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Chapter 1
Among the systems of the human body, the circulatory system is
one of the most interesting but difficult to understand. Tracing the
path of the blood from the heart to different parts of the body as it
transports food nutrients and gases cannot be easily visualized.
Lesson 1
Everyday, your body needs food in order
to stay strong and healthy. Through digestion,
this food is broken down into simpler
substances that our body cells use. Aside
from food, your body also needs oxygen. You
have learned that the digested food enters
the cells. Oxygen leaves the blood and
enters the cells too. Then, the oxygen
combines with the digested food. This is
called the burning of food. Burning of food
gives us energy.
As food burns, carbon dioxide and water are
given off as waste products. These waste
products pass out of the cells and go to the

But what body system eliminates these waste

products from the body cells? What body
system carries digested food and oxygen to the
body cells? Where does the blood pass
through? What keeps the blood flowing
throughout the body?
1. What are the three main parts of the
circulatory system?
2. Which is the pumping organ of the
3. Which are the pathways through which
blood travels around the body?
4. What carried the materials to be
transported to and from the body cells?
5. What do you think is the main function of
the circulatory system?
The circulatory system is the transport system
of the body. It carries oxygen and water to all
your body cells. It picks up carbon dioxide and
other wastes that body cells make. It also
carries these wastes to body organs that get rid
of them. This system has three main parts
namely the heart, the blood vessels and the
The heart is connected to a series of tubes containing the
blood. It is the most important and delicate organ of the
circulatory system. The heart is the pump that circulates blood
throughout the body. It is a muscle that contracts and relaxes
about seventy times a minute. Each contraction and relaxation
of the heart muscle is a heartbeat. You have more than 100,000
heartbeats everyday. Each day, your heart pumps about
13,000 quarts of blood.

The blood vessels are the pathways or tubes in the

body through which blood flows. The blood vessels are
of three kinds. These are the arteries, veins and
 The arteries carry blood away from the heart.
 The veins bring blood back to the heart.
 Capillaries carry blood rich in oxygen to the tissue and
carry away waste products.
The blood is the carrier of food and
gases that are transported to and from
BLOOD body cells. The blood travels continuously
through a circular path from the heart and
back to the heart, thus the name,
circulatory system. The process by which
food and gases are transported throughout
the body is called circulation.
Part of the blood in the heart has just received a fresh store
of oxygen from the lungs. This blood is pumped into the aorta.
The aorta is the largest artery. Blood is carried from the aorta
into a branched system of smaller arteries.
From the arteries, it passes into the capillaries. Here the
blood gives up oxygen and food materials which have been
absorbed from the small intestine and liver to the tissues. Waste
material, including carbon dioxide, then passes to the veins. It is
returned to the heart by the large veins.
The blood is then pumped from the heart through the large
pulmonary artery to the lungs. In the lungs, carbon dioxide is
given off and oxygen is received. The oxygen-rich blood is then
returned to the heart through the pulmonary veins, and another
cycle begins.

 Themain parts of the circulatory system are

the heart, the blood vessels and the blood.
 The circulatory system is responsible for the
distribution of food nutrients and oxygen, and
the elimination of carbon dioxide and wastes
from the different parts of the body.
Lesson 2
Yes of course!
It is as big as
Romalyn, do you
my clenched
know how big
your heart is?
You learned in the previous lesson that the
heart is the pumping organ of the body. It is a
hollow muscular organ that is protected by the
rib and chest bone. But do you know where
exactly it is located? What are its parts? What
is its function?

 Clench your fist.

 Locate your heart then place your clenched fist over it.
 Feel the beating of your heart.

1. Where is your heart located?

2. How big is your heart?
3. What did you feel when you placed your clenched fist
over your heart?
4. Why is it beating?
1. What are the upper chambers
of the heart?
2. What is their function?
3. What are the lower chambers
of the heart?
4. What is their function?
The heart is the most important
organ of the circulatory system. It is a
hollow and strong muscular organ. It is
about the size of the clenched fist. It is
shaped like a pear. Have you seen or
eaten a pear?

