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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Describe the location and position of the heart within the body cavity
  • Describe the internal and external anatomy of the heart
  • Identify the tissue layers of the heart
  • Relate the structure of the heart to its function as a pump
  • Compare systemic circulation to pulmonary circulation
  • Identify the veins and arteries of the coronary circulation system
  • Trace the pathway of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood thorough the chambers of the heart

The vital importance of the heart is obvious. If one assumes an average rate of contraction of 75 contractions per minute, a human heart would contract approximately 108,000 times in one day, more than 39 million times in one year, and nearly 3 billion times during a 75-year lifespan. Each of the major pumping chambers of the heart ejects approximately 70 mL blood per contraction in a resting adult. This would be equal to 5.25 liters of fluid per minute and approximately 14,000 liters per day. Over one year, that would equal 10,000,000 liters or 2.6 million gallons of blood sent through roughly 60,000 miles of vessels. In order to understand how that happens, it is necessary to understand the anatomy and physiology of the heart.

Location of the heart

The human heart is located within the thoracic cavity, medially between the lungs in the space known as the mediastinum. [link] shows the position of the heart within the thoracic cavity. Within the mediastinum, the heart is separated from the other mediastinal structures by a tough membrane known as the pericardium, or pericardial sac, and sits in its own space called the pericardial cavity    . The dorsal surface of the heart lies near the bodies of the vertebrae, and its anterior surface sits deep to the sternum and costal cartilages. The great veins, the superior and inferior venae cavae, and the great arteries, the aorta and pulmonary trunk, are attached to the superior surface of the heart, called the base. The base of the heart is located at the level of the third costal cartilage, as seen in [link] . The inferior tip of the heart, the apex, lies just to the left of the sternum between the junction of the fourth and fifth ribs near their articulation with the costal cartilages. The right side of the heart is deflected anteriorly, and the left side is deflected posteriorly. It is important to remember the position and orientation of the heart when placing a stethoscope on the chest of a patient and listening for heart sounds, and also when looking at images taken from a midsagittal perspective. The slight deviation of the apex to the left is reflected in a depression in the medial surface of the inferior lobe of the left lung, called the cardiac notch    .

Position of the heart in the thorax

This diagram shows the location of the heart in the thorax.
The heart is located within the thoracic cavity, medially between the lungs in the mediastinum. It is about the size of a fist, is broad at the top, and tapers toward the base.

Everyday connection

Cpr

The position of the heart in the torso between the vertebrae and sternum (see [link] for the position of the heart within the thorax) allows for individuals to apply an emergency technique known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if the heart of a patient should stop. By applying pressure with the flat portion of one hand on the sternum in the area between the line at T4 and T9 ( [link] ), it is possible to manually compress the blood within the heart enough to push some of the blood within it into the pulmonary and systemic circuits. This is particularly critical for the brain, as irreversible damage and death of neurons occur within minutes of loss of blood flow. Current standards call for compression of the chest at least 5 cm deep and at a rate of 100 compressions per minute, a rate equal to the beat in “Staying Alive,” recorded in 1977 by the Bee Gees. If you are unfamiliar with this song, a version is available on www.youtube.com. At this stage, the emphasis is on performing high-quality chest compressions, rather than providing artificial respiration. CPR is generally performed until the patient regains spontaneous contraction or is declared dead by an experienced healthcare professional.

When performed by untrained or overzealous individuals, CPR can result in broken ribs or a broken sternum, and can inflict additional severe damage on the patient. It is also possible, if the hands are placed too low on the sternum, to manually drive the xiphoid process into the liver, a consequence that may prove fatal for the patient. Proper training is essential. This proven life-sustaining technique is so valuable that virtually all medical personnel as well as concerned members of the public should be certified and routinely recertified in its application. CPR courses are offered at a variety of locations, including colleges, hospitals, the American Red Cross, and some commercial companies. They normally include practice of the compression technique on a mannequin.

Cpr technique

The top panel shows a schematic of a person performing CPR and demarcates the region in the chest where the compression must be performed. The bottom panel shows a photo of a person performing CPR on a dummy.
If the heart should stop, CPR can maintain the flow of blood until the heart resumes beating. By applying pressure to the sternum, the blood within the heart will be squeezed out of the heart and into the circulation. Proper positioning of the hands on the sternum to perform CPR would be between the lines at T4 and T9.

