How Does the Heart Work?
As the strongest muscle in the body, the heart is responsible for pumping 4 to 8 liters of blood per minute to supply oxygen and nutrients to the circulatory system. 1
Within the heart, there are four chambers that work in coordination. The right side receives deoxygenated blood from the body and transfers it to the lungs, while the left side works to move the oxygenated blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. 2
How Does Blood Flow Through the Heart?
To understand blood flow, the easiest thing to remember is that veins move blood towards the heart and arteries move blood towards the body and other organ systems.2
While the heart contracts and expands, four valves control the flow of blood in and out of the heart ensuring that blood is pumped in the correct direction. These valves are known as the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, aortic valve and the pulmonary valve. These valves open to let the blood move ahead, then quickly close to keep the blood from flowing backward. 2