Arteries are always under pressure as long as the heart is beating. As such arteries do not require valves in order to keep the blood flowing away from the heart.
If an artery is cut, the blood will be oxygenated and bright red, and will spurt out in thrusts due to the natural change of blood pressure. A severed artery is a life threatening condition and pressure should be applied to the site as quickly as possible.
The major arteries are:
- The aorta - the largest artery in the body, which comes right out of the heart.
- The pulmonary artery, which takes de-oxygenated blood back to the lungs to be re-oxygenated.
- The coronary artery, which feeds blood back to the heart.
- The carotid artery, which is the main source of blood for the head.
- The femoral artery, which supplies blood to the legs.