The pulmonary circulation

The pulmonary circulation is the circulatory system's contribution to respiration. This consists of the circulation of deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs via the pulmonary arteries. It becomes oxygenated here and is then returned to the left atrium by the pulmonary veins to be passed to the aorta for the general or systemic circulation.

The pulmonary circulation is essentially the circulatory system between the heart and the lungs where a high concentration of blood oxygen is restored and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood is lowered.

Blood capillaries of the right lung

Pulmonary artery

Superior vena cava

Right atrium

Right ventricle

Inferior vena cava

Blood capillaries of the liver

Portal vein

Hepatic artery

Blood capillaries of the right lung

Pulmonary artery

Superior vena cava

Right atrium

Right ventricle

Inferior vena cava

Blood capillaries of the liver

Portal vein

Hepatic artery

Blood capillaries of the upper part of the body

Blood capillaries of the left lung

Aortic arch

Pulmonary vein

Left atrium

Left ventricle

Descending aorta

Blood capillaries of stomach

Blood capillaries of spleen

Blood capillaries of intestine

Renal artery

Blood capillaries of the kidneys

Blood capillaries of the lower part of the body

Fig 5.11 The pulmonary and systemic circulation

IN PRACTICE

The increase in blood flow during a massage can help to bring fresh oxygen and nutrients into the tissues via the arterial circulation and aid the removal of waste products via the venous circulation. Blood circulation can, therefore, help to improve the condition of the skin and combined with massage can also help to improve the muscle tone.

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