Heart

The heart is the main organ of the circulatory system inside the rib cage in the upper chest. Heart symptoms include chest pain (heart pain), arrhythmias, palpitations, slow pulse, rapid pulse, poor circulation, high blood pressure and so on. Heart disorders include heart disease, heart failure, heart rhythm disorders, heart attack, cardiac arrest, and many others. Read more about: Heart Symptoms, Heart Disorders

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The heart

The heart is divided into four main sections called chambers. These are known as the:

  • left atrium (collects blood returning from the lungs)
  • left ventricle (the main pumping chamber for the body)
  • right atrium†(collects blood returning from the body's veins)
  • right ventricle (pumps bloods to the lungs)†

There are also four valves controlling how the blood flows through the heart and around the body. These are known as the:

Congenital heart disease can occur if any of these chambers or valves doesn't develop properly while a baby is in the womb.

Source: NHS Choices UK1

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What Is the Heart?

Your heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood to your body. Your heart is at the center of your circulatory system. This system consists of a network of blood vessels, such as arteries, veins, and capillaries. These blood vessels carry blood to and from all areas of your body.

An electrical system controls your heart and uses electrical signals to contract the heart's walls. When the walls contract, blood is pumped into your circulatory system. Inlet and outlet valves in your heart chambers ensure that blood flows in the right direction.

Your heart is vital to your health and nearly everything that goes on in your body. Without the heart's pumping action, blood can't move throughout your body.

Your blood carries the oxygen and nutrients that your organs need to work well. Blood also carries carbon dioxide (a waste product) to your lungs so you can breathe it out.

A healthy heart supplies your body with the right amount of blood at the rate needed to work well. If disease or injury weakens your heart, your body's organs won't receive enough blood to work normally.

Source: NHLBI (NIH)2

Introduction: Heart

The heart works like a pump and beats 100,000 times a day.

The heart has two sides, separated by an inner wall called the septum. The right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. The left side of the heart receives the oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it to the body.

The heart has four chambers and four valves and is connected to various blood vessels. Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from the body to the heart. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to the body.

Source: NHLBI (NIH)3

Introduction: Heart

Did you know your heart is also a muscle? It is a specialized type of involuntary muscle. It pumps blood through your body, changing its speed to keep up with the demands you put on it. It pumps more slowly when youíre sitting or lying down, and faster when youíre running or playing sports and your skeletal muscles need more blood to help them do their work.

Source: NIAMS (NIH)4

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Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.5

Anatomical Information about Heart

Your Heart

Your heart is a strong muscle about the size of the palm of your hand. Just like an engine makes a car go, the heart keeps your body running. The heart has two pumps. The stronger pump uses arteries to send blood with oxygen away from the heart, throughout the body. The other pump uses veins to bring blood back to the heart and sends it to the lungs to get more oxygen. An electrical system in the heart controls the heartís pumps (the heart beat or pulse).

Source: NIA (NIH)6

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References

  1. Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ Congenital-heart-disease/ 
  2. Source: NHLBI (NIH): nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/ health-topics/ topics/ hhw
  3. Source: NHLBI (NIH): nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/ health-topics/ topics/ chd/ heartworks
  4. Source: NIAMS (NIH): niams.nih.gov/ Health_Info/ Kids/ healthy_muscles.asp
  5. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  6. Source: NIA (NIH): nia.nih.gov/ health/ heart-health
  7. Source: CDC: cdc.gov/ heartdisease/ about.htm

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.