Flow through the Heart – Step By Step
Here is a stepwise description of blood flow through the heart. Go through the steps of blood flow through the heart to know about blood circulation within and out of cardiac chambers.
- The oxygen-deficient blood is discharged from the body into the right atrium through two large veins, known as the superior and the inferior vena cava. These veins are located in the right side of the human heart. Blood enters the cardiac chambers through these veins.
- The left atrium receives oxygenated (oxygen-rich) blood from the lungs through the pulmonary vein.
- Atrial contraction follows once the right and the left atrium receives the deoxygenated and oxygenated blood respectively. The contraction occurs in the left and the right sides of the heart.
- The deoxygenated blood from the right atrium flows into the right ventricle through the open tricuspid valve. The valve remains fully shut when the ventricles are full. This prevents backflow of blood into the atria during the contraction of the ventricles.
- The oxygen-rich blood from the left atrium enters the left ventricle through the mitral valve that it finds open. The mitral valve, like the tricuspid valve, remains shut while the ventricles are full.
- This is followed by ventricular contraction, which starts once the atria transfer the oxygenated as well as deoxygenated blood into the ventricles. Ventricular contraction is also known as systole that helps drive blood into the pulmonary artery and aorta.
- When the right ventricle has successfully contracted, the blood leaves the heart and enters into the lungs and pulmonary artery through the pulmonic valve. The blood leaving the heart is de-oxygenated which enters the lungs to become rich with oxygen. It is then pumped back into the heart.
- After the contraction of the left ventricle, the blood leaves the heart and enters the aorta through the aortic valve. It is thus transported into the body. This is oxygen-rich blood that is transported all over the human body for further metabolic activities.
This is how blood flows through the heart and the process occurs every moment to help in survival. It is only when the circulation stops that a person suffers from a heart attack. Circulatory malfunction in the heart is the cause of many cardiovascular disorders. So it is necessary that the pattern continues over and over again to ensure constant flow of blood to the lungs, heart and the rest of the human body.
Simple Diagram Of Blood Flow Through The Heart
Here are some useful pictures that will help you trace the route of blood flow through the heart and lungs. Check out these pictures of blood flow through the heart to get a complete idea about blood circulation in and outside the cardiac chambers.
Blood Flow Through The Heart Videos
Get a visual idea about the path of blood flow through the heart with some quality videos. Click here to see a video that explains the order of blood flow through the heart. You may also click here to see an animation video of blood flow through the heart.
What Is The Direction Of Blood Flow Through The Heart?
Know about the path of blood flow through the heart in the following model.
Body>Deoxygenated Blood > Inferior and superior vena cava>Right atrium>Tricuspid Valve>Right Ventricle>Pulmonary Valve>Pulmonary Artery and Lungs
Lungs>Oxygenated Blood > Pulmonary Vein>Left atrium>Mitral Valve>Left Ventricle>Aortic Valve>Aorta and the body
Order of Blood Flow through the Heart
The correct the pathway of blood flow through the heart is
Right atrium>Right ventricle>pulmonary artery>lungs>pulmonary vein>left atrium>left ventricle>aorta>body organs>vena cavae>right atrium
The process of blood purification and transportation throughout the entire body is very important. The cardiovascular system performs this crucial function and needs to work constantly to ensure survival.