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Circulatory system and blood

Page history last edited by Charles Forstbauer 10 years, 1 month ago

Totaled 6/8 DONE.

Totaled 5/28/10 Mr F


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takes you through the blood flow


Circulation- This allows food and energy to be distributed throughout the animal's body. In humans the heart, blood and blood vessels are part of the circulatory system


- Getting nutrients and oxygen to every cell

- Getting rid of waste


The circulatory system is an organ system that passes nutrients (such as amino acids and electrolytes), gases, hormones, blood cells, etc. to and from cells in the body to help fight diseases and help stabilize body temperature and pH to maintain Homeostasis.


This website above really helps you understand the different parts of the circulatory system. It takes you through the cycle and breaks down each different organ and section, complete with a 3-D representation of the area they are teaching you about. I recommend you go through each picture and learn about how the system works. If you need help with only a certain area, just click on that one box. 


The following video is from the show Happy Days. There is a catchy song that goes through the circulatory system and how the blood flows through the heart. If you only want to see the song, the video really starts around two minutes.

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Humans, as well as other vertebrates, have a closed cardiovascular system (meaning that the blood never leaves the network of arteries, veins and capillaries), some invertebrate groups have an open cardiovascular system.

this image shows how large and how expanded the circulatory system is. 

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This is just a 3D model of the human cirrculatory system


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This is a video with a catchy rap and graphics about the circulatory system. If you memorize this rap, or just listen to it, it will be good review for the test. 


Blood is a specialized bodily fluid that delivers necessary substances to the body's cells, such as nutrients and oxygen, and transports waste products away from those same cells. 


Blood is important because it transfers vital oxygen, minerals and vitamins to all of the organs in your body. It also helps fight of infection in open cuts.


Blood is thicker than water and in adults there are about 10.6 pints of blood circulating around. In the blood there are billions of living blood cells floating in a liquid called plasma.


Human blood has about 45% blood cells and 55 percent plasma. The blood cells contain erythrocytes(red blood cells) and leukocytes(white blood cells), but it's mostly red blood cells. The plasma part has 90% water, and 10% protein, gases, waste, and enzymes.


The 4 components of human blood are:

  1. plasma
  2. red blood cells
  3. white blood cells
  4. platelets


 Platelets, or thrombocytes  are small, irregularly-shaped anuclear cell fragments (i.e. cells that do not have a nucleus containing DNA),


The average lifespan of a platelet is normally just 5 to 9 days. Platelets play a fundamental role in hemostasis and are a natural source of growth factors. They circulate in the blood of mammals and are involved in hemostasis, leading to the formation of blood clots.


Hemostasis or haemostasis  is a complex process which causes the bleeding process to stop.

 It refers to the process of keeping blood within a damaged blood vessel (the opposite of hemostasis is hemorrhage).


If the number of platelets is too low, excessive bleeding can occur. However, if the number of platelets is too high, blood clots can form (thrombosis), which may obstruct blood vessels and result in such events as a stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism or the blockage of blood vessels to other parts of the body, such as the extremities of the arms or legs.



  •  Supply of oxygen to tissues
  •  Removal of waste such as carbon dioxide, urea, and lactic acid
  •  Regulation of body pH
  •  Regulation of core body temperature
  •  Messenger functions, including the transport of hormones and the signaling of tissue damage


The Heart

The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system (including all vertebrates), that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions. 


The heart pumps oxygenated blood to the body and deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In the human heart there is one atrium and one ventricle for each circulation, and with both a systemic and a pulmonary circulation there are four chambers in total: left atrium, left ventricle, right atrium and right ventricle. The right atrium is the upper chamber of the right side of the heart. The blood that is returned to the right atrium is deoxygenated (poor in oxygen) and passed into the right ventricle to be pumped through the pulmonary artery to the lungs for re-oxygenation and removal of carbon dioxide. The left atrium receives newly oxygenated blood from the lungs as well as the pulmonary vein which is passed into the strong left ventricle to be pumped through the aorta to the different organs of the body.

this image does a good job of showing the heart and the different parts of it. 

this image traces the journey of the blood once it has been pumped through the heart 


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Although there is some controversey over whether the heart is real or not, this video shows the contractions the heart muscle makes to pump blood throughout your body and what a heart looks like. If you don't like watching blood or bodily functions I would not reccommend watching this.

