Essay on SCI case study

715 Words Feb 5th, 2014 3 Pages
1. Why did Allen’s heart rate and blood pressure fall in this time of emergency (i.e. at a time when you’d expect just the opposite homeostatic response)? Pg. 969
This occurred because Allen’s spinal cord has decreased perfusion due to damage, and a broken vertebral bone. Also, there has been a disruptions of the sympathetic fibers of his autonomic nervous system therefore it can no longer stimulate the heart. Allen likely has spinal shock.

2. Upon admission to the hospital, Allen’s breathing was rapid and shallow, can you explain why? Pg. 969
Due to Allen’s fall he likely has an incompetent diaphragm due to injuring a cervical segment. This would alter effect the lower motor neurons and external intercostal muscles. This would
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In addition Allen could not raise his arms against gravity, had flaccid lower extremities, and was without triceps or wrist extensor reflexes, and other muscle stretch reflexes were absent. If the fracture was at C4-5 Allen would not be able to shrug his shoulders and if the fracture was at C7 he could extend his flexed arms.
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6. What is the normal pH of blood? Why was Allen’s blood pH below normal? Pg. 970-971.
The normal blood pH is between 7.35 and 7.45. Allen’s blood was acidotic due to a decrease in lung expansion and an alteration in the perfusion to his spinal cord. He also has an alteration in spinal innervation to the respiratory muscles including the phrenic nerve that controls the diaphragm. This would further cause Allen to not be able to adequately take in enough oxygen and blow off enough CO2 to adequately have gas exchange, within the alveoli. Respiratory failure.

7. What is the primary muscle of respiration? What nerve initiates this muscle?
The primary muscle of respiration is the diaphragm. The nerve that initiates this muscle is the phrenic nerve.

8. Which spinal neurons to the nerve you named in question #7? Pg. 969.
The cervical spinal nerve C3-5 innervate the phrenic nerve. These are the lower motor neurons.

9. By four days after the injury, some of Allen’s signs and symptoms had changed. Allen’s arm muscles were still flaccid, yet his leg muscles had

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