The heart lies between the

lungs. It is found only a little to the
left of the center of the chest. It is a
very delicate organ. Its average
weight is 255 grams in women and
340 grams in men.
The heart is divided into four chambers.
The upper chambers are the right and left
atria. The lower chambers are the right
and left ventricles. The atria are thin
walled chambers. The receive blood from
the veins. They hold the blood until it can
enter the ventricles. The ventricles are
thick walled chambers. They pump blood
out of the heart through arteries. They are
responsible for helping to keep the blood
moving in all parts of the body.
A wall called a septum is located between the left
and the right chambers of your heart. It prevents the
mixing of blood in your heart. The right atrium receives
carbon dioxide-rich blood or deoxygenated blood from
the lungs while the left atrium receives oxygen-rich
blood or deoxygenated blood from the lungs.
There is an opening between the auricle and the corresponding ventricle on
each side of the heart. These two openings are guarded by valves. A valve is a thin
membranous tissue in a tube. It is a special one way opening. The valve between
the right atrium and the right ventricle has three flaps. It is called the tricuspid valve.
There are only two flaps in the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This is
called the bicuspid valve. It is also known as “mitral valve” because with its two flaps
it looks something like a “bishop’s miter.”

The aortic and pulmonary valves, two other

valves, guard the exits from the ventricle. The
aortic valve is found at the beginning of the
aorta. The pulmonary valve is located at the
beginning of the pulmonary artery, which
carries blood to the lungs. The valves between
each atrium and ventricle prevent the
backflow of the blood. Valves between the
ventricles and the arteries also keep the blood
from flowing backward.
 The human heart consists of four chambers: the right
atrium, left atrium, right ventricle and left ventricle.
 The atria are the receiving chambers of the heart.
 The ventricles are the pumping chambers of the heart.
 The
septum is located between the right and left
chambers. It prevents the mixing of blood in your
 The
valves between atrium and ventricle prevent the
backflow of blood.
Lesson 3
Does the heart beat continuously? Why does it keep on
The heart is the most hardworking muscle in your body. Its
main function is to pump blood throughout the body. It keeps
on pumping blood even when you are at work, at rest or
sleeping. It send blood through the blood vessels of your
body by beating constantly, about 60-80 times every minute
when you are at rest.
The beating of the heart and the flow of blood are not
easy to observe. However, there are some parts of the body
where you can feel the arteries that carry your blood beating
in time with your heart. This is called pulse.

What are these areas where you can feel your pulse?
1. Locate the areas in your body where you can feel the pulse.
Start from your wrist. Do not use your thumb because you can
feel a conflicting pulse there.
2. Press your index and middle fingers against your wrist near the
base of your thumb and sit calmly for two minutes.
3. Then, count your pulse beat for one minute. Do this five times.
4. Find your average pulse by dividing your total pulse beat by
1. Where did you find your pulse?
2. What did you do to measure your pulse?
3. What is your average pulse rate?
1. Take your pulse.
2. Dance for two minutes.
3. Take your pulse.
4. Rest for two minutes.
5. Take your pulse.

1. Did your heartbeat/pulse rate change? Why?
2. How did your heartbeat while dancing?
3. Compare your three pulse rates.
You already know that the pulse can be found at
the wrist. There are other areas in your body where
the pulse can be found. Some of these spots are in
the temple, in the neck, at the crook of the elbow,
back of the knee, and front of the ankle. The
throbbing inside these parts of the body is known as
a pulse.
Your heart and pulse beat at the same time. The
beating of your heart sends the blood surging
through the arteries. With every heartbeat, there is a
high pressure surge through the arteries. These surges
can be felt as a pulse at the wrist, temple and other
areas where the arteries are near the surface of the
Do you know why we usually measure our pulse rate instead of
our heart rate? We usually do this because it is easier and more
convenient to take the pulse rate than the heart rate.
The pulse rate can be measured by putting your index and
middle fingers at your wrist or in the other areas where you can
feel your pulse. With each heart beat, a pulse wave spreads all
over the arterial system. The succession of waves can be felt as a
series of taps if the finger is pressed lightly over any large artery. To
count the number of heartbeats per minute, the physician
generally presses on the radial artery, which passes through the
The pulse rate varies greatly in individuals. Your pulse rate is
about 90 times a minute. The average rate for adults who are
relaxed mentally and physically is from 70 to 75 in women and from
65 to 70 in men. It is much higher in babies. The count usually slows
down when you are asleep.
The rate of the heartbeat and pulse beat changes. When you
do strenuous activities such as dancing, running or working hard,
your pulse rate may reach 200 per minute. Your pulse rate also
speeds up when there is a strong emotion or you become greatly
excited. Various bodily conditions such as surgical shock, fever and
hemorrhage also cause marked increase in the pulse rate.
When you do light activities such as sitting, lying or sleeping, the
pulse rate slows down. These activities do not require much energy.
You do not need much oxygen, thus, your heart beats slowly. You
breathe slowly too.

