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HEART ATTACKS: THE HEART AND THE BLOOD VESSELS

Since the heart has to work so hard, it must be requiring a large supply of blood for its own functioning. Where does this blood come from ?

A. A very important question. While the heart maintains a constant supply of blood to each and every part of the body, it definitely needs a large amount for its own functioning. This need is increased when you perform work or exercise. Such a need is met by two arterial channels called the left and right coronary arteries. They arise from the root of the aorta near its origin from the left ventricle. Since the left coronary artery divides into two main branches soon after its origin, there are, for all practical purposes, three coronary arteries.

These three coronary vessels and their branches envelop the heart, supplying blood to every segment of the organ. The left ventricle, the principal pumping chamber of the heart, receives the maximum supply of blood in order to cater to its big mass and meets its large requirement.

How such a small-sized organ as the heart, hardly the size of a closed fist, works so hard. It receives and pumps out more than 7000 litres of blood every day! It works round the clock, never stopping, even when the rest of the body is resting or sleeping. It is a pity that many of us do not look after such a vital organ the way we should, and tend to treat it shabbily by indulging in an unhealthy life style. Isn't it proper that we give the heart all the good care that it deserves?

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