CASE STUDY: LOST IN THE DESERT!
By David Evans
Natural Sciences Penn College/PSU Williamsport, PA
Directions: Read the case study and answer the corresponding questions on a separate piece of paper.
Part I: July 13th, AM
Mark, a white, 35-year-old male weighing approximately 70 kilogram (kg) started a three-hour drive across the desert on US 95 from Yuma, Arizona, to Blythe, California. He set out at 7 AM on what was expected to be a very hot July day. He anticipated that it would take him about three hours to reach Blythe—plenty of time to make his 11 AM appointment with Sarah, his fiancée. When he failed to appear by noon, Sarah became concerned and called the highway patrol.
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The paramedic also noted first degree burns on his face and back.
Suddenly, Susan Liu, the pilot, reported that they had lost radio contact with the hospital. It was all up to Henry now!
Part 1 Review: Given the conditions, (1) what should Henry do to save Mark? He must decide very quickly. Mark has very little time left and may not survive the trip by helicopter to the hospital. (2) How should you treat someone you think has heat stroke? (3) Why isn’t he sweating?
Part II: July 13th, PM
Henry started oral rehydration with an isotonic solution containing electrolytes, glucose, and water. As Mark recovered in the hospital, he related what happened to him earlier in the day. Since he was a newcomer to desert areas, he saw no need to bring UV A/B sunblock or extra water on his trip from Yuma to Blythe. Mark recalled seeing a coyote dart out between two bushes and he seemed to recollect hitting the animal. The area was so isolated that his cell phone was useless. He waited by the car for a while but then, about 10 AM, as the sun climbed, he saw a large body of water in the distance, possibly, he thought, the Colorado River. The “river” was, in reality, a mirage, as he realized later after he had walked some distance. He then started to become confused and could not find his way back to the highway. Eventually he...