|Topics||Arteries, Blood Cells, Blood Types, Circulation, Heart, Veins|
The aorta is the body's largest artery and receives blood from the pulmonary vein via the left ventricle. From there, blood is circulated through the rest of the body through smaller arteries called arterioles that branch out from the heart. Finally, blood is delivered to bodily tissues through capillaries.
Blood is created in bone marrow and is made up of cells suspended in liquid plasma. Red blood cells carry oxygen, white blood cells fight infection, and platelets are cell fragments that allow blood to clot.
Blood is categorized into four different types (A, B, AB, and O) based on the type of antigens found on the outside of the red blood cells. Additionally, each type can be negative or positive based on whether or not the cells have an antigen called the Rh factor.
Like the respiratory system, the circulatory system serves to transport oxygen throughout the body while removing carbon dioxide. In addition, the circulatory system transports nutrients from the digestive system.
The heart is the organ that drives the circulatory system. In humans, it consists of four chambers with two that collect blood called atria and two that pump blood called ventricles. The heart's valves prevent blood pumped out of the ventricles from flowing back into the heart.
Veins carry blood back to the heart from the body. While arteries are thick-walled because they carry oxygenated blood at high pressure, veins are comparatively thin-walled as they carry low-pressure deoxygenated blood. Like the heart, veins contain valves to prevent blood backflow.