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Chapter 1

Critical Thinking Questions

1. A 67-year old man is found dead after being involved in an unwitnessed automobile

accident. His family reports that he had a history of heart disease and diabetes
mellitus. An autopsy is ordered to determine the cause of death. Describe the
procedures used in an autopsy and what the coroner would examine in this specific
case to make a determination.
2. A 37-year old woman is admitted to the hospital after complaining of chest pains.

She admits to having had severe headaches for several days prior to seeking
medical help. She is also taking medications for high blood pressure and is four
months pregnant. Which medical imaging procedures listed in your text would be the
best choice of a physician attempting to determine her condition? (Assume all
equipment is available and there are unlimited funds to cover costs incurred.)

Chapter 2
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Buffer systems are vital chemicals that help to maintain the pH of body fluids. Using
the carbonic acid-bicarbonate buffer pair as an example, explain how the buffer
operates to counteract a strong acid or a strong base.
2. Compare the diagrams of the chemical structures of the two major categories of
energy-providing molecules in our food: carbohydrates and lipids. What is it about
the structure of lipids that causes them to contain so many more calories than an
equivalent volume of carbohydrates?

Chapter 3
Critical Thinking Questions
1. The systems of your body are capable of performing specialized functions that keep

you alive and enable you to reproduce. In a very general kind of way, a cell is also
capable of performing specific functions that maintain it on a daily basis and enable
it to reproduce. For each of the following functions, list all of the parts of a
generalized cell that might be involved support, movement, coordination, respiration,
digestion, transportation, excretion, food procurement, energy production, making
proteins, and reproduction.
2. How can an adult lose billions of cells from all parts of the body each day and still

Chapter 4
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Assume that a person has just sustained a penetrating wound in an automobile
accident. Initial observation indicates that the skin, underlying muscles, and several
nerves have been damaged. Based on your knowledge of tissue repair, how would
you assess the degree of repair anticipated for each of the three tissues?
2. What is the advantage of several layers of squamous epithelium rather than one
thicker single layer of columnar epithelial cells in a place such as the surface of the

3. As people age, their facial features change somewhat; not only does skin fold and
wrinkle, but the nose and ears appear to change in size. What tissue forms the
framework for these structures, and why does the size change occur?

Chapter 5
Critical Thinking Questions
1. A victim of a fire is admitted to the emergency room. You observe considerable
damage to the epidermis and dermis of both arms and the front and back portions of
the trunk. You also note patches of charred skin and insensitivity to touch. What type
of burn is indicated by these characteristics? Using the Lund-Browder method as a
guide, estimate how much of the persons body is burned. What is the probability of
scarring? Explain your answer.
2. Explain why a person who lived in a dark cave might have weaker bones and teeth
than someone who lived outdoors, even if their diets were the same. (Hint: Calcium
and phosphorus are important to bone and tooth structures.)
3. A 70 year old man was diagnosed by his dermatologist with the three forms
of skin cancer. Describe the types of skin cancer the patient has, the possible
treatment for each type, and the prognosis.
Critical Thinking Questions
1. A 17-year-old male is admitted to the emergency room with a possible fracture of the

tibia. Roentgenograms (x-rays of his leg are taken), and he explains to you that the
accident occurred while he was playing basketball. He also tells you that he expects
to play basketball when he enters college in the fall and asks you if you think he will

grow any more. Examining the roetgenograms, you observe that the epiphyseal
cartilage of his shin bone appears undamaged by the injury. Based on this
observation, how would you answer his question about his future growth?
2. A 55-year-old woman is told by her physician that she has osteoporosis. He explains

to her that her condition is related to change of life. What are three ways by which
she might have prevented or forestalled this situation and what might the physician
suggest to improve the present condition?
3. The ski patrol were called to two skiing accidents. The first accident involved a 16

year old male who sustained a fracture to his tibia and fibula. The second accident
involved a 35 year old female who damaged the articular cartilage in her knee.
Which of the two accident victims will heal faster? Be able to explain why.
Chapter 7
Critical Thinking Questions
1. A six-year-old child is diagnosed with severe scoliosis. Considering what you know
about abnormal spinal curvatures and about the thoracic cavity, what risks would
you expect a physician to outline for the parents of this child?
2. As you were driving down the highway, you observed a one car wreck. When you
stopped to render aid, the driver of the car complained of chest pain in the area of
the ribs and pain upon breathing after impacting the steering wheel of his car. What
might be the cause of the pain and the possible consequences?

Chapter 8
Critical Thinking Questions
1. A 25-year-old obstetrical patient confides that she is quite concerned about the very
large size of the baby she is carrying relative to her small frame and possible
problems she might have at the time of delivery. Explain the various adaptations of
the female skeleton that will help her during delivery. Also explain to her the
diagnostic techniques that can be utilized to help rule out a true problem with
2. You have been a runner all of your life. Yesterday, you ran down a street undergoing
construction and today your right leg and knee hurt. Explain what possible problem
might be occurring with your knee joint.
3. Explain why the pectoral girdle is less stable than the pelvic girdle.

