Introduction to Heart Disease
Your heart is one of your body’s most important organs. Essentially a pump, the heart is a muscle made up of four chambers separated by valves and divided into two halves. Each half contains one chamber called an atrium and one called a ventricle. The atria (plural for atrium) collect blood, and the ventricles contract to push blood out of the heart. The right half of the heart pumps oxygen-poor blood (blood that has a low amount of oxygen) to the lungs where blood cells can obtain more oxygen. Then, the newly oxygenated blood travels from the lungs into the left atrium and the left ventricle. The left ventricle pumps the newly oxygen-rich blood to the organs and tissues of the body. This oxygen provides your body with energy and is essential to keep your body healthy.