Cardiovascular System

The vital importance of the heart is obvious. If one assumes an average rate of contraction of 75 contractions per minute, a human heart would contract approximately 108,000 times in one day, more than 39 million times in one year, and nearly 3 billion times during a 75-year lifespan.  Mind boggling isn’t it?

Each of the major pumping chambers of the heart ejects approximately 70 mL blood per contraction in a resting adult. This would be equal to 5.25 liters of fluid per minute and approximately 14,000 liters per day. Over one year, that would equal 10,000,000 liters or 2.6 million gallons of blood sent through roughly 60,000 miles of vessels. In order to understand how that happens, it is necessary to understand the anatomy and physiology of the heart. So let’s delve into the inner makings of the heart to see how fascinating it is.

Location of the Heart

The human heart is located within the thoracic cavity.  Figure shows the position of the heart within the thoracic cavity.  The great veins, the superior and inferior venae cavae, and the great arteries, the aorta and pulmonary trunk, are attached to the superior surface of the heart, called the base. Figure. The inferior tip of the heart is called the apex.

Position of the Heart in the Thorax

This diagram shows the location of the heart in the thorax.

The heart is located within the thoracic cavity. It is about the size of a fist, is broad at the top, and tapers toward the base.