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This video shows open heart surgery along with an analysis of all the major features

this diagram shows the heart in greater detail than others. 



are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart. This blood is normally oxygenated, exceptions made for the pulmonary and umbilical arteries.


  are blood vessels that carry blood towards the heart. Most veins carry deoxygenated blood from the tissues back to the lungs

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Here is a video that carefully explains the differences between veins and arteries. It's very informative and gets a lot of the major points across in under a minute. 





Red Blood Cells

Red blood cells (also referred to as erythrocytes) are the most common type of blood cell and the vertebrate organism's principal means of delivering oxygen (O2) to the body tissues via the blood flow through the circulatory system. They take up oxygen in the lungs or gills and release it while squeezing through the body's capilaries.

These cells' cytoplasm is rich in hemoglobin, an iron-containing biomolecule that can bind oxygen and is responsible for the blood's red color.

In humans, mature red blood cells are flexible biconcave disks that lack a cell nucleus and most organelles. The cells develop in the bone marrow and circulate for about 100–120 days in the body before their components are recycled by macrophages. Each circulation takes about 20 seconds. Approximately a quarter of the cells in the human body are red blood cells.

This image does a good job of showing how red blood cells actually look.




shows the different components of blood


White Blood Cells

White blood cells (WBCs), or leukocytes (also spelled "leucocytes"), are cells of the immune system defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials. 

This picture shows the contrast between a RBC a WBC and a platelet


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Here is a good video that we saw in class. It shows Neutrophil phagocytosis and how the white blood cells or "superheroes" go after bacteria.


Heart Attacks:

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a section of heart muscle becomes blocked. If the flow of blood isn’t restored quickly, the section of heart muscle becomes damaged from lack of oxygen and begins to die. During a heart attack, if the blockage in the coronary artery isn’t treated quickly, the heart muscle will begin to die and be replaced by scar tissue. This heart damage may not be obvious, or it may cause severe or long-lasting problems.rtery with plaque buildup and a blood clot.


Heart With Muscle Damage and a Blocked Artery

Figure A shows an overview of the heart and coronary artery.  Figure B shows a cross-section of the coronary artery with plaque buildup and a blood clot.

Figure A is an overview of a heart and coronary artery showing damage (dead heart muscle) caused by a heart attack. Figure B is a cross-section of the coronary artery with plaque buildup and a blood clot.

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This is video is very helpful towards understanding how a heart attack takes place




An angiogram is an imaging test that uses x-rays to view your body’s blood vessels. Physicians often use this test to study narrow, blocked, enlarged, or malformed arteries or veins in many parts of your body, including your brain, heart, abdomen, and legs. When the arteries are studied, the test is also called an arteriogram. If the veins are studied, it is called a venogram. 

To create the x-ray images, your physician will inject a liquid, sometimes called "dye", through a thin, flexible tube, called a catheter. He or she threads the catheter into the desired artery or vein from an access point. The access point is usually in your groin but it can also be in your arm or, less commonly, a blood vessel in another location. This "dye, " properly called contrast, makes the blood flowing inside the blood vessels visible on an x-ray. The contrast is later eliminated from your body through your kidneys and your urine. Your physician may recommend an angiogram to diagnose a variety of vascular conditions, including:

  • Blockages of the arteries outside of your heart, called peripheral artery disease (PAD);
  • Enlargements of the arteries, called aneurysms;
  • Kidney artery conditions, called renovascular conditions;
  • Problems in the arteries that branch off the aorta, called aortic arch conditions;
  • Malformed arteries, called vascular malformations; and 
  • Problems with your veins, such as deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots in the lungs called pulmonary emboli.


