Chambers of the Heart

Posted: February 12, 2012 in National Certificate
Tags: , , , , ,

Manga Boy

The first thing you have to get used to when you see a diagram of the heart (or any other organ) is that they always seem to be ‘back to front’.  When you see a picture of the heart, the left is always on the right and the right is always on the left.  This is simply because that’s how you would look at someone’s heart if you could look into their chest (or if you had ‘x-ray vision’!).  If you’re struggling with this idea, look at your friend’s face and you’ll see that their left ear is on your right and their right ear is on your left.

Heart Chambers

In mammals, the heart is divided into four chambers with two chambers on the left side and two chambers on the right side.  Between the left and right sides of the heart is a wall of muscle called the ‘septum’.

These four chambers have names and that’s the next thing you’ll have to learn.
The same chambers are found on both the left and right side, so you only have two new words to learn which are Atrium and Ventricle.

At the top left of your diagram you’ll see the Right Atrium and underneath it, you’ll see the Right Ventricle.  At the top right of your diagram you’ll see the the Left Atrium and under it, the Left Ventricle.

Do remember, it’s only back-to-front on the diagram, the dog’s right ventricle really is on the right side of its heart!

A final tip to help you remember to put the Atrium at the top and the Ventricle at the bottom is to make sure you write the name with a capital letter, draw a line from top to bottom through the first letter of each name and follow the direction of the arrows you’ve just created.

Atria at the Top, Ventricles at the Bottom
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