The main job of the heart is to pump blood around the body to meet the demands of the organ systems.
The main pumping chambers of the heart are the left and right ventricles.
Contraction of the thick muscular walls of the ventricles generates the pressure needed to pump blood around the body.
Select below to learn about some common heart problems.
Electrical disruption leads to fibrillation and chaotic contraction. This means the heart cannot generate enough pressure to pump the blood.
To fix a fibrillating heart, we need to apply a large electrical shock to reset the electrical waves. We need an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
In a heart attack, blockages in the coronary arteries impede the flow of blood. This leads to muscle damage (shaded region) which reduces the heart's ability to pump blood.
A healthy lifestyle will help to prevent coronary artery blockages.
If left untreated, coronary artery blockages can get worse more which results in more muscle damage. The movement and pumping ability of the heart is severely affected.
Prevent this by taking medication and making lifestyle changes.
The shape, stiffness and contraction force in the healthy heart maximises pumping performance.
Heart failure involves long term changes in heart properties due to factors such as high blood pressure.
High blood pressure means the heart needs to work harder to compensate and maintain its pumping performance.
This extra effort can make the heart muscle walls get thicker.
Following long-term high blood pressure, the heart loses its ability to compensate and effectively pump. This results in a larger heart with thinner muscular walls.