Here is a video describing an angiogram and several other surgical procedures done on the heart:

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 Angioplasty is the technique of mechanically widening a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel; typically as a result of atherosclerosis. An empty and collapsed balloon on a guide wire, known as a balloon catheter, is passed into the narrowed locations and then inflated to a fixed size using water pressures some 75 to 500 times normal blood pressure (6 to 20 atmospheres). The balloon crushes the fatty deposits, so opening up the blood vessel to improved flow, and the balloon is then collapsed and withdrawn.


What is coronary artery bypass surgery?

This is a type of heart surgery. It's sometimes called CABG ("cabbage"). The surgery reroutes, or "bypasses," blood around clogged arteries to improve blood flow and oxygen to the heart.

Why is this surgery done?

The arteries that bring blood to the heart muscle (coronary arteries) can become clogged by plaque (a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances). This can slow or stop blood flow through the heart's blood vessels, leading to chest pain or a heart attack. Increasing blood flow to the heart muscle can relieve chest pain and reduce the risk of heart attack.

Arteriosclerosis: Is the stiffening of the arteries. This stiffening occurs because the walls of the arteries have fat formed on them. Arteriosclerosis is usually a sign that a person is not living their life right; meaning they are either smoking, not exercising, or eating too much unhealthy food.

Ischema: Ischema is when the blood supply to muscle of the heart is blocked or restricted.

 bypass graft 


Blood is a specialized bodily fluid that delivers necessary substances to the body's cells – such as nutrients and oxygen – and transports waste products away from those same cells.

In vertebrates, it is composed of blood cells suspended in a liquid called blood plasma. Plasma, which comprises 55% of blood fluid, is mostly water (90% by volume),[1] and contains dissolved proteins, glucose, mineral ions, hormones, carbon dioxide (plasma being the main medium for excretory product transportation), platelets and blood cells themselves. The blood cells present in blood are mainly red blood cells (also called RBCs or erythrocytes) and white blood cells, including leukocytes and platelets. The most abundant cells in vertebrate blood are red blood cells. These contain hemoglobin, an iron-containing protein, which facilitates transportation of oxygen by reversibly binding to this respiratory gas and greatly increasing its solubility in blood. In contrast, carbon dioxide is almost entirely transported extracellularly dissolved in plasma as bicarbonate ion.

Vertebrate blood is bright red when its hemoglobin is oxygenated. Some animals, such as crustaceans and mollusks, use hemocyanin to carry oxygen, instead of hemoglobin. Insects and some molluscs use a fluid called hemolymph instead of blood, the difference being that hemolymph is not contained in a closed circulatory system. In most insects, this "blood" does not contain oxygen-carrying molecules such as hemoglobin because their bodies are small enough for their tracheal system to suffice for supplying oxygen.

Jawed vertebrates have an adaptive immune system, based largely on white blood cells. White blood cells help to resist infections and parasites. Platelets are important in the clotting of blood.[2] Arthropods, using hemolymph, have hemocytes as part of their immune system.

Blood is circulated around the body through blood vessels by the pumping action of the heart. In animals with lungs, arterial blood carries oxygen from inhaled air to the tissues of the body, and venous blood carries carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism produced by cells, from the tissues to the lungs to be exhaled.

Medical terms related to blood often begin with hemo- or hemato- (also spelled haemo- and haemato-) from the Ancient Greek word αἷμα (haima) for "blood". In terms of anatomy and histology, blood is considered a specialized form of connective tissue, given its origin in the bones and the presence of potential molecular fibers in the form of fibrinogen.


Oxygen saturation or dissolved oxygen (DO) is a relative measure of the amount of oxygen that is dissolved or carried in a given medium. It can be measured with a dissolved oxygen probe such as an oxygen sensor or an optode in liquid media, usually water.


