Circulatory Case Study 5


Mr. Hutchinson, a 41 year-old otherwise, healthy male was involved in a traffic collision on Interstate 880 in Oakland.  He was brought to the Children’s Hospital of Oakland emergency room unconscious with a tourniquet around his left thigh.  The paramedic on scene said that he was thrown out of his vehicle and his left leg was pinned beneath his car for at least 30 minutes.  He has lost a fair amount of blood but currently all hemorrhaging has been stopped.  The attending ER doctor noted the following before sending Mr. Hutchinson to the emergency operating room:





  1. Trace a drop of blood from the heart to the body and back to the heart.
    Distinguish between arteries, veins and capillaries both functionally and structurally.
  2. Describe the composition and functions of blood.
  3. Compare and contrast artery, vein and capillary structure. Include locations and functions of each type of blood vessel.
  4. Why would the patient be diaphoretic after the accident?
  5. Describe the body’s mechanisms that are attempting to maintain blood pressure in the face of blood loss.
  6. Relative to tissue requirements for oxygen, what is the condition of Mr. Hutchinson’s left leg?
  7. Will the fracture be attended to first, or will Mr. Hutchinson’s other homeostatic needs take priority?  Explain your choice and predict his surgical treatment.
  8. What do you conclude regarding Mr. Hutchinson’s cardiovascular measurements (pulse and BP), and what measures should be taken prior to surgery?