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How does a "normal" heart work?

Dark blood, low in oxygen, flows through veins to the heart and enters the right atrium. It passes through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle. The right ventricle pumps the blood under low pressure through the pulmonary valve into the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery branches into the left and right pulmonary arteries which lead to the lungs. The lungs provide fresh oxygen to the circulating blood.

Blood returns to the heart from the lungs by the left and right pulmonary veins. It is now bright red as it enters the left atrium. From there it flows through the mitral valve and enters the left ventricle. This strong chamber pumps the red oxygen-rich blood out through the aortic valve into the aorta. The aorta takes blood to the body's general circulation. The blood pressure in the left ventricle is the same as the blood pressure measured in your arm.

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