Do you know that an adult’s heart at rest pumps almost ½ gallon of

blood every minute or 2100 gallons each day?
Your nervous system regulates your heart’s pumping rate.
At the back of the right atrium is a control center called the
pacemaker. The pacemaker is part of the heart. It is a small
area of tissue which controls the heartbeat. It does this by
sending out impulses. The impulses tell the heart how fast and
how often to pump out blood. When you are at rest, the
impulses signal the heart to contract at a slow pace. But
when you are doing a strenuous activity such as exercising,
your muscle cells send impulses to the brain. These impulses
tell the brain needs more oxygen and nutrients. The brain
sends this message to the heart by way of the pacemaker.
The heartbeat speeds up, thus moving the blood through the
body more rapidly. In this way, the pacemaker which
automatically keeps the heart beating, slows down or speeds
up according to the body’s needs.
Heartbeat is the alternating contraction and
relaxation of ventricles. It can be heard through a
stethoscope because its soft sound is channeled
through the tube of the stethoscope leading to the ear.
When a physician puts a stethoscope to your chest,
he/she can generally hear two sounds as the heart
beats. The first is the “lub” sound. This sound is softer
and lower in pitch. It lasts longer. The second sound is
the “dub” sound. This sound is sharp and short. The two
sounds occurs in quick succession and are followed by
a slight pause. The physician listening to the
stethoscope hears something like lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-

The “lub-dub” sounds that you hear are the opening and closing of
the valves in your heart. The valves allow the blood to flow only in one
direction. When the ventricles contract, the valves open to allow the
blood to flow from the heart. Thus, you hear a “lub” sound, when the
ventricles relax. The valves close tightly to prevent the blood from
flowing backwards. Thus, you hear a “dub” sound. Therefore, count
each “lub-dub” as one beat.
The heartbeat is not initiated by the action of nerves, but it is
affected by two sets of nerves arising in the medulla oblongata, a part
of the brain. These are the vagus nerves and the accelerator nerves.
The vagus nerves act as brakes. They slow down the heart and reduce
the strength of its beats. The accelerator nerves, on the other hand,
speed up the heart and increase the strength of the heartbeats.
 Blood flows into the relaxed atria.

 The wave of contraction squeezes blood into ventricles.

 Blood is squeezed out the ventricles into the arteries.

 Blood starts to fill up the now relaxed atria again.

 The pulse is found at the wrist, in the temple, in the neck, at the
crook of the elbow, back of the knee and front of the ankle.
 The rate of the heartbeat/pulse changes.
 Pulse rate can be measured by putting the index and middle fingers
at your wrist, neck and other areas where the pulse can be felt.
 Pulse rate varies from one person to another.
 Strenuous activities and strong emotions make your heart beat
 Light activities make your heart beat slower.
 Heartbeat is the alternating contraction and relaxation of ventricles.
 The “lub” sound represents the opening of valves.
 The “dub” sound represents the closing of valves.

 1. The pulse is felt easily in any part of the body.

 2. The blood pumps throughout the body.

 3. The heart and pulse beat at the same time.

 4. The pulse can be felt at the temple.

 5. The pulse can be felt in areas where the arteries are near the skin.
Lesson 4

Your circulatory system is a closed system. This means that

except when a part of the system is injured or opened, all of the
blood remains trapped in the system. Your blood follows the same
paths over and over again throughout your body.
Your blood vessels are a group of tubes with different sizes that
are the pathways through which blood flows and transports food to
all parts of the body. Blood vessels are of three kinds. These are the
arteries, the veins and the capillaries.
Look at your inner wrist. What are those bluish lines that you see?
These bluish lines are your blood vessels. How would you describe
each blood vessel? What is the function of each blood vessel?
1. Look at your inner wrist and find the bluish lines.
2. Look at the figure of the circulatory system.
3. Identify the different blood vessels and label them.

