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The Heart: Glossary

A

aorta
the largest artery in the body, which delivers blood from the heart to the rest of the body
artery
a blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body
atrium
one of the upper two hollow chambers of the heart (A)that collects blood as it enters the heart and before it is pumped to the ventricles (V)

B

blood
a fluid found in humans and other animals which provides nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body. Blood carries away waste, and helps fight disease
blood pressure
the measure of how hard blood is pushing against the walls of your arteries

C

capillaries
tiny blood vessels whose walls are so thin that oxygen, nutrients, and waste products flow through them
cardiac
a word that means something having to do with the heart
cardiologist
a physician trained in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease
carotid arteries
arteries in your neck that supply blood to the brain
chamber
one of 4 sections of the heart, like rooms in the heart
cholesterol
a waxy substance found only in the food that comes from animals
circulation
the movement of blood through the vessels
clot
a sticky mass that stops blood flow
coronary arteries
the blood vessels that carry blood from the aorta to the heart muscle
coronary circulation
the system of blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle

D

diastolic blood pressure
the lowest blood pressure, measured in the arteries when the heart muscle is relaxed between beats

H

heart
the muscular organ that pumps your blood around your body
heart attack
death of an area of heart tissue due to a blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle. Symptoms may include nausea, shortness of breath, and pain in the chest, arm, or neck. It is also called a myocardial infarction
heart rate
another term for a heartbeat or rhythm. The number of times the heart beats in a minute. A normal heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute at rest
heart valves
valves within the heart that open and close automatically to control blood flow into, through, and out of the heart

N

nutrient
anything needed for growth and life.The nutrients essential for human beings are proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins, and water

O

oxygen
a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, that is necessary to live

P

platelet
one of three kinds of formed elements found in blood that aids in the clotting of the blood
pulmonary artery
the artery leading from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs
pulmonary veins
the four veins that deliver blood from the lungs and to the left atrium

S

sphygmomanometer
(SFIG-moe-muh-NOM-e-ter) an instrument that measures blood pressure
stethoscope
an instrument used to listen to sounds from the heart and lungs

V

valve
flap-like structures within the heart that open and close to control the flow of blood through and out of the heart
vein
a blood vessel that carries blood from the body toward the heart
ventricle
one of the two lower chambers (V)of the heart. The right ventricle sends blood to the lungs, and the left ventricle sends blood carrying oxygen to the rest of the body. The ventricles are the main pumping chambers of the heart and they contract at the same time
vertebrate
a classification on animals that have a spinal column. Vertebrates include birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and fish
vessel
the tubes that carry blood around the body. Arteries, capillaries, veins are all blood vessels
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