Questions & Answers

How does the male organ develop
MADUBULA Reply
Hw does the male organ develop
MADUBULA
Review your questions madam
Aliyu
what is anaphylaxis?
Rugut Reply
different between drug and medicine
ado Reply
drugs have no medical application (cocaine, heroin, crystal meth). medicine have medical purpose (fentanyl, albuterol, aspirin, ect ect)
Jordan
medicine is a substance or preparation used in treating disease,drug is chemical compound medicine are drugs but all drugs are not medicines
Wafa
assalam o alaikum
Sidra
what happen to ECF and ICF regarding to OEDEMA
Zwanga Reply
what are the smooth muscles of the heart
Sintung Reply
stomach
Sidra
identify external features of kidney
saba Reply
kidney weight on males?
saba
3 to4 onz and 140 gram kidney wight.adult
StudyTime
and female ?
saba
Sle full name & treatment
Samim
Syplymic lupw erythematous
Samim
blood supply to spleen ?
saba
I known this disease of treatment
Samim
saba
StudyTime
g..
saba
do u know female kidney wight?
StudyTime
ya 135 g females
saba
Please help me
Samim
130 on male
saba
130g on male
saba
g samim
StudyTime
approximate 140grms in adultkidny wight
StudyTime
g samim
saba
no 130grms on male
saba
ok saba
StudyTime
yaha number ya email id send nh krty kia ?
StudyTime
wese saba kia krti Hyn ap?
StudyTime
mbbs
saba
good kaha sy
StudyTime
good saba khan
Shahab
Tom kya krti ho st?
saba
st means
StudyTime
your name?
saba
nursing
StudyTime
muskan
StudyTime
ok
saba
g
StudyTime
tum kya krti ho? muskan
saba
sis nursing
StudyTime
ok
saba
gv
StudyTime
good muskan
Shahab
ok bye I m studying
saba
sis contact number mil skts hy help kyliye,?
StudyTime
thanks
StudyTime
g saba
StudyTime
Define cranial nerves with oder
Javid
O-olfactory O-optic O-occumulator T-trochlear T-trigemenal A-abducent F-facial A-auditory G-glossopharyngeal V-vagus A-acessory
Aniee
opd mean?
Shahab
out patient department
mahesh
thnxx
Shahab
Ty Aniee singh
Javid
Ap sb us book s parhte h
Areeej
Read KD Tripathi book of Pharmacology.
mayank
Hello
mayank
CT Scan means
Sintung
what's health?
Sintung
hello
Philip
hi
Sintung
CT means - computerized tomography
Vivek
connective tissue
Dee
they link some body organs
Sintung
Difference between drug and medicine
Javid
hiii muskan
saba
what is tomography?
Gideon
tomography ☝
shahid
yes
Gideon
how hemolytic anemia cause due to gas gangrene?
Huma Reply
what's gangrene?
Sidra
why retro abdominal region called or named "flank "?
Huma Reply
list types epithelial tissue
Sangu Reply
Squeamus epithelial tissu Cubidal Columna Cilliated columna
Aliyu
squamous cuboidal columnar ciliated stratified
Ken
psuedostratified ciliated columnar stratified squamous transitional epithelium
Espinoza
peace maker of heart is?
shahid
electrical conduction ... sa node
Dee
squamous epithelial tissue.
Tariq
squamous, stratified epithelial tissue
Sintung
explain how hormonal control aids in homeostasis regarding fluids and electrolytes, internal organs, clinical application, edema electrolyte imbalance?
Hensheal Reply
someone to help me explain those
Hensheal
parathyroid hormone : Calcium uptake, H+ and PO-4 wasting thyroid hormone, cortisol for temperature regulation by acting on B.V
Kartik
also renin
Kartik
thanks
Hensheal
why retro abdominal region called flank?
Huma
it is just Anatomical terminology
Kartik
meaning side of body b/w rib cage and hip bone
Kartik
list down all the hormones secreted by adrenal gland
Odong Reply
adrenaline hormones
Sangu
adrenaline and noradrenaline
Sintung
The amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart in one contraction.
Javid Reply
how we can calculate the cardiac output
khater
and how do we calculate the strock valume
khater
stroke volume is not all the blood contained in the left ventricle; normally, only about two-thirds of the blood in the ventricle is expelled with each beat.
Javid
Cardiac output 5.5 l S. V 68.75 ml H. R 80bpm
Javid
If we consider SV 70, end systolic vol is about 15% of total(approx always) out of a total of 80-85 ml only 70ml is pumped per systole
Kartik
what is macrophages?and its function
Sajjad Reply
macrophages they are white blood cells that engulf dead cells in the body
patience
what is power stroke?
muravha
no idea
patience
what is the stroke volume of heart?
up
the amount of blood that enters the heart
Sintung
wrong^^ stroke volume is the amount of blood ejected from the left ventricle on a single contraction.
Jordan
If an autoimmune disorder targets the alpha cells, production of which hormone would be directly affected?
Samantha Reply
what is a muscle?
Gideon Reply
A band or bundle of fibrous tissue in a human or animal body that has the ability to contract, producing movement in or maintaining the position of parts of the body
Mody
ok
Gideon
what's endolphthamities and panophthalmities?
Gideon

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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