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Unit 5

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Cardiovascular system

Main functions of the cardiovascular system
The cardiovascular system transports nutrients and oxygen to all areas of the body. When the blood is travelling back to the heart, it flows through the veins. Whereas, after the blood has picked up oxygen from the lungs, it then flows away from the heart through the arteries. The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and blood vessels which run through the entire body.
The right side of the heart contains deoxygenated blood, whereas, the left side contains oxygen rich blood.

Superior vena cava - Carries deoxygenated blood into the heart from head, arms and the upper body.
Inferior vena cava - Carries deoxygenated blood into the heart from the lower body.
Aorta - The aorta is the main artery in the human body which carries oxygen rich blood away from the left ventricle and circulates it around the body.
Pulmonary artery - The vessel that transports deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle to the lungs, carrying the blood away from the heart.
Pulmonary vein - There are four pulmonary veins, two from each lung. These veins receive oxygenated blood from the lungs which then drain into the left atrium of the heart.
Mitral valve - One of the four valves in the heart, it regulates blood flow from the left atrium (upper left chamber), into the left ventricle (lower left chamber).
Aortic valve - This valve closes off the left ventricle that holds the oxygen rich blood before it is pumped out to the body. It opens to allow the blood to leave the heart, travelling through the left ventricle, aorta then into the body.
Left atrium - The lungs pump the oxygen rich blood from the left atrium, through the mitral valve into the left ventricle.
Right atrium - Receives deoxygenated blood from the body through the vena cava which then passes it into the right ventricle which then carries on to...

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