HOW DO HEART VALVES WORK?
- Your heart valves lie at the exit of each of your heart chambers and maintain one-way blood flow through your heart. The four heart valves make sure thet blood always flows freely in a forward direction and that there is no backward leakage.
- Blood flows from your right and left atria into your ventricles through the open tricuspid and mitral valves.
- When the ventricles are full, the tricuspid and mitral valves shut. This prevents blood from flowing backward into the atria while the ventricles contract.
- As the ventricles begin to contract, the pulmonic and aortic valves are forced open and blood is pumped out of the ventricles. Blood from the right ventricle passes through the open pulmonic valve into the pulmonary artery, and blood from the left ventricle passes through the open aorta valve into the aorta and the rest of the boby.
- When the ventricles finish contracting and begin to relax, the aortic and pulmonic valves shut. These valves prevent blood from flowing back into the ventricles.
- This pattern is repeated over and over with each heartbeat, causing blood to flow continuously to the heart, lungs, and body.