For my STEAM project I focused on the objective “explain the structure and function of the heart”. I also examine three congenital heart defects. The medium that I used was digital drawing. 

The heart has 4 chambers, and they are best characterized into the left and right chambers. Blood first enters the heart through the right atrium, this blood is deoxygenated. It is then pumped into the right ventricle. The right ventricle pumps the blood into the lungs where it is oxygenated by the gas exchange in the alveoli of the lungs. The oxygenated blood is pumped into the left atrium, and then through the left ventricle and finally into the body. Oxygen is delivered to the tissues of the body and the cycle begins again. 

An atrial septal defect is a hole between the two atrial chambers in the heart. This is a congenital condition, meaning that people are born with it. Some small holes might never cause an issue, and some might even close on their own during adolescence or early childhood. The hole increases the amount of blood that is pumped through the lungs. And it causes the heart to overwork itself to make up for the imbalance of blood in the atrias. This can cause damage to both the lungs and the heart. Treatment for this condition includes transcathetar or surgical closures of the hole(s) in the heart. According to the american College of Cardiology, both are effective treatments, although trancathetar closure had a short length of stay in the hospital, lower infection rates, and lower costs. 

A ventricular septal defect is similar to an atrial septal defect. It is a hole between the two ventricles in the heart. This is another congenital disorder that causes oxygenated blood to be pumped into the lungs rather than into the body. This forces the body to work harder to deliver oxygen to the tissues in the body. A small defect might repair on its own and it might not even require treatment. But a larger hole will need surgery otherwise it might become fatal. A VSD causes higher blood pressure. Additionally, they might even be acquired later in life after surgery or a heart attack. The cause of these defects is still unknown, but they tend to run in families. 

There are four valves in the heart. These prevent the backflow of blood into the wrong chamber. These valves are the matrial, tricuspid, pulmonary, and aortic. The tricuspid valve has three flaps, but when it only has two it is referred to as a bicuspid aortic valve. This is a congenital defect. This valve separates the aorta and the left ventricle. People with this defect have reduced blood flow, backflow, or aortic enlargement which runs the risk of the aorta tearing. The prevalence of this defect is .77% as indicated by a study conducted by the american College of cardiology. 

sources:

https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/journal-scans/2016/01/06/11/03/transcatheter-versus-surgical-closure-of-atrial-septal-defects

https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/journal-scans/2021/02/10/19/18/prevalence-of-bicuspid-aortic-valve

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atrial-septal-defect/symptoms-causes/syc-20369715

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ventricular-septal-defect/symptoms-causes/syc-20353495

One Comment

  1. Maryam used her STEAM project to draw out and highlight the heart as well as common defects that can happen to one of the most essential body organs that we have. She started off by Nalgene at the heart has four chambers. These chambers are broken down into the right and left side of the heart. To simplify what she wrote, she stated that blood first enters the heart through the right atrium where does deoxygenated and pumped into the right ventricle. The right ventricle then pumps the blood into the lungs where does oxygenated through gas exchange and then pumped into the left atrium. From there the left ventricle picks it up and it is finally into the body. Oxygen is been delivered to the tissues in the body and the cycle repeats again. The two most common types of defects of the human heart are atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect. Atrial septal defect is between the two atrial chambers of the heart. It is a congenital condition and it has holes that increase the amount of blood that is pumped through to the lungs. There are a few common treatments for atrial septal defect and it’s often cured. Ventricular septal defect is the hole between the two ventricles of the heart that causes Australian blood to be pumped into the lungs instead of into the body. It causes the body to work harder but can also be treated with surgery.

    Jordyn Sager

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *