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The Heart and Blood Vessels

Your heart is a muscle about the size of your fist.    The heart pumps blood through a network of blood vessels to the lungs where it picks up oxygen.  The 'oxygen rich' blood is then returned to the heart so it can be pumped onto the organs and tissues throughout your body.

There are two main types of blood vessels which carry blood:

  • 'arteries'  carry the oxygen rich blood from the heart to the organs and tissues
  • 'vein's' transport the blood back to the heart from the organs and tissues

The heart also contains valve's which ensure that the blood flows through the heart in the right direction

The cardiovascular system is the medical name given to the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular) in the body.

Just like other organs and muscles in the body, the heart needs it's own blood supply to provide the heart with oxygen and other nourishing substances.  These are carried to the heart by blood vessels called 'coronary arteries'.

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Last Updated: 06 February 2015