Explaining the structure of human body and its complex organs could be one hell of a task. One can start with laying out the basic points about how it all begins. Cell as we all know are the basic functional unit of life, two or more cells combine together to form tissues which further divide themselves forming various complex organs inside our body such as circulatory system, nervous system our limbs etc. Together they efficiently carry out all the basic as well as complex functions of the body.
Heart is the crucial part of our circulatory system. One can live a few minutes without breathing, One can live days if his digestive system stops working but if the heart stops life ceases to exist in fraction of a second!
So what is it about this organ that holds such crucial importance in the working system of our body? Why can’t technology which could keep a person on artificial respiration for days, can’t keep a heart from dying?
Let’s start with giving this little throbbing guy an introduction! The heart is a muscular organ of a conical form enclosed in the pericardium; it lies between the lungs, placed obliquely in the chest, behind the body of sternum and adjoining parts of the rib cartilages. It performs an incessant contraction of its muscles by which blood is pumped all throughout the body through a series of tubes called arteries. These arteries undergo enormous ramifications in their course throughout the body. They end in minute vessels called arterioles, which in turn open into a close meshed network of microscopic vessels, termed capillaries. After the blood has passed through the capillaries it is located in larger vessels called veins (carrying the impure blood) by which it is returned to heart for purification. This process is called circulation of blood. In a normal healthy adult the contraction and relaxation mechanisms of the ventricles results in the heartbeat of about 75-84/minute. The contraction of ventricles is called systole and relaxation is called diastole.
When a person undergoes a cardiac arrest cardiopulmonary resuscitation is used to keep the person from going brain dead. The procedure is performed manually with an objective to provide manual thumping so that oxygenated blood in some quantities could reach the brain and heart delaying the tissue death. For much worse cases Cardiac Transplant are suggested for patients with serious coronary disease or at the final stage of heart failure. Here a healthy heart from a donor is used to implant it inside the patient. The transplant increases their life span for 15-18years but it isn’t a permanent solution. As of today, 3500 transplants are carried out annually by eminent cardiologist, who performs the miracle of bringing people back from the land of dead. It is an expensive affair though. Each transplant costs about 1million $! Not everyone can afford it. Which often brings us to question- Do only insanely rich people have the right to have a second chance to live? Answer is a Definite “No”! But social inequality is always going to be there no matter what, so should we keep people who can afford the treatment aloof from it because it would be an unfair practice? The answer is a definite No again. Guess this is a question for another day. We can only hope that a solution proffers itself soon enough.