Human Body

What are blood vessels?

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Just as hollow tubes called pipes carry water to your home, hollow carriers called blood vessels transport blood throughout your body!

Your body depends on this blood for the delivery of oxygen and nutrients, which you need to survive. There are three main types of blood vessels: arteries, veins and capillaries.

Arteries carry oxygen-filled blood away from the heart, delivering it to your body's tissue and organs so they can function in tip-top shape.

Veins carry blood back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to receive more oxygen.

Capillaries connect your arteries and veins. In fact, the walls of capillaries are so thin that nutrients and oxygen can travel right through them to reach your body's cells. These thin walls also enable waste from the cells to easily enter the capillaries, so it can be carried away by your blood, another necessary job!

Further Information

Not only do your blood vessels perform special jobs for your body, they can help give you important information about your health! For example, by touching the skin directly above an artery, you can measure your pulse, or heart rate, which is the number of times your heart beats each minute.

Sources

Intro to Blood Vessels. Boston Scientific. Boston Scientific Corporation.Blood Vessels. The Franklin Institute.