Describe The Heart

Briefly describe what the heart is and how it pumps blood.

Expert Answers
hart379 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The heart is the main organ of the cardiovascular system.  The function of the heart is to pump blood.  The heart is divided into four chambers: the right and left atrium, and the right and left ventricle.  The left side of the heart pumps oxygenated blood and the right side of the heart pumps deoxygenated blood.  Blood becomes oxygenated in the lungs and returns to the left atrium via the pulmonary veins.  From the left atrium blood is pumped through the bicuspid valve (also called the mitral valve) into the left ventricle.  From the left ventricle, blood travels to the aorta, which pumps the oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.  As blood travels through the body, it dumps off oxygen to tissues and picks up waste products (such as carbon dioxide).  The now deoxygenated blood returns to the right side of the heart via the vena cava.  Deoxygenated blood then travels through the right atrium and to the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve.  Deoxygenated blood exits the heart and travels to the lungs through the pulmonary arteries.  Once in the lungs, the waste products are removed and oxygen is added to the blood.  The blood is now oxygenated and can return to the heart via the pulmonary veins to go through the whole cycle again. 

Oxygenated summary

right/left lungs to right/left pulmonary veins to left atrium through bicuspid valve to left ventricle to aorta, to body

Deoxygenated summary

body to superior/inferior vena cava to right atrium through tricuspid valve to right ventricle to right/left pulmonary veins to right/left lungs 


pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The heart is an organ that is mostly made up of muscle.  It pumps the blood throughout the body by contracting.

The heart gets its instructions (the ones that tell it to pump) from the autonomous nervous system.  This is unlike other muscles, such as those in our fingers, that only move when we tell them to.  The heart contracts automatically, without us having to use our brain to tell it to contract.

The human heart is divided into four chambers.  The chambers on the right pump blood to the lungs for oxygen while those on the left pump the oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

engtchr5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The heart is the center of the human circulatory system. Through involuntary muscle contractions, it pumps blood to the various organs and systems of the human body. The heart's divided ventricles and chambers serve as an interchange for the circulatory system, and allow all parts of the body to receive a supply of blood. The major artery on the top of the heart, the aorta, ensures that the upper circulatory system is supplied with oxygen, hemoglobin, and the other components of blood necessary to sustain life.