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Map of the Human Heart

Let's get straight to the heart of the matter—the heart's job is to move blood.

Day and night, the muscles of your heart contract and relax to pump blood throughout your body. When blood returns to the heart, it follows a complicated pathway. If you were in the bloodstream, you would follow the steps below one by one.

#1 Oxygen-poor blood (shown in blue) flows from the body into the right atrium.

#2 Blood flows through the right atrium into the right ventricle.

#3 The right ventricle pumps the blood to the lungs, where the blood releases waste gases and picks up oxygen.

#4 The newly oxygen-rich blood (shown in red) returns to the heart and enters the left atrium.

#5 Blood flows through the left atrium into the left ventricle.

#6The left ventricle pumps the oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body.

Animated gif of bloodflow path through heart.
Anatomical diagram of heart

Do right and left seem backward? That's because you're looking at an illustration of somebody else's heart. To think about how your own heart works, imagine wearing this illustration on your chest.

Did you know that your heart beats over 100,000 times a day? Get "heart smart" by checking out these amazing heart facts.

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