Chapter 9
Critical Thinking Questions
1. A patient is diagnosed as having the following clinical symptoms: swollen joints, pain
and tenderness in the joints, and some joint immobility. What is the probable
disorder? Since no bone spurs have formed, what disorder could be ruled out? What
condition is suspected if the patient has an excessive buildup of uric acid in the
2. An exercise instructor and an anatomy instructor got together and decided to test
their students together. The test question required the students to describe exercise

activities that include each of the different synovial joint movements. What exercises
would demonstrate or include each of the synovial joint movements?

Chapter 10
Critical Thinking Questions
1. A patient is admitted to the hospital for a series of diagnostic tests. Evaluation
indicates the following symptoms: drooping of the eyelids, poor muscle tone, flaccid
skeletal muscles, speech problems, and low levels of acetylcholine. What is the
probable diagnosis? What is the reason for the atrophy of the skeletal muscles?
2. A long-distance runner is about to enter a 10-kilometer race. Prior to the race, he
spends several minutes warming up. After the race, he is so out of breath that he
collapses just after crossing the finish line. What kind of muscle contraction is
involved in warming up? Explain the operation of the principle of warming up. Why
was the runner out of breath after the race? What was happening inside his body
while he was attempting to catch his breath?
Chapter 11
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Your next-door neighbor has been diagnosed with Bells palsy. Your neighbor wants
you to explain what Bells palsy is and what tissues are affected. What will you tell
your neighbor?
2. The pitcher of your sons little league baseball team has a rotator cuff injury. What is
this injury and what might cause it?

3. A local athlete pulled his groin during a game. What is a pulled groin and what
muscles are affected?

Chapter 12
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Given a diagram of a multi-polar neuron, carefully detail the events that occur in
each part of the neuron and the functions of each part of the neuron.
2. You have a patient who has been diagnosed with MS. The patient wants to know
exactly what is happening to his body. Explain the normal formation and function of
the myelin sheaths and what is occurring to the myelin sheaths in your patients

Chapter 13
Critical Thinking Questions
1. After touching a very hot barbecue grill, you immediately withdraw your hand. What
kind of reflex arc is involved? Where are the receptors located? What is the function
of the receptors? Where is the center in this reflex arc? What is the role of the
2. A patient with a suspected neurological disorder is examined and found to have an
exaggerated patellar reflex and no abdominal reflex. Describe a normal patellar
reflex and a normal abdominal reflex. In view of the findings, where is the probable

site of injury or disease in the central nervous system? If your diagnosis is correct,
what body activities are most likely to be affected?
3. Explain why spinal segment #25 does not lie under vertebra #25 (lumbar vertebra
#5, or L5). Why is this knowledge useful in performing a spinal tap (lumbar
Chapter 14
Critical Thinking Questions
1. A 35-year-old male exhibits the following symptoms: tremors of the arms and hands,
rigidity of the facial muscles, wide-eyed unblinking stare, and saliva drooling from the
corners of the mouth. What is the probable disorder? How may the condition be
2. An 18-year-old male was involved in a car wreck where he suffered a whiplash
injury. Based on your knowledge of the brain stem, what problems might he be
facing depending on the extent of his injuries?
Chapter 15
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Two sisters, Kristin and Kathy, are out for a drive when a car attempting to pass
them careens off the road and rolls over onto its roof, coming to rest in the median
strip of the highway. The sisters stop their car and attempt to give assistance to the
driver, who identifies himself as Michael and who is still inside the car. Kristin
observes that the driver has sustained a serious compound fracture of the leg and
promptly faints. Kathy, on the other hand, is able to lift several hundred pounds of

wreckage off of the drivers leg, which was trapped under the car, and pull Michael to
safety just before the car is consumed by fire. Explain how the autonomic nervous
system could mediate such different reactions to the situation as experienced by
Kristin and Kathy.
2. We have all heard that we should not eat a large and heavy meal and immediately
go out and do some vigorous swimming. Based on your knowledge of the ANS,
explain why we shouldnt attempt vigorous exercise immediately after eating a large
Chapter 16
Critical Thinking Questions
1. A patient being treated for a liver disorder complains of pain in the neck region. She
is quite concerned that the newly felt pain so far removed from her liver may be an
added complication. Explain to her why it is possible to feel pain in a surface area of
the body quite far removed from the stimulated organ. What is this phenomenon
called? Give several examples of the phenomenon.
2. A DWI suspect was stopped by a police officer who administered a field sobriety
test. The suspect admitted to having several drinks before driving and showed signs
of intoxication including slurred speech, slowed reflexes, and lack of balance.
Explain what neural and/or spinal events have resulted in this condition, including
the possible pathways involved.

Chapter 17
Critical Thinking Questions
1. The seventh grade class of a junior high school has just completed its annual eye
examination. The examiner determines that there are only two abnormal cases. One
child has myopia and the other hypermetropia. What is myopia? Why does it occur?
How should it be corrected? What is hypermetropia? Why does it occur? How
should it be corrected?
2. A sixteen-hear-old boy has been diagnosed with partial deafness in both of his ears.
Prior to the diagnosis, he spent most of his free time listening to loud music from the
earphones he always wore. Explain what might be the cause of his deafness.