Introduction to the Vascular System

Chrome 2001
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Harvard Medical School
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Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
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Introduction to the Vascular System

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Introduction to the Vascular System
Introduction to the Vascular System
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The circulatory network that nourishes your body.
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InteliHealth
2011-05-30
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2014-05-30

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

The Vascular System

Spreading out from your heart, a network of arteries, veins and tiny capillaries delivers oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body, while veins return carbon dioxide and waste materials to the heart. The circulatory system was first described in the 17th century by British physician William Harvey, who concluded that blood flows through the body in a continuous circuit. Prior to that it was believed that the blood, produced in the liver, was dispatched by the heart to reservoirs, where it waited until it was needed.

While the main function of blood is to act as the body's transport system, it also plays a major role in the defense against infections.

The circulatory system (heart and blood vessels) consists of two main parts: the systemic circulation, which comprises the blood supply to the entire body except the lungs, and the pulmonary circulation to the lungs, which is responsible for reoxygenating the blood and removing carbon dioxide.

You have three types of blood vessels in your body: arteries , veins and capillaries.

 

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Last updated June 10, 2014


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