Caring for Your Heart
The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood continuously throughout the body. This strong muscular pump is made up of four chambers and four valves.
The four chambers are the right and left atrium and the right and left ventricles. These chambers receive and distribute blood throughout the body.
The four valves located within the heart are the tricuspid, pulmonic, mitral and aortic valves. These valves work like one-way doors allowing blood to flow in only one direction.
The heart must pump in an organized manner, alternately contracting and relaxing to pump blood through the heart. To accomplish this task, the heart uses an electrical system to govern impulse conduction. This electrical system triggers a heartbeat through a special pathway. This pathway consists of the Sinoatrial Node, Atrioventricular Node and the His Purkinje network. In a healthy heart, an electrical impulse travels from the sinus node to the AV node, down the right and left bundle branches and then to the Purkinje Fibers, stimulating the myocardium to contract.
All of these components work together to pump blood throughout your body delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, muscles, organs and brains.