Case Study #2- Lost in the Desert!

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Category: Science and Technology

Date Submitted: 11/13/2012 08:41 AM

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Part I- July 13th, AM

Question 1:

Mark has become unable to maintain an optimum body temperature in the extremely hot

desert conditions, resulting in hyperthermia.[1] His temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit, as

weak as his physical weakness, nausea, disorientation, headache, and low blood pressure indicate

that he is suffering from heat stroke.

Mark’s symptoms are a result of dehydration due to excessive perspiration. Loss of fluids

without replacement has led to a decrease in blood volume. The decrease in blood volume has

resulted in a fluid, causing water to leave his cells in an attempt to maintain osmotic balance.[1]

The loss of water from Mark’s cells has disrupted their function, and the function of some of his

body systems. The extremely high body temperature has depressed his hypothalamus-disrupting

his temperature control mechanisms and inhibiting his ability to sweat.[1]

In order for Henry to protect Mark from serious injury or death he must reduce his body

temperature to a normal level and replace fluids lost to excessive sweating. Henry should get

Mark into the nearest shaded area as fast as possible and begin physically cooling his body with

water or ice. He must also begin to rehydrate Mark with an electrolyte containing fluid.[2] It is

important that the fluid contains electrolytes because if Mark is given pure water, the osmolarity

of his ECF will decrease, causing water to rush into his cells in an attempt to maintain osmotic

balance. This could result in hyponatremia, a condition in which the cells swell up with water.

This condition is extremely dangerous and can disrupt cell processes causing nausea, vomiting,

cramping, and cerebral edema. Cerebral edema, if uncorrected can lead to death.[1]

Part II-July 13th, PM

Question 2:

The paramedic gave Mark an electrolyte/glucose solution instead of bottle water or

distilled water because if he was given distilled of bottled...