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Anyone Who Had a Heart

A Case Study in Physiology



Author:

Philip J. Stephens
Department of Biology
Villanova University
phil.stephens@villanova.edu

Abstract:

After undergoing a fertility procedure, a 37-year-old woman and her husband are expecting twins. The delivery goes smoothly, but it soon becomes apparent that, while the baby boy appears normal, the baby girl has a heart problem and is cyanotic. In this interrupted case study, students diagnose the problem based on the babies’ signs and symptoms as well as on their knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the heart and the changes that occur in the heart after birth. The case was developed for use in a one-semester animal physiology course taken by sophomore and junior science majors. It could also be used in a freshman general biology course or in an anatomy and physiology course.

Objectives:
  • To understand the function and structure of the heart before and after birth.
  • To appreciate the changes which take place in the heart and in blood circulation after birth.
  • To understand heart valve function, heart sounds, and murmurs.
Keywords: Cardiovascular system; circulatory system; blood circulation; fetal heart; cyanosis; ventricular septal defect; valve function; heart murmur
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Physiology   Anatomy   Biology (General)   Medicine (General)  
Date Posted: 12/04/04
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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My Human Anatomy students thought it was "disturbing" for the woman to have her brother as the OB-GYN. I honestly didn't catch that before I handed the case study out.


Cindy Davis
Science
Chugiak High
Chugiak, Arkansas
davis_cindy@asdk12.org
3/1/2011



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