NATIONAL CENTERR FORR CA
C SE STUDDY TEACH
NG IN SCI
I’ve Fallen Over and I Can’t Get Up
Ashley L. Madern, Michael D. Hood, Jeffrey C. Paul, Jr., and Philip J. Stephens Department of Biology, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Part I – Children Playing in the Heat
The summer of 1985 turned out to be the hottest on record for Tulsa, Oklahoma, and that day in July was one of the hottest. Two boys were playing outside while their mothers were inside preparing lunch for their children. “The boys have been outside for more than two hours, they must be hot and tired. Let’s get them inside and have them watch TV after lunch; they can go back outside when it cools off. John has been talking about putting in a pool; that will make these hot summers more bearable.”
The women stopped talking when they heard someone tapping on the sliding glass door facing the back yard. “Mrs. Myron, Mrs. Myron, come quickly,” someone called out. “What’s wrong, Jack?” asked Mrs. Myron as she opened the sliding door. “Greg fell over and didn’t get up,” Jack said, as he and the two women ran over to a four-year-old boy lying next to the sand box.
“We were building a big castle in the sand box,” Jack continued. “Greg wasn’t happy because one of the towers fell in. He stood and went to jump on it, but he just fell over. I thought he was just playing, but he didn’t get up.” The two women carried the limp boy into the house and lay him on the sofa. Mrs. Myron was placing a cool, wet cloth on her son’s forehead when his eyes opened.
“What happened?” Greg asked.
“You passed out, again,” replied his mother. “I noticed that you didn’t touch the lemonade we left you boys.” “Do you think we should take him to hospital?” asked Mrs. Rose, Jack’s mother. “I’m afraid this isn’t the first time this has happened,” replied Mrs. Myron. She pinched the skin on the back of her son’s hand and noticed that it did not spring back. “I think he’s just dehydrated. He gets so immersed in what he’s doing that he forgets to drink. It’s my fault. It really is too hot, but he loves to play outside.” Greg started to get off the sofa, but quickly fell back.
“Mom, I’m feeling dizzy and I’m really thirsty. Can I have a glass of water?” “Of course, my dear. I think you two will be staying inside this afternoon.” “But Mom…”
“I need to have you close by so I can keep an eye on you. Here, I’ll turn on the TV.”
1. What signs and symptoms did Greg exhibit when he was in the house? 2. Was Mrs. Myron correct when she said that Greg was dehydrated? Which signs and symptoms are consistent with this notion?
3. Explain how each sign or symptom can be created by dehydration. 4. Mrs. Myron thought that it was not necessary to seek medical treatment. Do you think she was correct?
“I’ve Fallen Over and I Can’t Get Up” by Madern, Hood, Paul, & Stephens
NATIONAL CENTER FOR CASE STUDY TEACHING IN SCIENCE
Part II – The High School Football Game
It was a beautiful Saturday morning in October 1999. The weather in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a balmy 92°F with 71% humidity. Greg woke up and went downstairs. He felt a little dizzy. “Whoever heard of having a team party the night before the State Championship,” he mumbled to himself as he staggered into the kitchen. “Your breakfast is ready; better hurry and eat or you’ll be late!” Mrs. Myron put the plate of waffles on the table with a smile. “I’m not hungry Mom,” Greg said as he pushed the plate to the center of the table. “Is coffee ready?” “Oh Gregory, it’s probably just nerves for the game tonight. You really should try to eat something or you’re going to fade by the third quarter. Here’s some coffee and take this bagel and banana with you and eat them on the way.” Greg took the bagel and coffee and steadied himself against the table as he stood up. “Are you okay, Greg?” his mother asked him.
“Sure, just a little dizzy; probably got up too fast.”
Arriving in the...
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