This is how a healthy heart works

Our heart beats about 100,000 times per day and pumps around 7,200 litres of blood through our body to provide all organs with sufficient oxygen. This fist-size muscle lies directly behind the breastbone and in fact consists of two pumps that operate with precisely simultaneous beats and are separated from each other by a dividing wall (the septum).

Atrium and ventricle

Both halves consist of two cavities: an atrium and a ventricle. The blood flows from the veins into the atria, which subsequently fill the ventricles at the bottom of the heart. The ventricles are more powerful than the atria and pump the blood through the body via the arteries: the right ventricle pumps the oxygen-poor blood through the lung circulation path so that it can be enriched with oxygen. The left ventricle pumps the oxygen-rich blood back into the body circulation path to supply all organs with oxygen.

Four heart valves

The ventricles are sealed by a total of four heart valves: the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic valve. These heart valves regulate the blood flow in the heart because they send the blood in the correct direction and prevent it from flowing in the incorrect direction (not back into the atrium). Each heart valve consists of flexible leaflets, which are pressed in a specific direction under the influence of the flow of blood. They work as valve seals, which on the one hand must open sufficiently wide to allow adequate blood to flow into the circulatory system, but on the other hand must close securely enough to prevent the backflow of blood in the incorrect direction.

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