20 Cool facts about the heart
1 – Heartbeats/lifetime
Your heart will likely beat on an average of 72 per minute, 103 680 per day, and more than 2.5 billion times over the course of your life
2 – On Tap
The amount of blood that gets pumped through your heart over the course of your life is like opening a tap in your kitchen and letting it run for your entire life. However, the tap can open and close slightly – it can vary between 5 and 30 liters per minute!
3 – Can you feel the spark?
Your heart can continue to beat even separated from the body, because it has its own electrical impulse. All it needs is a continuous supply of oxygen. Physiologist Willem Einthoven invented the electrocardiograph, which measures the electric current in the heart, in 1903.
4 – The first gentleman
The stethoscope was invented by the French Physician, Rene Laennec in 1816, after he felt it was inappropriate to place his ear on the chests of his female patients.
5 – Blood lust in your eyes? Hmm…
Your corneas are the only part of your body that has no blood supply. The rest of your 75 trillion cells each get constant “doorstep delivery” of blood.
6 – Surprisingly, not the organ that needs the most blood
At any given time, about 15-20% of your blood is moving through your brain and nervous system, 22% is in your kidneys, and only 5% is in your heart
7 – Love you to the moon and back!
Your heart creates enough energy on a daily basis to drive a vehicle 35 kilometres. That is enough to travel the distance to the moon and back, over the course of a lifetime!
8 – Slightly to the left
The old ticker is actually in the middle of your chest, but leans slightly to the left.
9 – Sleep it off
Insomniacs and those who suffer from sleep deprivation often experience irregular heartbeats. It is thought that prolonged snoring, or sleep apnea can cause an enlarged heart.
10 – That first ultrasound…
Your baby’s heartbeat starts at 4 weeks after conception, and it will continue beating for the rest of their lives.
11 – Stay in school, don’t do drugs!
Cocaine affects your heart’s electrical impulse and can case a heart attack or stroke, even in young, healthy people
12 – Look inside yourself, literally
Dr Werner Forssmann, a German surgeon invented the cardiac catheter, by threading a catheter into the vein in his arm, 50 centimetres in, right into his own heart, in 1929. Today this procedure is used to literally see inside your heart!
13 – Look into me, figuratively
It is thought that a couple in love’s heartbeats will synchronise after they look into each other’s eyes for about three minutes.
14 – I give you my heart
The first successful heart transplant was done in 1967, by Dr Christiaan Barnard, in South Africa. The patient unfortunately died 18 days later due to complications, but brought hope and inspiration to cardiac surgeons to perfect the procedure.
15 – From head to toe
In 16 seconds, your blood will have travelled from your heart to your toes and back once, and to your brain and back, twice! All your blood will have circulated throughout your entire body, at least once a minute.
16 – Pump it
The first physician to discover that the organ is essentially a pump, was Erasistatus of Chios, somewhere between 304-250 B.C.
17 – Don’t go breaking my heart
Extreme sadness or stress can literally break your heart, by weakening the muscle. It is known as Broken Heart Syndrome or Takotsubo’s Cardiomyopathy.
18 – My heart is heavy
The heart is supposed to weigh less than 500g. However, a man’s ticker will typically weigh about 50 grams more than a woman’s.
19 – Open up to your doctor
The first open-heart surgery was performed by Dr Daniel Hale Williams in 1893. He was one of very few black cardiologists in America at that time.
20 – Keeping up the pace
The first patient to receive a pacemaker, outlived his surgeon! Arne Larson died of unrelated natural causes at the age of 86.
Mopani Pharmacy offers health screening in terms of blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and body mass index, to give you the info you need to keep up your wellness journey. We have a variety of supplements to support your heart – ask our knowledgeable staff for a recommendation to avoid any clashes with chronic medications.
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