The circulatory system is comprised of the heart, the blood vessels and the blood. Also known as the cardiovascular system, it consists of two circuits that carry the blood around, the smaller being the pulmonary circuit which runs between the heart and the lungs, and the larger being the systemic circuit, which runs between the heart and the peripheral tissues. This article will discuss the function of the cardiovascular system and its pathway through the body as well as a basic overview of its components, including the heart, the blood vessels and the blood.
The cardiac circuits function by providing the tissues of the body with oxygen and nutrients which are transported in the blood. The pulmonary circuit carries the blood that needs to be oxygenated into the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that the body has produced occurs before the blood returns back to the heart. Red blood cells are responsible for oxygen binding and transportation using their hemoglobin proteins which contain iron. Once this has happened, the heart then pumps the blood around the systemic circuit of the body and delivers the oxygenated red blood cells to the tissues before collecting the deoxygenated blood and sending it back to the heart with unused nutrients and waste products. These extra substances within the blood filter into the liver for processing.
The functions of the circulatory system are various.. The heart pumps blood through blood vessels, blood carries oxygen and nutrients to cells and carbon dioxide and wastes away from cells and helps regulate acid-base balance, temperature and water content of body fluids, blood components help defend against disease and mend damaged blood vessels.