Download Control of the Heart Rate (students)

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Control of the Heart Rate
Electrical impulse flow chart below.
SA node AtriaAV nodeAV bundle (Purkinje fibers)Ventricles
SA node is the pacemaker of the heart located in the upper right handside
of the right atrium.
It’s like a ‘spark plug’ that fires electrical signals through the upper
chamber of the heart causing them to contract and push the blood down
into the lower chambers.
That impulse then reaches a structure at the bottom of the right atrium
called the atrio-ventricular node (AV node).
The AV node acts as a bridge pathway (electrical relay station) between
the upper chambers and lower chambers.
The impulse then travels down to the apex of the heart via the ‘Purkinje
fibres’ where ventricular contraction begins.
The impulse then travels upwards, spreading rapidly through both of the
ventricle walls activating them and causing them to contract and pump
the blood out to the body.
The main arteries now close, and while the ventricles relax, the cycle has
already started again.