This website goes into very good detail describing the circulatory system and its many parts: http://www.globalclassroom.org/hemo.html


·         The human circulatory system consists of the heart, a series of blood vessels, and the blood that flows through them.

·         As the blood flows through the circulatory system, it moves through the three types of blood vessels-arteries, capillaries, and veins.

·         myocardium- thick middle muscle layer of the heart; pumps blood through the circulatory system

·         atrium- large muscular upper chamber of the heart that receives and holds blood that is about to enter the ventricle

·         ventricle- thick-walled lower chamber of the heart that pumps blood out of the heart

·         pulmonary circulation- pathway in which the right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs


·         systematic circulation- pathway in which the left side of the heart pumps blood to all of the body except the lungs

·         valve- flap of connective tissue between an atrium and a ventricle, or in a vein, that prevents backflow of blood

·         pacemaker- small group of cardiac muscle cells in the right atrium that “set the pace” for the heart as a whole; also known as the sinoatrial node

·         aorta- large blood vessel in mammals through which blood travels from the left ventricle to all parts of the body except the lungs

·         artery- large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the tissues of the body

·         capillary- smallest blood vessel; brings nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and absorbs carbon dioxide and waste products

·         vein- in plants, a cluster of vascular tissue in leaves; in animals, a blood vessel that returns blood to the heart


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>> This video explains the circulatory system and the way the heart works. It displays the circulation of blood through the cardiovascular system and the functions of the heart.

SA, Sinoatrial Node: Sends the first impulse, the first "dub" in the dub-dub noise. (Normal Rhythm is +100 bpm) (like the "pacemaker" of the heart)
SA Node Triggers: Atrioventricular node (AV) fires off ventricles. This gives the second dub in the "dub-dub" noise. The AV node electronically connects ventricular and atrial chambers.

CO2 Production and Exercise:
Solution that resists changes in pH upon the adittion of an acid or a base.

Indirect CO2 Production/Carbonic Acid Buffer System:
H+  HCO3-   <->  H2CO3  <->  H2O + CO2
The equation shifts according to the respiration of the being. For example, hyperventilating means more basic blood, so the pH rises and affects body systems. 




Circulatory System: Problems and Diseases

As we all know, the circulatory system or cardiovascular system comprises the blood, heart and blood vessels. The blood consists of the red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), platelets and blood plasma. The blood vessels, on the other hand, comprise the veins, arteries, arterioles and capillaries. All of these parts contribute a lot to the proper functioning of the circulatory system. A disorder in any of the parts can cause certain health complications, which may vary from a mild disease to a life-threatening condition.

There are two types of circulatory system problems, viz. congenital (present at birth) and acquired (developed after birth). Common problems and diseases of the circulatory system include:

Aortic Aneurysm: Aortic aneurysm is bulging in the wall of the aorta, the largest artery of the body. Aortic aneurysm is caused due to aortic dissection (tear in the aortic wall) or defect in the aortic wall. A rupture of the bulging may cause heavy bleeding or hemorrhage. Aortic aneurysm can be developed as a complication of certain other diseases such as obesity, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.

Angina: Angina is pain or discomfort in the chest area, due to blockage in the blood vessels leading to the heart. The symptoms of angina are observed when there is insufficient supply of oxygen and blood to the heart. Chest pain may lasts for about 10 minutes.

Arrhythmia: Arrhythmia is a heart problem, characterized by irregularity in the heart rhythm. Symptoms may vary from very slow to fast heart rhythm. Arrhythmia can be a congenital or an acquired problem. In case of acquired arrhythmia, it can occur at any stage of life.

Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is hardening of the arterial wall (usually medium and large arteries) due to formation of plaque or atheroma. The plaque may be composed of cholesterol, calcium and fatty deposits. Atherosclerosis may hamper the blood circulation or at times, it can even stop the blood flow. A person suffering from this problem experiences sharp pain in the affected area.

