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A Case of Thrombocytopenia



Author:

David F. Dean
Department of Biology
Spring Hill College
ddean@shc.edu

Abstract:

“Carolyn Jones” is a 40-year-old professor of economics. The past week she has felt tried and weak. The past few days she has noticed small, red dots on her skin and gums.  Even more upsetting, she cut herself while making dinner and the wound bled for a long time. Students read a brief clinical history of the patient and a description of the relevant signs and symptoms, then answer a set of directed questions that probe the underlying anatomy, physiology, and pathology of Carolyn's condition. The case study has been used in a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology taught to pre-med and nursing students as well as a senior-level elective course in general physiology taken primarily by pre-med students.

Objectives:
  • The anatomic location and stimulus for platelet production.
  • The role of platelets in hemostasis and the consequences of a low platelet count.
  • The causes and treatment of thrombocytopenia.
  • The influence of the spleen on the number of circulating platelets.
Keywords: Thrombocytopenia; hemostasis; megakaryocytes; platelets; low platelet count; idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura; platelet disorder; hemorrhage; spleen; splenectomy
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed
Language: English
Subject Headings: Physiology   Medicine (General)   Nursing  
Date Posted: 09/08/06
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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