Without the body's vital organs, death would result. They provide essential functions for sustaining life, like respiration and blood flow. In human beings, five such vital organs exist: the heart, the brain, the lungs, the kidneys, and the liver. Medical maintenance of these structures is vital for overall good health.
The heart is the centerpiece of life. It is responsible for circulating needed materials throughout the body via blood. When the heart pumps blood, the fluid carries oxygen and nutrients that sustain all other body parts. Proper heart functioning is crucial to long-term health. For this reason, heart rate is a vital statistic measured by medical professionals.
Another vital statistic is respiration rate. Breathing, or the inhalation and exhalation of air, is a basic indicator of life. Once breathing desists, so does the life of the organism. Air intake and gas exchange are the primary responsibilities of the lungs, making them key organs.
In addition to a pair of lungs, each individual also has a pair of kidneys. Due to their role in body sanitation and balance, these structures represent vital organs as well. Blood moves into the kidneys where it is cleansed of waste products. This material is eventually expelled from the body through urine. The kidneys also produce hormones that aid in essential processes like blood cell formation, blood pressure regulation, and chemical balance.
Since individuals cannot survive long-term without a functioning liver, this structure is another vital organ. Its capabilities are diverse and are lynchpins for many bodily processes. For one, the liver stores sugars and vitamins and makes proteins and hormones, marking it as an important source of body metabolism. Further, it breaks down several substances, particularly toxic substances in the body. The organ also aids in digestion through the breakdown of fats via bile.
Arguably the most important of the vital organs, the brain serves as the body’s ultimate director. Familiarity with this organ’s role in thinking is commonplace. Humanity does owe its intellectual abilities to the brain, but the structure is responsible for much more. Without the main feature of the nervous system, nerves could not send and receive signals, and therefore organisms could not feel or even move. More crucial still, the brain’s impulses provide information that keeps other organs functional.
Some experts consider the pancreas a vital organ as well. Located behind the stomach, it is part of both the digestive and endocrine systems. It helps make many hormones like blood sugar-controlling insulin and glucagon. In digestive processes, the pancreas funnels substances into the small intestine that aid in the breakdown of fat, protein, and carbohydrates.