The heart is an incredible organ. On average it will beat 100,000 times a day from the first day you are born. The heart has:
- Two atria – collecting chambers
- Two ventricles – pumping chambers
- A series of valves to avoid backflow of blood through the heart
- An electrical conduction system that has a redundancy system built in, so if one part fails, another part can take over
The ventricles serve two different circulations and operate simultaneously. The right side of the heart pumps blood to the pulmonary circulation, which travels around the lungs enabling the blood to take up oxygen and give up carbon dioxide. This blood then returns to the left side of the heart, where it is pumped into the systemic circulation to be transported around the body via the largest artery in the body, the aorta.