High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition, when the systolic pressure exceeds 140 mmHg and diastolic pressure exceeds 90 mmHg. It is mostly caused due to hereditary reasons or unhealthy lifestyle habits such as heavy drinking and smoking.

Peripheral Vascular Disease: Peripheral vascular disease is disorder in the blood vessels that are not part of the brain and heart. This disease is caused due to fatty acid deposits in the arteries of the leg portion. It can be hereditary or develop as a complication of obesity, high blood pressure and smoking.

In severe cases, heart disease can cause heart attack, heart failure and several other fatal health problems. One word of advice for those people who smoke cigarette and have circulatory problem would be to quit smoking
, as it can worsen the existing condition, by constricting the blood vessels. Circulatory problems and diseases may also be caused due to intake of certain drugs like oral contraceptives and diuretics. It is always advisable to consult and seek advice from a qualified health practitioner before using any drugs and/or medications, in order to know the pros and cons of the same.




ANEMIA - A common Blood disorder condition that is caused by an acquired or inhered abnormality of red Blood cells to provide adequate oxygen supplies to body tissues. Anemia may, in some cases, be a manifestation of an non-hematologic disorder. The condition may be due to decreased number of red Blood cells, decreased amount of substance in red Blood cells which transports oxygen hemoglobin, or decreased volume of red Blood cells. There are several diseases properly known as Anemia. These include: anemia of B12 deficiency, anemia of chronic disease, anemia of folate deficiency, drug-induced immune hemolytic anemia, hemolytic anemia, hemolytic anemia due to g6pd deficiency, idiopathic aplastic anemia, idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immune hemolytic anemia, iron deficiency anemia, megaloblastic anemia, pernicious anemia, secondary aplastic anemia, and sickle cell anemia.


 BLOOD CHOLESTEROL - An important attribute in deciding a person's risk of getting coronary heart disease. When you have too much cholesterol in your Blood, the excess builds up on the walls of the arteries that carry Blood to the heart. This buildup is called "atherosclerosis" or "hardening of the arteries." It narrows the arteries and can slow down or block Blood flow to the heart. With less Blood, the heart gets less oxygen. With not enough oxygen to the heart, there may be chest pain, heart attack, or even death. Cholesterol buildup is the most common cause of heart disease, and it happens so slowly that you are not even aware of it. The higher your Blood cholesterol, the greater your chance of this buildup.


LYMPHATIC FILARIASIS - Lymphatic filariasis is a debilitating Blood disease caused by nematode worms of the genera Wucheriaand Brugia. Larval worms circulate in the Bloodstream of infected persons, and adult worms live in the lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic filariasis is not life threatening, but it does cause extreme discomfort, swelling of the limbs and genitals, damage to the kidneys and lymphatic system, impairment of the body’s ability to fight infection, and general malaise. In addition, it produces immeasurable emotional and economic costs in terms of the disruption of family and community life. Approximately 120 million people in 73 endemic countries world-wide located primarily throughout tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Africa. Although designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the world’s second leading cause of permanent and long-term disability, this mosquito-transmitted Blood borne disease is "potentially eradicable" through drug therapy and vector control. Infection rates are increasing with the continued expansion of urbanization that is underway in the tropics.


HEMOCHROMATOSIS - A most often hereditary Blood disorder that causes body tissue to absorb and store too much iron. Hemochromatosis is not "caught." The disease (which is actually many diseases) has also been known to develop as a result of dietary iron intake in sufficient quantity. Its worst effects are preventable, by early diagnosis and treatment, but, if the patient is not found in time, it is crippling and potentially fatal.


HEMOPHILIA - (also Haemophilia) A genetic Blood disease that causes the Blood to be unable to form a firm clot normally and quickly.


HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE - The most common risk factor for heart and kidney diseases and stroke. High Blood pressure, or hypertension, is defined in an adult as a systolic pressure (top number) of 140 mm Hg or higher and/or a diastolic pressure (bottom number) of 90 mm Hg or higher. Blood pressure is measured and noted in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).


