Part III - The Final Report
Later Monday Afternoon
Detective Garrison returned to the police headquarters and, after reading the medicals examiners complete report, began the process of writing his own explanation of what happened to the Underhill couple. As he wrote, he thought about all that had happened and began to wonder about the physiology associated with the couple’s death. The level of alcohol found by the medical examiner was high but was not necessarily sufficient to cause their death, but was it a contributing factor? Sam knew that Lasix was used to treat high blood pressure and that both alcohol and heat will reduce blood pressure, but he was unsure about the mechanism. He decided to go to The University of Houston and talk to Rene Volenbach, a physiologist in the biology department. Renee patiently explained her ...view middle of the document...
Other effects are feeling dizzy, light-headed, temporary loss of consciousness, and tachycardia. The hot water temperature, wine, and Lasix caused the body temperature to increase, blood pressure to drop, blood flow to decrease, and dehydration.
2. What could the body have done to reverse the decreasing blood pressure, if it had been possible?
* The body could increase stroke volume and heart rate which would lead to increased cardiac output. The blood vessels could constrict to increase systemic vascular resistance. Combined these two mechanisms would increase the body’s blood pressure.
3. Determine Mr. Luck’s mean arterial pressure (MAP) and his pulse pressure.
* Mr. Luck’s MAP was 53 mmHg and his pulse pressure was 40 mmHg.
4. What is the relationship between Mr. Luck’s MAP and loss of consciousness?
* Mr. Luck’s seriously low mean arterial pressure is below the recommended amount, about 60 mmHg, needed for adequate tissue perfusion. For Mr. Luck, the decreased cerebral blood circulation, caused by overheating and dehydration, robbed the brain of vital oxygen supplies ultimately causing syncope.
5. Besides losing consciousness, what other problem might Mr. Luck experience due to his MAP value?
* It is possible, due to the length of time that Mr. Luck had inadequate MAP values that ischemic damage was done to other organs and tissues. This would block oxygen and nutrients needed for cellular metabolism which could impair Mr. Luck’s body functions.
6. Identify the events that helped save Mr. Luck’s life.
* The fact that Mr. Luck’s head was above water saved his life. His pulse pressure was also normal which indicates his cardiovascular system was still functioning.