Heart Surgery Patient Guide
Circulation of Blood, Part 1
The veins of the body all eventually drain into the right atrium, which is the receiving chamber of the right side of the heart. Once the right atrium is full, the tricuspid valve opens, allowing the de-saturated blood to flow into the right ventricle.
The right ventricle then fills with the de-saturated blood. As the pressures begin to change in the right atrium and right ventricle, the tricuspid valve closes. The right ventricle then contracts and pumps the de-saturated blood through the pulmonary valve, and into the lungs.
As the de-saturated blood leaves the right ventricle, it passes through the pulmonary valve, which has been closed as the right ventricle was filling. The pulmonary valve opens, allowing the blood to leave the right ventricle and flow to the lungs via the pulmonary artery. Once the right ventricle has emptied, the pulmonary valve closes, thereby keeping the blood from re-entering the right ventricle.
> Next: Valves of the Heart: Circulation of Blood, Part 2