Unit 7_Cardiovascular System

Unit 7_Cardiovascular System - Introduction to the...

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Introduction to the Cardiovascular System The cardiovascular system is sometimes called the blood- vascular or simply the circulatory system. It consists of the heart, which is a muscular pumping device, and a closed system of vessels called arteries, veins, and capillaries. As the name implies, blood contained in the circulatory system is pumped by the heart around a closed circle or circuit of vessels as it passes again and again through the various "circulations" of the body. As in the adult, survival of the developing embryo depends on the circulation of blood to maintain homeostasis and a favorable cellular environment. In response to this need, the cardiovascular system makes its appearance early in development and reaches a functional state long before any other major organ system. Incredible as it seems, the primitive heart begins to beat regularly early in the fourth week following fertilization. The vital role of the cardiovascular system in maintaining homeostasis depends on the continuous and controlled movement of blood through the thousands of miles of capillaries that permeate every tissue and reach every cell in the body. It is in the microscopic capillaries that blood performs its ultimate transport function. Nutrients and other essential materials pass from capillary blood into fluids surrounding the cells as waste products are removed. Numerous control mechanisms help to regulate and integrate the diverse functions and component parts of the cardiovascular system in order to supply blood to specific body areas according to need. These mechanisms ensure a constant internal environment surrounding each body cell regardless of differing demands for nutrients or production of waste products. Heart The heart is a muscular pump that provides the force necessary to circulate the blood to all the tissues in the body. Its function is vital because, to survive, the tissues need a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients, and metabolic waste products have to be removed. Deprived of these necessities, cells soon undergo irreversible changes that lead to death. While blood is the transport medium, the heart is the organ that keeps the blood moving through the vessels. Thenormal adult heart pumps about 5 liters of blood every minute throughout life. If it loses its pumping effectiveness for even a few minutes, the individual's life is jeopardized. Click a topic below to learn more about the heart. Structure of the Heart Physiology of the Heart Structure of the Heart
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The human heart is a four- chambered muscular organ, shaped and sized roughly like a man's closed fist with two-thirds of the mass to the left of midline. The heart is enclosed in a pericardial sac that is lined with the parietal layers of a serous membrane. The visceral layer of the serous membrane forms the epicardium. Layers of the Heart Wall
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This note was uploaded on 10/24/2011 for the course ANP 101 taught by Professor Jaques during the Spring '11 term at Queens University.

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Unit 7_Cardiovascular System - Introduction to the...

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