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The Circulatory System Reviewed

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 172


The life of the human body is blood. Blood is supplied and distributed by way of the circulatory system. The circulatory system is made up of three structures: The Arterial System, The Venous System, and The Hepatic Portal Pathway. These three as well as, the capillaries that supply blood to the dermis and other structures and of course the makeup of a arteries and veins themselves.

The Arterial System is composed of all of the arteries. There are twenty-eight major arteries that supply blood and plasma to all of the organs and other structures. An artery is made up of three layers, the inner layer, the middle layer, and the outer layer. The inner layer is made up of the endothelium, this is the artery itself, but it cannot stand alone without the other two layers to protect it. The middle layer is made up of muscle. There are two main types found here, elastic and smooth muscles. There job is to be both the first line of protection as well as to provide a layer of flexibility to an artery. The third and final layer of an artery, the outer layer is made up of dense connective tissue. This tissue serves the purpose of connecting the artery to the rest of the body from the outside and serves as the most viable defense against abrasions. I will break the organs into three groups for your consideration, they are as follows: Thoracic, abdominal, and extremity. The extremity group will include both of the arms and both legs.

The arteries of the Thoracic cavity move blood and plasma out of the heart to the head and arms. The heart supplies the upper extremities by way of the aorta. The aorta sends blood to the braciocephalic artery and both common carotid arteries that take blood to the head, neck and brain. Let us examine the journey of blood from the heart to the hand. The aorta starts our journey by sending blood from the heart on its way. We then move through the braciocephalic artery up into the subclavian artery below the clavicle. From there we move in to the upper arm where about the middle of the humarus it becomes the axillary artery. As we progress down the arm we move into the brachial artery and then we branch in to the radial and ulnar arteries in the forearm. We enter the final stretch of our journey as we pass into the palmar arch right on the wrist, and we finally come to rest in the digital artery in the thumb.

The Venous System is composed of all the veins. There are twenty-five that take de-oxygenated blood to be recyleced at the heart. These veins are blue in color which distinguishes them from their red sister vessels, the arteries. The veins are composed of the same three layers as the veins that serve the same purpose of protection and connection. Because of their relative locations to arteries most share the same name. Knowing the names of the bones in the area of study makes it a simple task to identify the veins and arteries as well. The same journey we embarked on with the arteries, works for the veins. The only difference is we start in the digital artery in the thumb and ascend the wrist to the forearm and eventually end up back where we started at the heart to start all over.

The third system to be discussed is the Hepatic Portal Pathway. The hepatic portal pathway is the network of various smaller veins and arteries that supply the numerous organs in the abdomen. The major structures include the descending aorta and its corresponding vein, the inferior vena cava. For the most part however the hepatic system is supplied with smaller vessels. The organs include: the stomach, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, colon, spleen, and the appendix. The kidneys are absent from the hepatic system because they are supplied by the renal network of arteries and veins. Blood from the head flows down from the descending aorta into the hepatic system where it is distributed by the colic and iliac arteries which themselves branch into, the gastric arteries, splenic arteries, mesenteric arteries, as well as others. See how with a simple knowledge of the structures in the area of study you can often determine what artery belongs to which organ? Blood flows through these and then comes back through the veins and finally back through the inferior vena cava to start over again.

The final system to be discussed is the largest organ we have, the skin. The skin is a very complex network of layers of tissue and a mesh network of capillary beds. I will discuss the way skin is supplied. The blood is pumped from the heart and when it reaches let's say the ulnar artery it flows in to the sub ulnar network. Then it goes into a capillary bed, and blood is distributed jest below the skin in what is called the sub dermis. This is located between the deepest layer of skin and the muscles that are just below it. This is how the skin is kept alive. After blood is used it like everywhere else is sent back to be recycled and start anew.

As a whole the circulatory system's job is to keep oxygen rich blood circulated to the body keeping it alive. Through our discussion I have shown that the circulatory system is both complex and vital to keep us alive and functioning.

So, with all the information given, you can see that by understanding the paths that our blood travels, we can use this criteria to better your health. When there is a blockage in any of the arteries, preventing even flow in our bodily systems, there are numerous vital organs that will be effected and start to shut down.

Source: EzineArticles
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