Term Paper: Cardiovascular System Functions

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Cardiovascular System

Functions of the Cardiovascular System

Food substances, transported by the blood, include: amino acids, fatty acids, mineral salts and vitamins from a person's intestines to the cells of his/her body.

Waste substances, transported by the blood, for produced by cells during their normal metabolism. The primary ones include carbon dioxide, water and urea. The blood transports these waste substances from an individual/s cells to his/her excretory organs.

Heat, produced in the liver and muscles, is transported by the blood to all areas of an individual's body. This constitutes a person's central heating system, which helps keep his/her 37 degrees C.

Hormones, from an individual's endocrine glands, are transported by the blood to his/her target cells.

Oxygen it's transported by the red blood cells from an individual longs to his/her other body cells. (Wright, 2000, p. 38)

Figure 1: Depiction of How Blood Transports Substances around a Person's Body (Wright, 2000, p. 39)

2. The major parts of the heart, divided into 4 parts known as chambers, include: on the right side of the heart, the right atrium and the right ventricle: on the left side of the heart, the left atrium and the left ventricle. The right atrium and the left atrium are the two small chambers at the top of the heart, while the right ventricle and the left ventricle are the two larger chambers at the bottom of the heart. The left ventricle constitutes the primary pumping chamber. The right and left side of the heart divided by a "wall," known as the septum. The left side of the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to the body. The following figure (2) portrays the major parts of a human heart. (Major Parts, 2008; the Heart, N.d.)

Figure 2: Major Parts of a Normal Heart (Major Parts, 2008)

Serous membranes, covering membranes, line body cavities not open to the exterior of the body and are found around the heart and lungs. "The outer layer is called the parietal layer and is always attached to the surrounding tissues. The inner layer is called the visceral layer and is firmly attached to the organ it covers." The pericardium surrounds the heart. (Serous Membrane, N.d.)

Endocardium

The endocardium, a single layer of endothelial cells with oval or round nuclei rests on a continuous layer of fine college and fibers, separated from it by a thin basement membrane. Just beyond the subendonthelial layer, a paper layer of dense connective tissue exists that forms the majority of endocardium. Along with collagen fibers, "the subendocardial layer contains elastic fibers, smooth muscle cells, small blood vesssels, and in the ventricles, may contain specialized cardiac muscles of the electrical conducting system. The connective tissue of the subendocardial layer binds the endocardium to the cardiac muscle of the myocardium. (Krause, 2004, p. 37)

Myocardium

The myocardium, which primarily consists of cardiac muscle cells, is thickest in the left ventricle in thin is in the atria. The fine connective tissue which envelops each cardiac muscle cell of the ventricular myocardium contains numerous capillaries. "In the atria, bundles of cardiac muscle are prominent adjacent to the lumen and form the pectinate muscles. Isolated bundles of cardiac muscle that project into the lumen of the ventricles form the trabeculae camea. In the atria, cardiac muscle cells are smaller than elsewhere in the heart. Elastic fibers are scarce in the ventricular by Accordion but are plentiful in the atria where they form and interlacing network between cardiac muscle cells. Here the elastic fibers of the myocardium become continuous with those of the endocardium and epicardium." (Krause, 2004, p. 37)

Epicardium

The epicardium is the visceral layer of the pier epicardium. The free surface is covered by a single layer of flat to cuboidal mesothelial cells, beneath which is a layer of connective tissue reach in elastic fibers. Adjacent to the myocardium, it contains blood vessels, nerves and an abundance of fat cells. This reason is referred to as the subepicardial layer." (Krause, 2004, p. 37)

3. Pathway of Blood through the Heart

The following figure (3) shows the passage of blood through the heart. The human heart, which consists of two pumps, beats approximately 100,000 times and pumps approximately 5,000 gallons of blood each day. At rest, a normal human heart beats between 60 and 80 beats a minute.

The left side of the heart, stronger as it has more work to perform, receives fresh oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it around the body. The right side of the heart, which receives de-oxygenated blood from the body, pumps it to the lungs. As the lungs are located close to the heart perform less work, consequently the right side of the heart is weaker than the left side. (the Heart, N.d.)

