Blood Vessels

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Types of Blood Vessels and Their Roles in the Circulatory System

This guide explores the three main types of blood vessels in the human body - arteries, capillaries, and veins - their structures, functions, and response to injuries.


Arteries have muscular walls and contract to push oxygen-rich blood around the body. A major artery, like the femoral artery, if cut, would spurt bright red blood due to high pressure.


Capillaries, branching off from arteries, have extremely thin walls, allowing for efficient diffusion of gases and nutrients. They are the most numerous blood vessels in the body.

Bleeding from Capillaries

Capillary bleeding, often seen in skin grazes, appears as oozing blood and can usually be managed with simple first aid like cleaning and bandaging.


Veins carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart and lungs. They operate under low pressure with one-way valves and rely on gravity and muscle contractions for blood flow.

Response to Vein Injuries

If a vein is cut, the blood, darker and under less pressure than arterial blood, will flow out steadily rather than spurt.

Emergency Response to Blood Vessel Injuries

Different types of blood vessel injuries require specific responses:

  • Capillary injuries are typically easy to manage with basic first aid.
  • Vein injuries may require pressure and bandaging but are usually less severe.
  • Arterial injuries, being more serious, require immediate pressure application and elevation of the limb to reduce blood loss.

For more detailed information on blood vessels and first aid response to injuries, consider consulting a healthcare professional or attending a first aid course.