HIV/AIDS - A Blood-borne disease of the human immune system that is characterized cytologically especially by a reduction in the numbers of CD4-bearing helper T cells, to 20% or less of normal, rendering the subject highly vulnerable to life-threatening conditions, such as pneumonia. There are others that become life-threatening (such as Kaposi's sarcoma) and that are caused by infection with HIV. HIV has been found in Blood, semen, saliva, tears, nervous system tissue, breast milk, and female genital tract secretions; however, only Blood, semen, female genital tract secretions, and breast milk have been proven to transmit HIV to others. It is most commonly transmitted in infected Blood and bodily secretions (e.g. semen), commonly during illicit IV drug use and/or sexual intercourse.


LEUKEMIA - Often referred to as cancer of the Blood, a malignant condition affecting the immature Blood-forming cells in the bone marrow.


POLYCYTHEMIA VERA - Occurs in one to five of every 100,000 people. With this Blood disorder, patients not only have more red cells, that is, hematocrits can almost double in some cases, but there is also a slow, steady buildup of white cells and platelets. Blood volume also increases, which masks the disease from the doctor while putting the patient at a higher risk of Blood clots and stroke. Women under the age of 40 are at particular risk for clotting complications.


SEPSIS - Also known as gram-negative bacteremia and gram-positive bacteremia, Sepsis is an overwhelming and life-threatening bacterial infection of the Blood and body organs caused by bacteria that has entered body tissue, most often through a wound or incision, that leads to the formation of pus, and/or to the spread of the sepsis bacteria throughout the Blood stream. Sepsis is often caused by organisms that are resistant to most standard antibiotics and more often than not, is found in people with a weakened immune systems.

Commonly affected areas are the lungs, the genitourinary tract, the liver or liver secretion tract, the gastrointestinal tract, surgical wounds or drains, and spots of skin disturbance known as decubitus ulcers or bedsores. Sepsis infection can lead to a form of shock, known as septic shock.


SICKLE CELL DISEASE - A hereditary Blood disease resulting from a single amino acid mutation of the red Blood cells. A Blood condition of anemia. People with sickle cell disease have red Blood cells that contain mostly hemoglobin S, an abnormal type of hemoglobin. Sometimes these red Blood cells become crescent shaped "sickle shaped" and have difficulty passing through small Blood vessels. There is currently no universal cure for Blood borne sickle cell disease.


THALASSEMIA - A group of fatal genetic Blood disorders. The WHO recognizes Thalassemia as the most prevalent inherited genetic Blood disorder in the world. An estimated 2 million Americans are carriers of the genetic trait for thalassemia, predominately those of Mediterranean and Asian Indian, South Asian and Chinese ancestry.


THROMBOSIS - When the platelets try to patch up an injury within a small Blood vessel and completely plug it up instead. This plug obstructs the normal flow of Blood and can result in a heart attack or stroke.




Ways in which the circulatory system can be measured:


Electrocardiography: The ECG works by detecting and amplifying the tiny electrical changes on the skin that are caused when the heart muscle "depolarises" during each heart beat. At rest, each heart muscle cell has a charge across its outer wall, or cell membrane. Reducing this charge towards zero is called de-polarisation, which activates the mechanisms in the cell that cause it to contract. During each heartbeat a healthy heart will have an orderly progression of a wave of depolarisation that is triggered by the cells in the sinoatrial node, spreads out through the atrium, passes through "intrinsic conduction pathways" and then spreads all over the ventricles. This is detected as tiny rises and falls in the voltage between two electrodes placed either side of the heart which is displayed as a wavy line either on a screen or on paper. This display indicates the overall rhythm of the heart and weaknesses in different parts of the heart muscle.


Sphygmomanometer: A sphygmomanometer or blood pressure meter is a device used to measure blood pressure, comprising an inflatable cuff to restrict blood flow, and a mercury or mechanical manometer to measure the pressure. It is always used in conjunction with a means to determine at what pressure blood flow is just starting, and at what pressure it is unimpeded. Manual sphygmomanometers are used in conjunction with a stethoscope.


