The human circulatory system is comprised of two major systems, and two minor ones. The minor ones, the cardiovascular system and the lymphatic system, work in conjunction with the primary systems, the pulmonary circulatory system and the systemic circulatory system. The latter two systems play the primary role in how the human circulatory system functions. This article is an overview of the pulmonary circulatory system, also referred to as lesser circulation.
The pulmonary and systemic systems are responsible for circulating blood throughout the body, with one major difference. The systemic system carries oxygenated blood to the body while the pulmonary system carries oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs where carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen.
The pulmonary circulatory system is a network of tubes that form one half of a complete loop throughout the human body. The systemic forms the other. This system carries blood away from the heart and toward the lungs. Once the blood reaches the lungs, harmful carbon dioxide is removed from the blood and then it’s replenished with oxygen. The blood then travels back to the heart where the systemic system takes over and carries the newly oxygenated-blood to the rest of the body, which feeds off of the oxygen and other vital nutrients found within the blood. Once the body has taken what it needs and the waste is picked up, the blood then returns to the heart where the whole process starts over again.
The blood of the circulatory system travels in one direction thanks to a couple of one-way valves located in the heart, one between the right atrium and the right ventricle and the other between the left ventricle and the left atrium. If it were not for these two valves, blood could flow backwards and the oxygen, and carbon dioxide, would mix which could cause fatal complications.
As stated earlier, the two minor systems of the circulatory system aid this process of oxygen delivery to the body. The cardiovascular system, which is the driving force behind the pumping of the blood throughout the intricate network of tubes, and the lymphatic system which carries a clear fluid called lymph which is similar to blood plasma, and carries white blood cells.
Pulmonary circulation was first discovered in the thirteenth century, and later brought to light in the sixteenth century. Interestingly, the Christian community at that time all but condemned the discovery, and this vital revelation about the human body was forced back underground until the early seventeenth century.
Like all other parts of the human body, the pulmonary circulatory system is an amazing thing that works in unison with the rest of the body, and gives us life. Without it the process would fail and we would die. It’s as simple as that. So eat healthy and stay fit so you can help you body continue to perform this amazing feat, and all the other incredible things it does.