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Day 1: How the Heart Works



 

How the Heart Works from Detroit Medical Center on Vimeo.

The heart pumps blood throughout the body. A heart that works well is needed for good health.

The Heart Muscle
The heart muscle contracts (squeezes) and relaxes to pump blood to the lungs and body. To do its work, the heart muscle needs a constant supply of oxygen. Oxygen is supplied to the heart muscle by the coronary arteries. These are the blood vessels that wrap around the surface of the heart.

  • The left main coronary artery branches into two arteries which supply blood to the back left side of the heart and the front left side of the heart.
  • The right coronary artery supplies blood to the bottom, right side, and back of the heart muscle.
Inside the Heart
The inside of the heart is divided into right and left sides. Each side has an upper chamber called the atrium and a lower chamber called the ventricle. The two upper chambers (atria) receive blood from the lungs and body. When these chambers contract, blood is pumped to the two lower chambers. As the lower chambers contract, blood is pumped to the lungs from the right ventricle and to the body from the left ventricle.   

 
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Mahir D. Elder, MD, FACP, FACC, FSCAI, FASNC, FAHA, FCCP, RPVI

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