Brief Look at the Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system includes the heart, blood vessels (arteries and veins), and blood. Blood rich in oxygen, nutrients, and hormones moves through vessels called arteries that narrow to arterioles. Capillaries transport oxygenated

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blood to cells and absorb waste products such as CO2, urea, creatinine, and ammonia. The deoxygenated blood is returned to the circulation by the venules and veins for elimination of waste products by the lungs and kidneys. The pumping action of the heart circulates blood through blood vessels.

The heart is divided into four chambers.

1. Right atrium. The right atrium receives deoxygenated blood from the circulation.

2. Right ventricle. The right ventricle pumps unoxygenated blood to the pulmonary artery to the lungs for gas exchange (CO2 for O2).

3. Left atrium. The left atrium receives oxygenated blood via the pulmonary vein.

4. Left ventricle. The left ventricle pumps the blood into the aorta for systemic circulation.

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