Stethoscope: The stethoscope is an acoustic medical device for auscultation, or listening to the internal sounds of an animal body. It is often used to listen to lung and heart sounds. It is also used to listen to intestines and blood flow in arteries and veins. In combination with a sphygmomanometer, it is commonly used for measurements of blood pressure. Less commonly, "mechanic's stethoscopes" are used to listen to internal sounds made by machines, such as diagnosing a malfunctioning automobile engine by listening to the sounds of its internal parts. Stethoscopes can also be used to check scientific vacuum chambers for leaks, and for various other small-scale acoustic monitoring tasks.


Pulse meter: A pulse meter  is a personal monitoring device that allows a subject to measure their heart rate in real time or record their heart rate for later study. Early models consisted of a monitoring box with a set of electrode leads that attached to the chest.


Heart Rate Monitor: A heart rate monitor is a personal monitoring device that allows a subject to measure their heart rate in real time or record their heart rate for later study. Early models consisted of a monitoring box with a set of electrode leads that attached to the chest.


Heart Rate Variability: Heart rate variability (HRV) is a physiological phenomenon where the time interval between heart beats varies. It is measured by the variation in the beat-to-beat interval.

Other terms used include: "cycle length variability", "RR variability" (where R is a point corresponding to the peak of the QRS complex of the ECG wave; and RR is the interval between successive Rs), and "heart period variability".

Methods used to detect beats include: ECG, blood pressure, and pulse wave signal derived from a photoplethysmograph (PPG).



http://www.alaskaems.usanethosting.com/EMSER/CardioAEdvd.ppt#256,1,CARDIAC EMERGENCIES  Angina, AMI, CHF and AED


This is a link to a powerpoint concerning the discovery and treatment of certain cardiac emergencies.


How to Treat Cardiac Emergencies:


CPR is an emergency technique used to help someone whose heart and/or breathing has stopped.

When a person's heart stops, blood stops circulating throughout the body. If a person stops breathing, the blood can't get oxygen. Therefore, it is vital for people in this emergency situation to receive medical treatment, such as CPR, within the first few minutes of the event.

By administering a combination of artificial, or "mouth-to-mouth," respiration and manual chest compressions, the rescuer can breathe for the victim and help circulate some of the blood throughout their body.

CPR does not restart a heart that has stopped, but it can keep a victim alive until more aggressive treatment (defibrillation) can be administered.

CPR is not difficult to learn, and many organizations offer courses in CPR, including the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and local community centers, health clubs, and YMCAs.


An AED, an automatic external defibrillator, is a device used to administer an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart. The device has built-in computers that assess the victim's heart rhythm, judge whether defibrillation is needed, and then administer the shock. Audible and/or visual prompts guide the user through the process.


Heart Attack Symptoms in Men Vs. Women

Among the 515 women studied, 95-percent said they knew their symptoms were new or different a month or more before experiencing their heart attack, or Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI). The symptoms most commonly reported were unusual fatigue (70.6-percent), sleep disturbance (47.8-percent), and shortness of breath (42.1-percent).

Many women never had chest pains
Surprisingly, fewer than 30% reported having chest pain or discomfort prior to their heart attacks, and 43% reported have no chest pain during any phase of the attack. Most doctors, however, continue to consider chest pain as the most important heart attack symptom in both women and men.

Women's symptoms not as predictable
According to Patricia A.Grady, PhD, RN, Director of the NINR, "Increasingly, it is evident that women's symptoms are not as predictable as men's. This study offers hope that both women and clinicians will realize the wide range of symptoms that can indicate heart attack. It is important not to miss the earliest possible opportunity to prevent or ease AMI, which is the number one cause of death in both women and men."


