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I've Fallen Over and I Can't Get Up



Co Authors:

Ashley L. Madern
Department of Biology
Villanova University

Michael D. Hood
Department of Biology
Villanova University

Jeffrey C. Paul, Jr.
Department of Biology
Villanova University

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

Abstract:

Greg Myron is playing the last football game of his career as the high school’s star running back. As the clock counts down the final seconds, Greg rushes 70 yards down field until he is tackled out of bounds. When the kicking team comes out to try for the winning field goal, Greg remains motionless on the ground. Students must differentiate between head trauma and fainting as they work their way through this interrupted case study, which is complicated by Greg’s medical history. Students use their knowledge of the control of blood pressure by the autonomic nervous system to determine what is wrong with Greg. This 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 an anatomy and physiology course.

Objectives:
  • To understand how the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system control blood pressure.
  • To recognize the effect of sympathetic nervous system on heart rate, stroke volume, and peripheral resistance.
  • To describe the correlation between blood pressure, gravity, and fainting.
  • To correlate the degree of head trauma with the symptoms exhibited by individuals diagnosed with a concussion.
Keywords: Fainting; dehydration; blood pressure; baroreceptor reflex; autonomic nervous system; parasympathetic nervous system; sympathetic nervous system; concussion; familial dysautonomia
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Physiology   Biology (General)   Medicine (General)  
Date Posted: 1/5/2012
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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