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How To Explain the Artery Model

Download How To Explain the Artery Model pdf document (43k) handout.

  1. Place the doughnut-shaped pieces of red clay on the outside edge of both ends of the roll.
    This is a healthy artery. The blood can flow through the opening easily.
  2. Add pieces of the yellow clay to the inside edge of the red clay on one end of the roll.
    This is the beginning of a clogged artery. Cholesterol is starting to build up.
  3. Continue to add pieces of yellow clay to this end of the roll. Add pieces until you almost fill in the opening completely.
    The opening of the clogged artery is getting smaller. Blood cannot flow through easily.
  4. Put a red ball in the small opening that is left at the end of the roll.
    When the inside of an artery becomes narrowed, a blood clot may block an artery going to the heart. This may cause a heart attack. If the blood clot blocks an artery going to the brain, it may cause a stroke, or “brain attack.” Other problems caused by narrowed arteries are angina (chest pain) and poor blood circulation.

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Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Your Heart, Your Life, A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.

Last Updated March 2012

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