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2 The Circulatory system

Components of the Circulatory
• Heart
• Blood vessels: arteries, veins, &
• Blood
The Heart is a pump
• Pericardium: protective
membrane that covers the
• made of cardiac muscle
• the size of your fist, located
in the chest cavity between
the lungs
• Our heart has 4 chambers
– Atria: 2 upper chambers
• Atria have thinner walls
compared to the ventricles
• Atria receive blood & pump it
to the ventricles
– Ventricles: 2 lower chambers
• Ventricles have thick walls
compared to the atria
• Ventricles pump blood to
lungs or the rest of the body
• Blood flows one-way
Blood’s Path through the
• O2-poor blood comes from the body
in veins to venae cavae into the right
atrium (RA)
• RA pumps O2-poor blood to the right
ventricle (RV)
• RV pumps O2-poor blood through
pulmonary artery to the lungs (blood
drops off CO2 & picks up O2 from
• O2-rich blood returns through
pulmonary vein to the left atria (LA)
• LA pumps O2-rich blood to left
ventricle (LV)
• LV pumps O2-rich blood through
Heart is a double pump
• Pulmonary
circulation: pumps
O2-poor blood from
the heart to the
lungs & returns O2-
rich blood back to
the heart.
• Systemic
circulation: pumps
O2-rich blood from
the heart to the
Blood vessels: arteries, veins,
• Large, thick-walled, muscular, elastic
blood vessels
• Carry blood away from the heart
• Carry blood that is under great
• Usually carry O2-rich blood (except
for the pulmonary artery & umbilical
• Aorta branches to smaller arteries,
• Capillaries join to make
larger vessels called
venules, which merge to
form veins which merge
into superior & inferior
vena cava
• Blood in veins is not under
• Veins have valves to
prevent blood from flowing
• Skeletal muscles around
• Capillaries are
microscopic blood
• Capillary walls are
one cell thick
• Thin walls enable
gases, nutrients,
and waste to
diffuse into and out
of blood to tissue
and vice versa
Red Blood Cells (RBC)
• 44% of blood volume is
• RBCs are produced in the
red bone marrow
• RBCs lose their nuclei
before entering blood
• Stay active for 120 days
& then are destroyed by
the spleen & liver
• Oxygen binds to the iron-
containing hemoglobin in
RBC (oxygenated RBCs)
Carbon dioxide in the blood
• 70% of CO2 combines in water in the
blood to make bicarbonate
• 30% travel to lungs either dissolved
in plasma or carried by RBCs that
have released O2 into the tissue.
White blood Cells (WBC)
• 1% of the blood is WBC
• Protect your body from disease-
causing organisms
• Platelets are cell fragments involved
in blood clotting (combine with
protein fibers called fibrin to form
• Platelets are made in the bone
• Break down after a week and are
removed by the spleen and liver
ABO blood groups
Antigens determine blood
• Blood type is determined by proteins on
the surface of RBCs called antigens
• Antigens are proteins that trigger an
immune response
• Antibodies are proteins that react to
foreign antigens
• An antigen-antibody response results in
clumped blood (that is why when a person
receives a blood transfusion the proper
blood type is given)
Rh factor
Rh Factor
• Rh factor, or rhesus factor, is another
protein either present (Rh+) or
absent (Rh-) on the surface of RBC
• Rh factor can cause complications in
some pregnancies (Rh- mother
carries an Rh+ baby—at birth the
mom’s & baby’s blood mix—mom
makes anti-Rh+ antibodies which can
destroy Rh+ baby in the next
• A substance can be given to the
mom to prevent production of Rh
What makes the heart
Control of the Heart
• Heart rate is set by the pacemaker (a
bundle of nerve cells at the top of the
right atrium)
• Medulla Oblongata in the brain
controls the rate of the pacemaker
• Electrocardiogram (ECG) can monitor
the electrical signals sent by
pacemaker to the atria & ventricles
to check for abnormal heart rhythms
Blood pressure
Blood Pressure
• Pulse is the measure of the pressure
exerted on the walls of the arteries
• Systolic pressure: high pressure exerted on
the walls of an artery when the ventricles
contract sending blood through the
• Diastolic pressure: low pressure exerted
on the walls of an artery when the
ventricles relax
• Regulating blood pressure is important to
make sure it’s not too low (cells will not
receive adequate oxygen and nutrients) or
too high (walls of arteries will weaken and
heart will have to work harder to pump)