ANP 213—Fall 2004



Our case studies are designed to allow you to do a little critical thinking, and to give you an opportunity to engage in some discussion with your fellow students.  You will get together in groups and talk about the studies, eventually formulating answers to the questions involved in each case study.  Each group will submit a typed series of answers to the questions on the due date for the case study (see syllabus for due dates).  Points will be assigned to each group, and details concerning the case studies may show up on the exams.  I will post each group’s answers on the web site.


Case Study #1


You are the medical examiner at a large hospital.  At the end of your shift, you receive a call concerning a young girl who has died, and the circumstances are unusual.  Upon arriving at the morgue, you are able to access the hospital report.  A part of the report is a narrative of the girl’s last hours:


At 10 AM, mother returns from store to find girl vomiting, not feeling well, and sleepy.  Mother put girl to bed.  Ten minutes later, she noticed the child’s breathing was becoming irregular and slow.  She tried to wake her daughter but was unable to do so.  The child became comatose.  At noon, the girl was admitted to the hospital with no heartbeat or spontaneous breathing.


A police report states the following:


The parents discovered that the girl had been giving her dog a bath using a flea dip called Psylla-Gone.  According to a label on the container, Psylla-Gone is an insecticide made from plant material only, and is appropriate for external use on animals.  The ingredients, according to the label, consist of the following:


The product was labeled “Natural Product—Non Toxic”.


Discussion questions:


  1. What could have been in the flea-dip that killed the girl?
  2. How could a product that is normally harmless to humans and pets have killed the girl?



You perform a thorough autopsy on the girl.  You transcribe your findings as follows:


Discussion questions

  1. Given the autopsy report and recalling your knowledge from med school of the functions of cellular organelles, what general functions of the cell did the flea dip probably affect?



A more detailed analysis of the cells of the heart showed that ATP was absent from the mitochondria.  ATP levels in the cytoplasm of these cells, however, were normal.


Discussion questions

  1. What cellular process (or processes) was impaired by the flea dip?