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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Cardiovascular system

The cardiovascular system is composed of the heart and the network of arteries, veins, and capillaries that transport blood throughout the body. The average adult male has between 5 to 6 liters of blood or blood volume, while the average adult female has between 4 to 5 liters. The blood carries oxygen and essential nutrients to all of the living cells in the body, and also carries waste products from the tissues to the systems of the body through which they are eliminated.

Most of the blood is made up of a watery, protein-laden fluid called plasma. A little less than half of this blood volume is composed of red and white blood cells, and other solid elements called platelets.