Heart Facts

Heart Facts
The heart is a pump that pushes blood that contains oxygen and nutrients throughout your body every day. It pumps over 100,000 times per day, and does this for many years. It pumps blood by getting bigger and smaller (expanding and contracting). When exercising, it takes about 10 seconds for the blood pumped by your heart to get from your heart to your big toe and back. It has to push blood through about 60,000 miles of blood vessels, enough to circle the entire world about 2 ½ times! Learn some more interesting and exciting facts about this very important organ!
Interesting Heart Facts:
Your heart beats 100,000 times a day, 36,500,000 times a year. That's over 1 billion heart beats if you live past the age of 30! Over the course of the expected lifetime, your heart will beat about 2.5 billion times!
Doctors who study and take care of the heart are known as cardiologists. They can fix many problems with the heart through different medicines, or sometimes by surgery.
There are four special valves in the human heart. These valves only allow blood to go one way, so when the heart squeezes the blood out, it goes in the right direction.
The right side of your heart pumps blood up into your lungs and into the left side of the heart; the left side of the heart pumps blood out to your entire body.
Your heart is run on electricity. A special spot in the top of your right heart, known as the SA node, sends electricity into the rest of your heart. This causes the heart to squeeze (also called contract), and pushes the blood out. The SA node causes your heart to beat a specific number of times per minute.
An EKG (also known as an ECG, or electrocardiogram) allows doctors to look at the electricity going through the heart. This special test can tell doctors if parts of the heart are sick, like after a heart attack.
There are lots of blood vessels attached to your heart. Blood vessels that carry blood to your heart are called veins; vessels that carry blood away from your heart are called arteries. There are a couple of really big veins and arteries in your body - the vena cava (superior and inferior, or above and below) is the vein that collects blood from all other veins and brings it to the heart; the aorta is the big artery that carries the blood from your heart to all the other arteries in your body.
There is only one vein in the entire body that carries oxygen-rich blood; it is called the pulmonary vein, and it brings blood from the lungs to the left side of your heart. There is also only one artery in your body that carries oxygen-poor blood; it is called the pulmonary artery, and it carries blood from the right side of your heart to your lungs.
Heart attacks cause scar tissue to form inside the heart, like the scars you can get after a really bad scrape or cut. The scars don't squeeze like muscle, so if too much of the heart has scar tissue it can cause problems, including heart failure.

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