17. Taking out the brain and the heart
The summer Olympics and the soccer World Cup are two of the three biggest competitions in the world. The last one varies from person to person. The winter Olympics, the World Championship in Athletics, the Formula 1, and the Expo (although different in style)¡¦ The British Museum of London and the Louvre Museum of Paris are two of the three most famous museums of the world. Again, the last one varies from person to person. The Musei Vaticani of Rome, the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, the Taipei National Palace Museum of Taipei¡¦
A doctor would pick the brain and the heart as two of the three key organs of the human body. The last one varies from doctor to doctor. The lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, endocrine glands, bone marrow¡¦ doctors will pick an organ that they specialize in. These are all called vital organs, because a big damage to them is life threatening. Stomach for example is not a vital organ. Total gastrectomy makes eating difficult but is not life threatening.
The heart and the brain are the key vital organs. Many lives are lost due to damage to these two organs. Especially, the arteries that are located within the heart and the brain cause many deaths. Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases are leading cause of death second to cancer.
The brain takes only 2% of body weight, but takes 20% of blood pumped out from the heart. If breathing stops, deoxygenated blood flows throughout the entire body. Unlike other organs of the body, the brain can¡¯t stand the deoxygenated state very well and is damaged easily, causing death. Being able to hold breath for 3 minutes means that the brain can live without oxygen for 3 minutes.
Also, the arteries of the brain are easily plugged or ruptured. If this happens, the part of the brain that was supplied by the ruptured artery is damaged. We call this stroke.
The arteries located in the heart are called coronary arteries. At first, I thought what does the term ¡°coronary¡± mean?? Later I figured that it meant ¡°like crown.¡± Every time I dissect a heart I remind myself, ¡°Oh! The coronary arteries surround the heart. The heart puts on the coronary arteries like the king puts on his crown.¡± The coronary artery is the first branch of the aorta that shoots out of the heart. ¡°The heart takes the blood it requires before distributing the rest of the blood to other organs. A man takes money as much as he can before giving out the rest to the others.¡±
The coronary arteries are not easily ruptured but are plugged easily. If a coronary artery is plugged, the heart muscle that was supplied by the plugged artery may die or may come back to life afterwards. Angina pectoris is when the heart muscle comes back to life, and myocardial infarction is when the heart muscle dies.
Hypertension is the main cause of stroke and myocardial infarction. People with hypertension are going to hate me now. ¡°Hypertension is a signal to prepare for the end of life. It is better than unexpected accident like car crash, isn¡¯t it?¡± If you don¡¯t want to die, take the medication properly and drop your blood pressure. Losing weight and quitting smoking are even better ways to drop blood pressure. Eating as much as you want and smoking makes you happy. But remind yourself that you are shortening your life.
A brain with stroke is often encountered in an anatomy lab. There are cadavers with brain covered in blood due to ruptured cerebral artery. A heart with a stent is also frequently encountered. The cause of death for that cadaver is myocardial infarction. When I see a fat person smoking, the person reminds me of the horrifying heart and brain. I have sympathy for him. ¡°Today, many young people die from stroke and myocardial infarction. It seems like he is preparing to die. His family has a lot to prepare for.¡±