What Are the Largest Blood Vessels in the Body?

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The largest blood vessel in the human body is the aorta, which is located to the left of the heart. Learn how the superior vena cava is also a large blood vessel that provides blood to the limbs and lower torso with information from a nurse and respiratory therapist in this free video on blood vessels.

Part of the Video Series: Blood Vessels
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Video Transcript

What are the largest blood vessels? The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the human body. In an adult, it's about one inches wide. So, it's rather a large vessel. It's sort of to the left side of the heart. It's already oxygenated blood flowing through it so it is oxygenated already coming from the lungs. There's other vessels that are also large, but the aorta is the largest. The superior vena cava, that comes in from the top of the head, the arms, and the upper torso, empties the blood from that area along with the inferior vena cava, which takes the blood from the limbs, the lower torso, and brings it up to the right side of the heart. At that time, it divides into two branches. It brings in de-oxygenated blood to the lungs. So, you've got the aorta with oxygenated blood and the superior vena cava which are large vessels also, but not as large as the aorta, that is bringing in de-oxygenated blood to empty into so it can go into the lungs so it can be oxygenated and then go back into the aorta and back out into the system.

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