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Figure 3: Passage of Blood through the Heart (the Heart, N.d.) blood pressure (include the terms systolic and diastolic).Identify the normal range of arterial blood pressure.

Use terms: hypertension, hypotension, normotension correctly.

5.Generalised Plan of Blood Vessels

Locate the major arteries and veins and including:

Arteries:aorta, coronary, left and right subclavian, brachiocephalic, right and left common carotid, vertebral, axillary, brachial, radial:

Abdominal aorta, gastric, splenic, celiac, hepatic, renal, esenteric, L&R common iliac, femoral, tibial.

Pulmonary arteries

Veins:tibial, popliteal, femoral, saphenous, L&R common iliac;Inferior vena cava, renal, portal, splenic, hepatic, Brachial, axillary, L subclavian, R brachiocephalic, Sagittal sinus, internal and external jugular, superior vena cava Pulmonary veins.

State a significant difference between pulmonary arteries & veins and the others.

6. Distinction between Arteries, Veins and Capillaries

Compare and contrast the structure of arteries, arterioles, veins and capillaries.Discuss how the difference in structure alters the function.

7. Importance of the hepatic-portal circulation

State why the hepatic arteries are considerably smaller than the hepatic veins.

Identify the portal vein;the organs its drains and its destination.

Identify the role of the liver in modifying this blood.

Name the veins that return this blood into general circulation.

8.Importance of the Cerebral Circulation

Name the major arteries taking blood to the head.

Identify the advantage of a complicated communication of blood supply as in the Circle of Willis.

State why venous sinuses effectively drain blood from the brain.

Name the major veins that drain blood from the head and neck.

9. Conducting system of the Heart

The following figure portrays the pathway of the cardiac conduction system and identifiues: the sino atrial (SA) node, atrial conducting fibres, the atrioventricular (AV) node, the atrio ventricular bundle (Bundle of His) L&R bundle branches and Purkinje fibres.

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Figure 4: Cardiac Conduction System (Cardiac Conduction, 1996)

10. Parts of a normal electrocardiogram pattern

Identify the P, QRS and T. waves on an ECG.

Identify which part of the cardiac cycle occurs during P, QRS and T. waves.

11.Cardiac Cycle

The following figures (5 & 6) portray atrial systole, ventricular systole and diastole, tachycardia, bradycardia.

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Figure 5: Cardiac Cycle (Cardiac Cycle, 2006)

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Figure 6: The Cardiac Cycle (Cohen, 2005)

CARDIAC CYCLE

Although the right and left halves of the heart are separate, they both contract in unison, producing a single heartbeat. The sequence of events from the beginning of one heartbeat to the beginning of the next is called the cardiac cycle. The cardiac cycle has two phases: diastole, when the heart's chambers are relaxed, and systole, when the chambers contract to move blood. During the systolic phase, the atria contract first, followed by contraction of the ventricles. This sequential contraction ensures efficient movement of blood from atria to ventricles and then into the arteries. If the atria and ventricles contracted simultaneously, the heart would not be able to move as much blood with each beat.

During diastole, both atria and ventricles are relaxed, and the atrioventricular valves are open. Blood pours from the veins into the atria, and from there into the ventricles. In fact, most of the blood that enters the ventricles simply pours in during diastole. Systole then begins as the atria contract to complete the filling of the ventricles. Next, the ventricles contract, forcing blood out through the semilunar valves and into the arteries, and the atrioventricular valves close to prevent blood from flowing back into the atria. As pressure rises in the arteries, the semilunar valves snap shut to prevent blood from flowing back into the ventricles. Diastole then begins again as the heart muscle relaxes -- the atria first, followed by the ventricles -- and blood begins to pour into the heart once more.

An instrument known as a stethoscope is used to detect internal body sounds, including the sounds produced by the heart as it is beating. The characteristic heartbeat sounds are made by the valves in the heart not by the contraction of the heart muscle itself. The sound comes from the leaflets of the valves slapping together. The closing of the atrioventricular valves, just before the ventricles contract, makes the first heart sound. The second heart sound is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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