Cardiovascular System

identifying structures and functions

Explaining the blood flow of the body

    • As blood is pumped away from the heart, it travels through the aorta to arteries, aterioles, and the capillary beds.
    • Blood flow through the capillary beds reaches almost every cell in the body and is controlled to divert blood according to the body's needs.
    • After oxygen is removed from the blood, the deoxygenated blood flows to the lungs, where it is reoxygenated and sent through the veins back to the heart.

Source: Boundless. “Blood Flow Through the Body.” Boundless Biology. Boundless, 21 Jul. 2015. Retrieved 11 Dec. 2015 from

Types of blood vessels

There are three major types of blood vessels: the arteries, which carry the blood away from the heart; the capillaries, which enable the actual exchange of water and chemicals between the blood and the tissues; and the veins, which carry blood from the capillaries back toward the heart.

Blood Cell formation


Red blood cells, most white blood cells, and platelets are produced in the bone marrow, the soft fatty tissue inside bone cavities. Two types of white blood cells, T and B cells (lymphocytes), are also produced in the lymph nodes and spleen, and T cells are produced and mature in the thymus gland.

Within the bone marrow, all blood cells originate from a single type of unspecialized cell called a stem cell. When a stem cell divides, it first becomes an immature red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet-producing cell. The immature cell then divides, matures further, and ultimately becomes a mature red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet.

Different blood groups

Although all blood is made of the same basic elements, not all blood is alike. In fact, there are eight different common blood types, which are determined by the presence or absence of certain antigens – substances that can trigger an immune response if they are foreign to the body. Since some antigens can trigger a patient's immune system to attack the transfused blood, safe blood transfusions depend on careful blood typing and cross-matching.

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Common cardiovascular diseases

  • A myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, is a medical emergency that occurs when a portion of the heart is deprived of oxygen because of blockage of one of the coronary arteries, which supply the heart muscle (myocardium) with blood.
  • aricose (VAR-i-kos) veins are swollen, twisted veins that you can see just under the surface of the skin. These veins usually occur in the legs, but they also can form in other parts of the body.Varicose veins are a common condition. They usually cause few signs and symptoms. Sometimes varicose veins cause mild to moderate pain, blood clots, skin ulcers (sores), or other problems.
  • Arteriosclerosis occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body (arteries) become thick and stiff — sometimes restricting blood flow to your organs and tissues.