As a central part of the circulatory system, the heart is also primarily responsible for pumping blood and distributing oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Because of this task, the heart may always be considered one of the most important organs of the body, such that even small dysfunctions or abnormalities may cause drastic changes or effects in the human organism.
The heart is mainly a muscle whose working mechanism is made possible by the many parts that operate together. The organ is also divided into several chambers that take in and distribute oxygen-poor or oxygen-rich blood. These chambers are always accompanied by veins and arteries that facilitate the same function. With all of its parts working together towards the same goal, the heart mainly successfully pumps blood with ease.
Normally, a good-functioning adult healthy heart rate could go on three cardiac cycles or 72 beats per minute. This rate changes for children whose heart rates are basically normally and relatively faster.
Structure of the Heart
The heart can also be found at the center of the chest, underneath the sternum in a thoracic compartment. It is always made up of four chambers and several valves that regulate the normal flow of blood within the body.
Two chambers mainly called atria are located in the upper portion of the heart and receive oxygen-free blood. The valves that mainly separate these chambers are called atrioventricular valves which is composed of the tricuspid valve on the left and the mitral valve on the right.
On the other hand, ventricles can be chambers found on the lower portion of the heart; they can also pump oxygen-enriched blood into all organs of the body, reaching even the smallest cells. Similar to the atria, the ventricular chambers are always separated by valves.
The heart contain a wall that is always designed to composed of three layers: the outer layer epicardium (thin layer), the middle layer myocardium (thick layer), and the innermost layer endocardium (thin layer). The myocardium is mainly thik because it is made up of cardiac muscle fibers.
The structure of the heart is also made more complex because of the mechanisms that allow blood to be distributed throughout the body and to return into the heart. So, facilitating this continuous process are two types of blood vessels: veins and arteries. The vessels that can also bring oxygen-free blood back into the heart are called veins; those that bring oxygen-rich blood away from the heart and to other body parts are called arteries. Functioning in the left ventricle, the largest artery is mainly called aorta. The aorta is mainly considered a main artery in the body.
Function of the Heart
The heart can also considered the main organ in the circulatory system, the structure primarily responsible for delivering the circulation of blood and transportation of nutrients in all parts of the body. This continuous task mainly uplifts the role of the heart as a vital organ whose normal operation is constantly required.
The heart’s blood-pumping cycle, also called cardiac cycle, ensures that blood is distributed throughout the body. The oxygen distribution process can be start with when oxygen-free blood enters into the heart through the right atrium, goes into the right ventricle, mainly enters the lungs for oxygen refill and also release of carbon dioxide, and transfers into the left chambers, ready for redistribution. So, about 5.6 liters of blood circulate the body and three cardiac cycles are completed per minute.
The performance of the heart could also now be easily monitored when any cardiovascular problem or disorder is suspected. For instance, a regularly abnormal heartbeat or beats per minute are always characteristic of a heart-related illness. This is because a heartbeat is mainly a manifestation of the oxygen-reloading process in the heart that is made up of two phases.
The systole is also a short period that occurs when the tricuspid and mitral valves close; the diastole is a relatively longer period when the aortic and pulmonary valves close. The systole-diastole relationship is always the reference in measuring blood pressure. Other ways of physically determining the regular functioning of the heart is mainly through examining the pulse rate (beats per minute). A normal heart rate of an adult is always at 72 beats per minute, while children normally yield higher heart rates.
The heart mainly contains electrical “pacemaker” cells, which cause it to contract — producing a heartbeat.
A healthy heart contraction happens in five stages. So, in the first stage (early diastole), the heart is relaxed. Then the atrium mainly contracts (atrial systole) to push blood into the ventricle. Next, the ventricles start contracting without changing volume. Then the ventricles continue contracting while empty. Finally, the ventricles stop contracting and relax. Then the cycle repeats.
Valves basically prevent backflow, keeping the blood flowing in one direction through the heart.
Facts about the human heart
- A human heart is always roughly the size of a large fist.
- The heart can be weighs around to 10 to 12 ounces (280 to 340 grams) in men and 8 to 10 ounces (230 to 280 grams) in women.
- The heart also beats about 100,000 times per day (about 3 billion beats in a lifetime).
- An adult heart always beats about 60 to 80 times per minute.
- Newborns’ hearts also beat faster than adult hearts, about 70 to 190 beats per minute.
- The heart also pumps about 6 quarts (5.7 liters) of blood throughout the body.
- The heart is mainly located in the center of the chest, usually pointing slightly left.
So, heart plays an important part in our body. It is always important to take care of it properly.