1. What are the different kinds of blood vessels?

2. Which blood vessel carries the blood back to your heart?
3. Which blood vessel carries the blood away from the heart?
4. What are the tiny tubes called and what is their function?

Blood is transported to all parts

of the body and back again
through a system of tube-like
vessels. These vessels are of three
kinds: the arteries, veins and
The arteries carry blood containing oxygen
or oxygenated blood from the heart to all parts
of the body- to the brain and stomach. What is
the color of the blood that comes from the
heart? It is red because of the combination of
the oxygen and the red blood cell. The arteries
into which the ventricles pump blood are elastic
and tough vessels. Their walls are made up of
three coats. The inner coat consists of a
delicate and thin cellular lining. The middle coat
is made up of smooth muscle fibers and elastic
connective tissue. The connective tissue of the
outer core has nerves and small blood vessels.
The elasticity and thickness of the artery make it
resistant to high pressure. They also allow them
to expand and contract. Every time the heart
beats, arteries expand. Then they contract,
helping to push the blood along.
Arteries have different sizes. Those ones near the heart are
bigger than the other arteries of the body. Arteries from the heart
branch out, growing into smaller tubes called arterioles. Arterioles
still branch into smaller tubes. These tiny tubes are the capillaries.
You need a microscope to see them.

The capillaries are the tiniest blood vessel. They are

longer than all the arteries and veins joined together.
The capillaries at the end of the arteries carry the
digested food and oxygen. When the blood reaches
the cells, the digested flood and oxygen leave the blood
and enter the cells. At the same time, waste materials
like carbon dioxide leave the cells and pass into the
capillaries again. Thus, the actual exchange of materials
between the blood and connective tissue fluid occurs in
the capillaries.
Capillaries lead into another kind of blood vessels
called veins. The veins carry blood containing
carbon dioxide from the cells back to your heart.
This blood is sometimes called “used blood” or
“deoxygenated blood.” Why do you think so?
Veins are closer to the surface of your bodies
than arteries. They are bluish in color. Our skin acts
as a color filter. That’s why we see them as blue.
Did you know that if all the blood vessels in your
body were laid end to end they would stretch almost
three times around the widest part of the earth?

 The three kinds of blood vessels are the arteries, veins and
 The arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to the different parts of
the body.
 The veins carry blood containing carbon dioxide away
from the heart.
 The capillaries are the smallest kind of blood vessels. They
carry blood rich in oxygen to the body cells and carry
away waste products.
A A. Arteries
1. Carry blood away from the heart B. Arterioles
2. Carry blood back to the heart C. Capillaries
3. Where the actual exchange of gases takes place D. Veins
E. Red
4. These are the smaller arteries
F. Blue
5. The blood passing through the arteries G.Skin
6. Color of the blood coming through the heart H. Oxygenated blood
7. Waste material that leaves the cells of the body I. Deoxygenated blood
8. Materials that are carried to the cells of the body J. Carbon dioxide
9. Acts as a color filter
K. Digested flood and
10. Color of veins that are closer to the surface of the
Lesson 5
Blood is another part of the circulatory system. It is called the
“red river of life.” It is called so because the blood supplies the body
cells with the materials they need for nourishment and repair, and it
eliminates wastes from the cells. In addition, the blood contains cells
that fight disease and a substance that repairs bruises or cut parts of
the body.
The blood is pumped through the body by the heart. It carries
digested food and oxygen to all body cells and takes away waste
materials from them. Blood flows into your heart before each beat,
then your heart squeezes it out to continue its journey.
Did you know that your blood is a liquid tissue? It makes up 7 to 9%
of your total body weight. An adult male has about five to eight liters
of blood in his body. In females, there is a slightly lower volume- about
four to five liters.

The blood is composed of the plasma, the platelets, the white

blood cells and the red blood cells. Blood appears to be a liquid. But
it is really made up of two parts: the liquid part and the solid part. The
liquid part is the plasma. The solid part is the platelets and blood cells.

