The Heart and Its Diseases
Cardiology has intrigued me since I was a small child. It has been my goal to become a cardiologist ever since the first grade. Cardiology is more than just studying the heart. To define it properly would be to say that cardiology is the study of the heart, its action, and its diseases (Clayman 52). The heart is located in the center of the chest, just behind the sternum, sitting in a hollow cavity between the lungs. The heart is slightly larger than your fist. It is about five inches long, three inches wide, and two inches thick. The heart is commonly represented in the familiar Valentine shape, but it actually resembles a grapefruit. The external features of the heart consist of the pericardium.
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The heart has a left and right side, which contains these atriums and ventricles. There are four valves, which aid in the function of keeping blood flowing in the right direction (Katz 75). Two of these are known as the atrio-ventricular valves. These two are named the mitral valve and the tricuspid valve. These valves allow the blood to flow from each atrium into the corresponding ventricle. The mitral valve connects the left atrium to the left ventricle, while the tricuspid connects the right atrium to the right ventricle. The other two valves in the heart allow blood to flow to the body from the ventricles but prevent blood from flowing backward into the ventricles from the body. These valves are known as the semilunar valves. They are named this because they are somewhat shaped like a crescent moon. The aortic semilunar valve allows blood to exit the left ventricle and enter the aorta. The aorta carries blood to the body tissues. The other valve is called the pulmonary similunar valve, which allows blood to exit the right ventricle and enter the pulmonary arteries. These arteries carry blood to the lungs to absorb oxygen, which is essential to our existence. These valves are designed to move blood in one direction only, unless damaged by injury or disease. The heart can be viewed as a precisely designed two-stage pump. The first stage is the two atria, whose function is to ensure that the ventricles are fully inflated