The Savvy VetTech

Do You Know How Blood Flows Through The Heart?

by Lori Hehn - September 23, 2015 at 2:51 PM
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This week, in preparation for the VTNE or as a general review, take a minute to review the physiology regarding blood flow through the heart.

Vessels of the heart:

  • Vena Cava- brings de-oxygenated blood from the body to the heart and empties into the right atrium.
  • Aorta- largest vessel in the body and carries oxygenated blood from the left ventricle to the body.
  • Pulmonary artery- transports the de-oxygenated blood from the right ventricle to the lungs.
  • Pulmonary vein- transports oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium.
  • Coronary arteries- branch off of the aorta near the top of the heart and carry oxygen to the cardiac muscle tissue.

There are Four Cardiac Chambers:

  • Left Atrium- receives oxygenated blood from the lungs via the pulmonary vein. During contraction, blood passes from the left atrium through the mitral valve into the left ventricle.
  • Left Ventricle- receives oxygenated blood from the left atrium during contraction. As the blood goes through the mitral valve and into the left ventricle, the aortic valve is closed so that the ventricle may fill. After the ventricles are full, they contract. During contraction, the mitral valve closes to prevent backflow of blood and the aortic valve opens to allow the blood to go into the aorta and out to the body.
  • Right Atrium- receives de-oxygenated blood from the body via the vena cava. During contraction blood passes from the right atrium through the tricuspid valve and into the right ventricle.
  • Right Ventricle- receives de-oxygenated blood from the right atrium during contraction. As the blood goes through the tricuspid valve and into the right ventricle, the pulmonary valve is closed so that the ventricle may fill. During contraction, the tricuspid valve closes to prevent backflow and the pulmonary valve opens so that blood goes into the pulmonary artery and to the lungs.
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About Lori Hehn

Lori Hehn is a practicing veterinarian and a contributor and content manager with XPrep Learning Solutions. She has a drive for continual learning and enjoys interacting with veterinary and vet tech students. She also writes veterinary learning books for children.

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