The Heart and How it works.


The Heartís function.

The Heart is a pump, it keeps blood circulating through out the body. The blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body and takes away unwanted carbon dioxide and other waste products.


The heart has four chambers, two on the left side and two on the right. The upper two chambers are called the Atria and the lower chambers are called the Ventricles.


The two sides of the heart are divided by a muscular wall called the Septum.

There is a one way valve system which means that the blood can only travel in one direction through the four chambers.


With each contraction (Heart Beat) the heart pumps blood forward into the arteries.

The arteries divide into small branches to supply a mroscopic network of capabilities thus taking the blood to every part of your body.


The veins collect the blood from the capillaries. The branches of veins form to make larger veins delivering blood back to your heart.

Blood from your veins fills the heart as it relaxes during each contraction (The heart beat)






Your heart
  Your heart is a muscular pump which sits in your chest behind and slightly to the left of your breastbone.
  A normal functioning heart is about the size of your closed fist and weights about 300 grams.
  As blood circulates around the body, deoxygenated blood enters the right side of the heart. From there it is pumped to the lungs where it receives oxygen and is then delivered to the left-side of the heart.
  The left-side of the heart is responsible for pumping oxygen-enriched blood around the body. Blood exits the heart via the major artery in the body called the aorta.

Heart failure

  Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart loses its ability to pump enough blood to the body's tissues, organs and limbs.
  The heart is no longer able to contract completely and can not eject sufficient blood out on each contraction to supply the bodyís needs.
  Diagram of a normal heart
An enlarged heart
  Heart failure can be caused by a number of factors including viral or bacterial infection, heart valve disease, high blood pressure or scarring of the heart muscle following a heart attack.
  Heart disease kills more people in Australia than any other disease according to the Australian Heart Foundation.
  The American Heart Association estimates nearly five million people in America suffer from heart failure with 550,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
  An estimated 11.2 million people worldwide suffer some type of heart failure.
  An estimated one million of these people enter end-stage (New York Heart Association Class IV) heart failure each year and have a life expectancy of less than one year.






Transplants United (C)2005