Plasma is a clear yellow fluid that surrounds the platelets and tiny
blood cells that make up your blood. Plasma is a solution of salts, water
and chemicals. It is about 55% of the blood’s volume.
Plasma carries:
 Antibodies used by your body to fight disease-causing germs
 Digested food to the cells
 Wastes from the cells of your body to the lungs, kidneys and liver
 Sugar and hormones to all parts of the body

The plasma also contains several different proteins, including

Fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is a blood protein that plays an important role in
blood clotting.
Platelets are tiny discs that develop from cells
produced in the bone marrow. They float in the
plasma. The billions of platelets in the body help
to make the blood clot. A clot is a soft solid
mass that forms outside your skin when you have
a cut or wound. It helps stop the bleeding. Do
you know what happens when you have a cut?
When an injury tears open a blood vessel, the
platelets stick to the wall of the broken blood
vessel. Fibrinogen gathers on the platelets and
changes into a tangled network of fine threads.
The platelets and fibrinogen together form a
clot. The clot closes the vessel walls and stops

Red blood cells or corpuscles are produced in the

red marrow of bones. The word corpuscle is the Latin
word for “little body.” RBCs contain hemoglobin, the
red pigment of the blood. They carry oxygen and
carbon dioxide. There are about 250 million red blood
cells contained in a drop of blood.

White blood cells are the soldiers of the body. They

serve as antibodies. They fight infections in your body.
They attack and destroy disease carrying organisms that
get into the bloodstream.
There are about 500 red blood cells for every one
white blood cell.

A healthy person has about five quarts of blood.

When people meet an accident, they may lose blood
and need it to save their lives or speed their recoveries.
Other people need extra blood to make up for a
deficiency or lack of a vital substance in their blood.
This requires blood transfusion. Blood transfusion is the
taking of blood from one person and putting it into the
circulatory system of another person. A blood donor is
the person who gives blood for another person to use.

Donating blood is not painful or difficult. It does not harm the

donor because the donor’s blood supply is renewed. It is taken
from a donor through a germ free needle inserted into a vein in the
arm. The blood flows into a collection bag. Inside it, it is separated
into white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets and plasma or
blood serum. Blood serum is blood plasma without clotting
Karl Landsteiner, a Nobel prize-winning scientist,
discovered that there are four main types of human
blood, which he classified as A, B, AB, and O. Knowing
your blood type is important because in blood
transfusion, a person with one kind of blood would
become ill if he received another kind that did not
agree with him. In addition, if blood that is transfused
does not match the patient’s own blood, the new blood
may cause the red blood cells to clump together. If
these clumps pass through the brain or the heart, they
may kill the patient.
The table below shows the blood type, donor and receiver.
Type O is known as a universal donor. A person with type O
blood can donate moderate amounts of blood to people of
any blood type.

A Donates to Receives from

A A, AB O, A

B B, AB O, B

AB AB O, A, B and AB

O O, A, B, AB O

What is your blood type?

To which types can you donate blood and receive blood?

 The blood is composed of the plasma, platelets, red blood cells

and white blood cells.
 Plasma is the liquid part of the blood. It transports digested food
to the cells and carries waste materials.
 Platelets help stop bleeding when you have a cut or wound.
 Red blood cells carry oxygen and carbon dioxide.
 White blood cells fight infections in your body.
 The different blood types are A, AB, B and O.

1. _____ _____ _____ -soldiers of the body

2. _____ -red river of life
3. ______ -carries digested food and wastes
4. _________ -help stop bleeding
5. ___ _____ _____ -carry oxygen and
carbon dioxide
Lesson 6
In the previous lesson, you learned that the heart pumps
blood throughout the body. Its four chambers – the right
atrium, right ventricle, left atrium and left ventricle perform
an important role in the distribution of blood. The blood in its
trip carries food nutrients and oxygen which the body needs
and picks up carbon dioxide that has to be eliminated from
the body. The blood passes through the different blood
vessels: the arteries, veins and capillaries. These blood
vessels likewise have certain work to do in order for the blood
to complete its trip.

We will now trace the circulation of the blood throughout the

 photo