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Congenital Heart Defects What Other Parents Are ReadingHow Media Use Affects Your ChildWhat Kids Say About: Handling StressAnxiety, Fears, and PhobiasCommunity Service: A Family's Guide to Getting InvolvedTeaching Kids to Be Smart About Social MediaTo know more about congenital heart defects, it helps to understand how a healthy heart works. The heart, lungs, and blood vessels make up the circulatory system. The heart is nike downshifter 6 the central pump of this system, and consists of four chambers the left atrium and left ventricle and the right atrium and right ventricle. The heart also has four valves that direct the flow of blood through the heart: The left atrium of the heart receives oxygen rich blood from the lungs and then empties into the left ventricle through the mitral valve. The left ventricle pumps oxygen rich blood out to the rest of the body. Blood leaves the left ventricle through the aortic valve and enters the aorta, the largest artery (a blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood) in the body. Blood then flows from the aorta into the branches of many smaller arteries, providing nike lunarglide the body's organs and tissues with the oxygen and nutrients they need. After oxygen in the blood is released to the tissues, the now deoxygenated (oxygen poor) blood returns to the heart through veins, the blood vessels that carry deoxygenated blood. This blood, which looks blue, enters the right atrium of the heart and then travels across the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle. The right ventricle then pumps deoxygenated blood through the pulmonic valve into the lungs. The oxygen in the air we breathe binds to cells within this blood that is being pumped through the lungs. The oxygen rich blood, which appears red, then returns to the left atrium and enters the left ventricle, where it is pumped out nike windbreaker to the body once again. This is the normal pathway that blood travels through the heart and the body. However, abnormalities in the heart's structure such as congenital heart defects can affect its ability to work as it should.