The women's major symptoms prior to their heart attack included:


  • Unusual fatigue - 70%

  • Sleep disturbance - 48%

  • Shortness of breath - 42%

  • Indigestion - 39%

  • Anxiety - 35%

    Major symptoms during the heart attack include:



  • Shortness of breath - 58%

  • Weakness - 55%

  • Unusual fatigue - 43%

  • Cold sweat - 39%

  • Dizziness - 39%

    Traditional Symptoms: More Typical in Men

    For many decades doctors thought that heart attacks were a "male" problem that did not usually affect women. So, heart attack research focused mostly on men. "Traditional" heart attack symptoms were based on this research.

    Why Do Heart Attacks Happen?

    Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease often causes arteries to become clogged with plaque. Plaque is formed when fats in the blood build up in the arteries. Plaque buildup in the coronary arteries can slow or block the flow of blood to your heart. When your heart muscle does not get the oxygen-rich blood it needs, you can have a heart attack.

    "What used to be taught in medical school, and what you saw in the medical journals, was how to cook for your husband so that he wouldn't get heart disease," said Rita Redberg, MD. Dr. Redberg is director of Women's Cardiovascular Services at the University of California-San Francisco.

    Although women can have traditional symptoms, too, the following symptoms are more common in men just before or during a heart attack:2

    • Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest
    • Discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
    • Shortness of breath
    • A cold sweat
    • Nausea or lightheadedness

    Symptoms Often Differ for Women and Men

    Based on recent research on women's heart attack symptoms, doctors now know that the three most common heart attack symptoms in women are different than in men. Just before or during a heart attack, women commonly experience:1

    • Shortness of breath
    • Weakness
    • Unusual fatigue

    In addition to these three common symptoms, women may also have some of the traditional symptoms that men typically experience—including cold sweats and nausea or lightheadedness.

    While men most often feel chest pain as the major symptom during a heart attack, less than one-third of women do. According to Noel Bairey Merz, MD, shortness of breath in women can be the equivalent of chest pain in men. Dr. Bairey Merz is director of the Women's Health Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.




    1. Don't smoke or use tobacco products

    2. Be active

    3. Healthy diet

    4. Maintain healthy weight     

    5. Get regular health screenings  


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    This is an informative video on how to keep yourself healthy and avoid heart problems. It's made by a hospital. 



    starting at the RIGHT VENTRICLE  you then proceed to the Pulmonary artery then to the lungs then the pulmonary veins, left atrium, left ventricle, aorta, body, vena cava and then to the right atrium.

    ^you need to know this so study it!

    You can also use this website to help learn the loop of blood flow: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/heart/heartmap.html


    It's the "pumps your blood" song from Happy Days - and it's actually really helpful! It gets stuck in your head which could be good for studying.

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    This video shows the dissection of a fetal pig, like we did in class.  Its primary  focus is the circulatory system, and it explains all of the arteries and shows where they lead in the body.  This is helpful because in class, we weren't really able to concentrate on exactly where the arteries lead in the body, and the pig's system is very similar to ours.


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    Evolution Of the Heart in Vertabrates 



         Fish have a two part heart.  This is because they have one atrium and one ventricle.  They have capillaries in the gills and throughout the fish, where gases are exchanged.  As they are exchanged the blood goes through a "single circulation" where it picks up oxygen in the gills, exchanges it in the body, goes through the heart and then back again to the gills, in a single direction.


    Reptile/ Amphibian Heart

    Unlike the fish hearth, the amphibian and reptile heart is parted three ways.  It has two atrium and one ventricle.  This allows for better pumping of the blood but has oxyginated and unoxyginated blood mixing.  This allows for the animals to grow bigger with better pumping, but is stilll not as efficient as it could be with the blood mixing.


    Birds and Mammals

    The human and bird heart is the most efficient and furthest evolved heart.  It is parted four ways instead of three.  This allows for the seperation of the oxyginated blood and the unoxyginated blood.  This allows for even more efficient blood flow with the blood going directly where it needs to go.

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