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The Hot Tub Mystery


Herbert House
Biology Department
Elon University


Roma and Clint Underhill are relaxing after a stressful day in their hot tub with some wine. But tragedy strikes, and the next morning their lifeless bodies are found in the water by their housekeeper. The paramedics who respond to her frantic 911 call pronounce the couple dead at the scene and call in the police to investigate. Developed for use in a lower-level undergraduate course on human physiology, students work through the various parts of this interrupted case to discover the cause of death, and in the process learn about blood pressure regulation.

  • Identify the factors that affect blood pressure.
  • Describe the individual and collective effects of the Lasix, hot water and alcohol on blood pressure.
  • Explain how each of the following factors affect blood pressure: peripheral resistance, heart rate, venous return, stroke volume, cardiac output, end systolic and diastolic volumes, and blood viscosity.
  • Describe the role of the cardiovascular system, nervous system, kidneys, and endocrine system in relation to the above factors.
  • Explain the physiological processes associated with the decrease in blood pressure.
  • Explain the physiological processes associated with the potential recovery of blood pressure.
Keywords: Blood pressure regulation; Lasix; blood alcohol; blood alcohol level; substance use; hot tub
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Physiology  
Date Posted: 01/17/05
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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