Circulatory System

A huge part of our everyday life

What is the Circulatory System?

The Circulatory System is a highway that travels through the body to transport nutrients, water, and oxygen to the cells in our body. This system also takes away any waste materials the cells in our body have created.

A few functions of the circulatory system include:

  • Carrying digested food nutrients from the small intestine to the areas of the body which need it.
  • Carrying oxygen from the lungs to the body.
  • Aiding in the disposal of all wastes from the body.
  • Distribution of heat.
  • Fighting off diseases with white blood cells to destroy infections.

What keeps the Circulatory System Running?

The 3 main parts of the Circulatory System are:

  • The heart
  • Blood
  • Blood Vessels

The Heart

The heart is an amazing organ about the size of a closed fist. It is located slightly to the left of your chest, in between your two lungs. The heart's job is to pump your blood throughout your body.

The heart is a cardiac muscle with four open spaces to allow blood to flow in and out of it. The four openings in the heart are:

  • The right atrium
  • The right ventricle
  • The left atrium
  • The right ventricle

The left side and the right side of the heart are separated by the septum.

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Blood is a substance containing nutrients, water, oxygen and many more materials, which is constantly being pumped by the heart throughout the body.

Blood is be made of various types of blood cells which are created in the bone marrow (soft tissue located within our bones).

The three different types of blood cells:

  • Red blood cells (about 5,000,000 in one drop of blood): They retrieve oxygen from the lungs and deliver it to the other cells in our body. Then they collect the waste carbon dioxide the cells produce and take it back to the lungs for the body to exhale and release it back into the air.

  • White blood cells (about 10,000 in one drop of blood): Destroys germs when they enter the body. When your body gets an infection more white blood cells are produced to help defeat the infection. When a doctor prescribes an antibiotic they help our white blood cells to defeat larger infections.

  • Platelets (about 250,000,000 in one drop of blood): Help stop bleeding when we have a broken blood vessel and blood leaks out. The platelets begin to group up and stick together to cover up holes in damaged blood vessels. When the platelet plug completely covers a damaged hole the wound stops bleeding and we call the plug scabs.

Plasma: This is the liquid part of the blood that we see and it is made in the liver. It makes up about half of our blood and it carries the blood cells through our body.

Blood Vessels

Blood vessels are the structure that carry the blood through the body.

There are three types of blood vessels:

  • Arteries: Carry oxygen rich blood away from the heart.

  • Capillaries: Are blood vessels as thin as hair and connect arteries to veins. Nutrients, oxygen and waste products pass through capillary walls to enter or exit our blood.

  • Veins: Carry oxygenated our blood back towards our heart.

Blood Circulation

The heart pumps your blood through a continuous cycle that follows this order:

  1. Deoxygenated blood through superior and inferior cava
  2. Right atrium
  3. Tricuspid valve
  4. Right ventricle
  5. Semilunar valve
  6. Pulmonary artery
  7. Lungs (makes blood oxygenated)
  8. Pulmonary veins
  9. Left atrium
  10. Mitral valve
  11. Left ventricle
  12. Aorta
  13. To rest of body- liver, stomach, intestines, kidneys, lower body and legs Back to superior and inferior cava
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Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure rises with each heartbeat and falls when your heart relaxes between beats. Your blood pressure can change from minute to minute.


The top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).


The bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).


Cardiovascular Disease

Narrowed, blocked or stiffened blood vessels that prevent parts of your body from receiving enough blood.


  • chest pain

  • shortness of breath

  • pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in legs or arms

  • pain in neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back

Coronary Artery Disease

Fatty material builds up in the artery walls gradually over time and causes blockage.


  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations (irregular heart beats, skipped beats, or a "flip-flop" feeling in your chest)
  • A faster heartbeat
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

Heart Arrhythmia

Heart rhythm problems such as an abnormal heartbeat where the heart may beat too quickly, too slowly or irregularly.


  • fluttering in chest

  • racing heartbeat

  • slow heartbeat

  • chest pain or discomfort

  • shortness of breath

  • becoming lightheaded

  • dizziness

  • fainting or near fainting

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Created By:






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