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An Elderly Anomaly

A Realistic Integration of ECG, CBC, and PCR in Healthcare



Co Authors:

M. May Zhang
School of Pharmacy
University of Connecticut
ming.zhang@uconn.edu

Maria E. Latta
School of Pharmacy
University of Connecticut
maria.latta@uconn.edu

Abstract:

This case study follows the process of diagnosing a patient, 67-year-old “Chester Fitzgerald,” who has suffered an ischemic stroke. An ECG is performed, but is not conclusive. During a physical exam, his doctor discovers a splenomegaly and orders a CBC to determine the cause. The results, combined with the other symptoms that Chester reports, lead the doctor to suspect an underlying disease rather than just an age-related stroke. This suspicion is confirmed by genetic testing, and the case closes with a brief description of a suitable treatment plan for the patient. The case walks students through multiple tests in the diagnosing process and aspects of healthcare to help them understand how these tests fit in the context of a real-life situation. The case study is divided into three parts that correlate with the three phases of this patient’s diagnosis. Each part ends with a series of questions designed to help students apply previous knowledge. The case study is appropriate for use in undergraduate anatomy and physiology courses.

Objectives:
  • Recognize and describe the symptoms of polycythemia vera.
  • Label and interpret a normal ECG.
  • Distinguish between normal and abnormal measurements of an ECG.
  • Distinguish between normal and abnormal CBCs.
  • Recognize a patient with polycythemia based on his/her CBC, given reference values.
  • Recognize genetic mutations based on gene sequence.
  • Describe the steps of PCR.
  • Explain how a genetic mutation can cause cancer.
  • Explain why multiple tests may be necessary to diagnose a patient.
Keywords: Polycythemia vera; PV; ECG; EKG; complete blood count; CBC; splenomegaly; myeloproliferative neoplasms; PCR; genetic testing
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed, Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Anatomy   Genetics / Heredity   Physiology  
Date Posted: 11/13/2019
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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