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.