By Amy L. Sutton

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Additional info for Cardiovascular Disorders Sourcebook, Fourth Edition

Example text

This cycle includes the opening and closing of the inlet and outlet valves of the right and left ventricles of your heart. Each heartbeat has two basic parts: diastole and atrial and ventricular systole. During diastole, the atria and ventricles of your heart relax and begin to fill with blood. At the end of diastole, your heart’s atria contract (atrial systole) and pump blood into the ventricles. The atria then begin to relax. Your heart’s ventricles then contract (ventricular systole), pumping blood out of your heart.

High Blood Pressure and Pregnancy Many pregnant women who have HBP have healthy babies. However, HBP can cause problems for both the mother and the fetus. It can harm the mother’s kidneys and other organs. It also can cause the baby to be born early and with a low birth weight. If you’re thinking about having a baby and you have HBP, talk to your health care team. You can take steps to control your blood pressure before and while you’re pregnant. 34 High Blood Pressure Some women get HBP for the first time while they’re pregnant.

This action pushes blood through the open valves from the atria into both ventricles. The signal arrives at the AV node near the ventricles. It slows for an instant to allow your heart’s right and left ventricles to fill with blood. The signal is released and moves along a pathway called the bundle of His, which is located in the walls of your heart’s ventricles. From the bundle of His, the signal fibers divide into left and right bundle branches through the Purkinje fibers that connect directly to the cells in the walls of your heart’s left and right ventricles.

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