48 Introduction: The Cardiovascular System
Heather Ketchum and Eric Bright
The cardiovascular system can be divided into three sections, the heart, the blood vessels, and the blood.
There is no single better word to describe the function of the heart other than “pump,” since its contraction develops the pressure that ejects blood into the major vessels: the aorta and pulmonary trunk. From these vessels, the blood is distributed to the remainder of the body. Although the connotation of the term “pump” suggests a mechanical device made of steel and plastic, the anatomical structure is a living, sophisticated muscle. As you read this chapter, try to keep these twin concepts in mind: pump and muscle.
Although the term “heart” is an English word, cardiac (heart-related) terminology can be traced back to the Latin term, “kardia.” Cardiology is the study of the heart, and cardiologists are the physicians who deal primarily with the heart.
The Blood Vessels4
The blood vessels make up the vascular components of the cardiovascular system. The vessels that transport blood throughout the body and provide the physical site where gases, nutrients, and other substances are exchanged with body cells. When vessel functioning is reduced, blood-borne substances do not circulate effectively throughout the body. As a result, tissue injury occurs, metabolism is impaired, and the functions of every bodily system are threatened.
The heart, blood vessels, and blood that make up our cardiovascular system does not act in isolation, this complex system works in unison with other body systems to ensure appropriate functioning. Next up, we’ll take a look at the respiratory system which is essential for creating the efficient functioning of the cardiorespiratory system to help facilitate movement, physical activity, exercise, and most importantly: LIFE.
Heather Ketchum & Eric Bright, OU Human Physiology Textbook. OpenStax CNX. Jun 18, 2015. Download for free at http://cnx.org/contents/e4f804ec-103f-4157-92e1-71eed7aa8584@1