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The Role of the Heart

The cardiovascular system distributes blood to different parts of body. There are two pathways through which blood circulates: pulmonary and systemic. In pulmonary circulation the blood flows towards your lungs and in systemic circulation the blood flows towards other parts of the body. The heart plays a vital and central role in the cardiovascular system. The heart is a hollow, muscular pump which propels blood throughout the body. Oxygen deficient blood from the body enters the right atrium and when it contracts the blood passes to right ventricle through the tricuspid valve. The blood passes into pulmonary valve during the contraction of the right ventricle and then flows into the lungs. The left atrium and ventricle get oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and this blood is pumped to various parts of the body. The heart usually beats from 70 to 100 times per minute, but can beat much faster when required. The heart pumps less when we're sleeping and it pumps faster when we're exercising or frightened.