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The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It carries the oxygenated blood directly from the left ventricle of the heart, and extends down to the abdomen, where it divides into smaller arteries, distributing oxygenated blood to the body.


Arteries are blood vessels that deliver oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the tissues of the body.


The heart is divided into four chambers. The two upper chambers are called atriums, and the two lower (larger) ones are called ventricles. The atriums prime the heart with blood to pump out to the body. The left atrium (LA) receives blood from the pulmonary vein, having been oxygenated by the lung. The right atrium (RA) receives unoxygenated blood from the vena cava (venous circulationreturning blood to the heart). Both atriums receive blood while relaxed (known as diastole). When the heart beats/contracts (known as systole) the blood is pumped from each atrium into its corresponding ventricle.


Blood Pressure is measured to indicate the force applied by the heart to pump blood through the body. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) as follows: 

  1. SBP – Systolic Blood Pressure – the pressure measured when the heart pumps the blood out to the body.
  2. DBP – Diastolic Pressure – the pressure measured when the heart rests in between beats. 
Carotid Artery

The carotid arteries are present on both the left and right sides of the body and are responsible for the supply of oxygenated blood to the head and neck. The average diameter of the carotid arteries in adults is 6.5mm (males) and 6.1mm (females).


Carbon Dioxide – is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, as well as natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruptions.


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation ,  also known as extracorporeal life support (ECLS), is an extracorporeal technique of providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange or perfusion to sustain life.

Extracorporeal Respiratory System

In this method, blood is pumped outside of the body to a heart-lung machine that removes carbon dioxide and return oxygenated blood back to tissues in the body.

Femoral Vein

The femoral vein is a large vessel located deep within the thigh. The femoral vein is a major pathway in which blood from the lower limbs travels back to the heart. Given its location and function, the upper portion of the femoral vein is used for cannulation.


Hemoglobin is an iron-containing oxygen-transport vehicle in the red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. The healthy range of hemoglobin in humans is: For men, 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter. For women, 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter.


Carbon dioxide also known as Bicarbonate and is mainly a by-product of metabolism. The blood brings bicarbonate to the lungs, and then it is exhaled as carbon dioxide. Kidneys are also help regulate bicarbonate. Bicarbonate is excreted and reabsorbed by your kidneys. This regulates the body’s pH, or acid balance.


Hematocrit –  is the volume percentage of red blood cells in blood. It forms part of the total blood count together with hemoglobin concentration, white blood cell count and platelet count. With the role of red blood cells of transferring oxygen from the lungs to the body, hematocrit is a point of reference of the capability of delivering oxygen. Hematocrit levels that are too high or low can indicate a blood disorder, dehydration and other medical conditions.


is  a condition of  low level of oxygen in the blood. Hypoxemia is a sign of a problem related to breathing or blood circulation, and may result in various symptoms, such as shortness of breath. Hypoxemia can be caused by a variety of conditions, including asthma, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It’s a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention.


is a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level. 

Hypoxia differs from hypoxemia  in that hypoxia refers to a state in which oxygen supply is insufficient, whereas hypoxemia refers to a low or zero oxygen in the blood.


Inferior Vena Cava –

It is the largest vein in the human body.

The inferior vena cava carries deoxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart.

Jugular Vein

The internal jugular vein (IJV) is a paired vessel found on either side of the neck. It extends from the base of the skull to the sternal end of the clavicle.


Oxygen – is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. It supports life. 


Partial Pressure of Oxygen is a measurement of oxygen pressure in arterial blood. It reflects how well oxygen is able to move from the lungs to the blood


Partial pressure of carbon dioxide is defined in medicine as the measure of carbon dioxide within arterial or venous blood. It indicates the effectiveness of ventilation by the lungs (alveoli), given their diffusing capacity of the gas. The inability of the blood to release toxic CO2 from the blood is called acidosis, as it translates to high levels of CO2 in the blood which is acidic.


In chemistry, this is a measure that shows the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution The range goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. pHs of less than 7 indicate acidity, whereas a pH of greater than 7 indicates a base.  In the human body the PH balance is the level of acids and bases in your blood at which your body functions best.

Pulmonary Artery

The pulmonary arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the right side of the heart to the capillaries of the lungs, where the blood is normally oxygenated. The blood that the pulmonary artery carries is deoxygenated (without oxygen), unlike other arteries.

Pulmonary Vein

The pulmonary vein is the blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart. The heart then pumps the oxygenated blood to the body via the arterial system.


The partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2) in the venous blood.


The partial pressure of oxygen in venous blood. PvO2 shows the balance of oxygen consumption versus its delivery to the body’s cells/tissues. There are a number of factors that can affect the PvO2 measure including cardiac output, oxygen consumption, the amount of hemoglobin in the blood and the amount of oxygen-saturated hemoglobin in the blood.


Arterial Oxygen Saturation indicates that amount of oxygen traveling through your body with your red blood cells. Normal oxygen saturation is usually between 95% and 100% for most healthy adults. Any level below this is concerning and in need of immediate medical attention, since it means your organs, tissues, and cells aren’t getting the oxygen they need to function properly.


Superior Vena Cava, is the upper section of vena cava (which is the large vein that returns deoxygenated blood from the body to the right atrium of the heart). It is large in diameter (24 mm) and short in length, that receives venous blood return from the upper half of the body, meaning above the diaphragm (whereas the IVC – Inferior Vena Cava is below the diaphragm).The SVC is a typical site of central venous access via a catheter.


Veins are blood vessels that carry deoxygenated blood (blood depleted of oxygen after being absorbed by the body’s cells) back to the right side of the heart, which then carries the blood to the lungs to become oxygenated.

Veno-Arterial (VA) ECMO

It means that the vascular access is via a tube that begins at a vein and ends at an artery.

Veno-Venous (VV) ECMO

It means that the vascular access is via a tube that begins at a vein and ends at a vein. 



The heart is divided into four chambers. The two upper chambers are called atriums, and the two lower (larger) ones are called ventricles. Ventricles collect and pump blood out received from the atriums. During systole, the ventricles contract, pumping blood out of the heart an into the body. During diastole, the ventricles relax and again fill with blood received by their corresponding atrium. The two ventricles actually operate two circulatory systems simultaneously: 

a) The right ventricle (RV) receives deoxygenated blood from the right atrium and pumps it into the pulmonary artery for the blood to be oxygenated in the lungs. 

b) The left ventricle (LV) receives oxygenated blood from the left atrium and pumps it into the aorta which distributes the oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

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