Although light in weight and compact in size, the heart is remarkably successful in performing its life-sustaining work: pumping blood that is rich in oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body and carrying of waste products, such as carbon dioxide. The task is not easy, for there thousands of kilometers of blood vessels in the body, and the heart must beat regularly and steadily, 70 or so times a minute, 700,000 times a week, and some 2.5 thousand million times in the average lifetime.
Roughly equivalent in size to a clenched fist, the heart normally does its job with relative ease, squeezing out four to five liters of blood a minute and up to 24 when exercise makes it necessary. Yet things do go wrong with this dynamic chunk of electrically regulated muscle; and when the do, the results can be serious. The diseases that affect the cardiovascular system (heart, veins and arteries), for example, are the most significant in Australia and New Zealand, causing the deaths of over 55,000 Australians and over 12,000 New Zealanders each year, nearly half of all deaths in either country.
Coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, irregular hear rhythm, heart valve problems, heart defects – the names of the most common problems are well known. The questions and answers in this site deals with these problems, providing basic information on symptoms, diseases, treatments, tests and medications. In some cases changes in lifestyle (stopping smoking, altering the diet) can help; in others long-term use of medications and even surgery may be necessary. If you are already a heart patient, the answers may make you a better one by giving you better understanding of the techniques and medicines your doctor is using to scare for you hardworking heart.
What does my doctor actually hear when she listens to my heart through a stethoscope?
If you put your ear to another person’s chest, you can hear the sounds of his heart beating -lubb-dup, lubb-dup – two sounds for every heartbeat. The first sound is caused by the valves between the upper chambers (atria) and the lower chambers and the major arteries. With a stethoscope, your doctor can hear these normal heart sounds more clearly and can also detect a rich repertoire of other sounds: snaps, clicks, knocks, murmurs, gallops, rubs, Some are innocuous, while others indicate significant hear disease.
I know there are veins and arteries in the body, but I have never understood how they work together. Can you explain?
The veins and arteries are the blood vessels that collectively form the body’s circulatory, or vascular, system – in effect, its plumbing system. The system consists of hollow tubes through which the blood flows. The arteries are the vessels that carry blood away from the heart towards the body tissues. The veins are the vessels that carry blood from the tissues back to the heart again.
Altogether, the body contains more than 100 thousand kilometers of blood vessels. Unlike a plumbing system, however, these vessels are flexible and active, dilating and constricting to adjust the blood flow to the different organs. Blood cannot flow without the artreis. Heart blood vessels and veins arteries. Importance of Heart blood vessels and veins arteries.