How my heart works

Your heart acts as a pump to push blood through your blood vessels and to all the organs, muscles and nerves in your body. Blood carries oxygen, which is required by your organs to function; without oxygen supply your organs would be unable to function.
The heart is a muscle made-up of four chambers:
There are four valves that are responsible for ensuring the blood flows in the correct direction.
Blood flow through the heart
The heart is a muscle responsible for pumping blood around your body.
  • Blood is pumped from the heart to the lungs where the blood receives oxygen (oxygenated).
  • The blood with oxygen then returns to the heart, for the heart to pump it all around your body to deliver oxygen to your organs to function.
  • Once the blood has delivered the oxygen, it returns to your heart, to be pumped back to the lungs to receive more oxygen.
It is an ongoing circuit; click here to see a video of how blood flows through the heart.
Blood supply to the heart muscle
The heart is an important organ; hence it requires blood supply to function properly. Blood is supplied to the heart via coronary arteries. If these coronary arteries become blocked, blood supply can be reduced and limit the amount of oxygen the heart receives, which can put you at risk of a heart attack.

  1. Division of Nursing, University of Nottingham 2013, Normal function of the heart, viewed 13 June 2013,
  2. University of Southern California Cardiovascular Medicine, Normal cardiac anatomy and physiology, viewed 6 June 2013,
  3. Division of Nursing, University of Nottingham 2013, Cardiac conducting system, viewed 13 June 2013,
  4. Klabunde, R.E 2013, Cardiovascular physiology concepts – coronary arteries, viewed 13 June 2013,