The Heart

The heart is the organ which pumps blood around the body.

It beats approximately 100,000 times a day in response to the body’s requirement for blood and over 2.5 billion times in an average human lifespan.

The heart is a hollow, cone-shaped, muscular organ, located in the centre of the chest, about the size of two clenched fists. Two-thirds of the heart lies to the left of the breastbone and one-third to the right.

In order to carry out its task, the heart needs to be an effective and efficient pumping mechanism. This can be understood by considering its function on three separate levels:

  • Structure — the arrangement of chambers and valves within the heart.
  • Blood Flow — how the heart supplies blood to the body.
  • Conduction System — the electrical pathways that regulate each heartbeat.