Structure of the Cardio-Respiratory System

Structure of the Cardio-Respiratory System

I. Cardiovascular System:

  • The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries) and blood.
  • The heart is a four-chambered organ that pumps blood around the body. It consists of two atria (upper chambers) and two ventricles (lower chambers).
  • Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart (except for the pulmonary artery which carries de-oxygenated blood to the lungs).
  • Veins carry de-oxygenated blood towards the heart (except for the pulmonary veins which carry oxygenated blood to the heart).
  • Capillaries are very fine blood vessels that connect arteries and veins. They enable the exchange of oxygen, nutrients, and waste materials between blood and body tissues.

II. Respiratory System:

  • The respiratory system consists of the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, and diaphragm.
  • Its main job is to take in oxygen from the air and remove carbon dioxide from the body.
  • Oxygen travels from the nose/mouth, down the trachea, and into the lungs via the bronchi. Within the lungs, oxygen is transported to the bloodstream through tiny air sacs called alveoli.
  • The diaphragm contracts during inspiration to increase the volume of the lungs and facilitate the intake of air.
  • During exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes, reducing the volume in the lungs and pushing air out.
  • Gaseous exchange (swapping oxygen for carbon dioxide) occurs at the alveoli.

III. Interactions between Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems:

  • The cardiovascular and respiratory systems work together to deliver oxygen to the tissues and remove waste products.
  • Oxygen-rich blood from the lungs is transported by the cardiovascular system to the rest of the body.
  • Carbon dioxide, a waste product, is carried back to the lungs by the cardiovascular system, where it is expelled from the body via the respiratory system.