Anatomy & Physiology

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Talk with students about feelings — how they feel about seeing an actual dead person.
Discuss that each of these people donated their body for education. The families would like them to learn from their loved one.
There is a “Family appreciation wall” where students can post thoughts or a thank you to the family at the end of the activity.
Sometime we actually share the thoughts with these families.
Complete the Autopsy Permission Slip.
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Make your own body map.
This is an exercise you can come back to as students get more familiar with the body.
This exercise requires students to know the location, “relative position,” size and shape of the organs.
Start simple: Instead of drawing the organ, put an X where it should go. (E.g. there should be one “X” on the left side of the body for the spleen.) This makes sure students know which organs there are two of, which there are one of, and which are in the middle (spinal cord) vs. of to one side (liver).
Start medium: Make the X bigger or smaller for the organ (Liver gets a big X, Thyroid gets a small x). This makes sure students know the general size of organs.
Start detailed: Draw in the organ with a sketch. Use a the Body Map to look up organs for their general outline.
Check Understanding: For any of the above, try the exercise looking at the body from the back. (Which side of the drawing should the spleen be on now?)
Incorporate learning: Come back to this exercise periodically as students gain understanding of the body and update their own Body Map.
For each example, have students draw in the major organs to a human outline to make sure to understand the general layout of the body.

Here are some videos that show a “birds eye” view of the chest and abdomen, looking from the front or the back.

How many items are attached to the body?

Which items pass into the body?
Where do you think they go?
Why would they be there?
What is the condition of the skin like near each tube?
Do you see a possible cause of death yet?
Why do you think there are towels on the body?
Did this patient have a surgery?
Teacher Content.

What could make the abdomen so large?
Do you think the person is fat?
What color is the fluid (later in video)?
Is that normal?
What observations can you make about the intestine?
Teacher Content.

What do you think happened this patient?
Gun shot wounds, stab wounds, cirrhosis, or gallbladder surgery, something else?
Base your answer on your observations.
Teacher Content.

There’s no ruler in the picture. How big do you think the hole is?
A quarter inch, inch, 4 inches, 10 inches?
Is the hole all one depth or different depths?
Where in the body are we?
Is this trauma, decomposition, postmortem insect bite, or some other condition?
Back up your conclusion with evidence.
Teacher Content.

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Decomposition and Livor Mortis

What main decomposition findings are there?
Is there livor mortis?
What position was the patient found?
Is there blanching? Why does that happen?
Teacher Content.

What main decomposition findings are there?
Is there livor mortis?
What position was the patient found?
What internal signs of decomposition are there so far?
Teacher Content.

What signs of decomposition are there?
Teacher Content.

What signs of decomposition are there?
What’s making the testes so big?
Why do you think the testes affected more than the rest of the body?
Now that you’ve seen all four cases, put them in order from least to most decomposed? Explain why?
Teacher Content.

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What trauma is found in each case?
What caused the trauma? What other types of events could cause similar-looking trauma?
Teacher Content.
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Case 1. 53 Year old man with chronic
pain from work injury.

View toxicology
Break up students into groups and assign each a portion of the results.
Make sure each student can tell if their sample came from blood, eye fluid (vitreous), or urine.
Have each student look up their set of drugs.
Make a chart.
Name of drug – What does it do? – Can you overdose? – What is “normal” or therapeutic level – What is an overdose level? – What was the patient’s level.
Have groups make a case for why a drug was or was not a cause of death.
Teacher Content.
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View a case

View the video.
Why did the patient die?
What’s your evidence?
Teacher Content.
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Student Sharing

Write a Thank You to the families or share your thoughts on the
Family Appreciation Wall.
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