Discussing difference in a Biology Course (2021)

Barcin Acar

I use the following case study in my Infectious and Chronic Disease course that is taught to Public Health students. This particular case study is adapted from the Essentials of Public Health Biology textbook. I think I need to work on this particular assignment to incorporate data literacy. This assignment will address the learning outcome of “Describe and demonstrate cultural differences and commonalities among people who have been/are reflected in different time periods, institutions, and social systems”. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Case Study: Cardiac Arrest

Patient is a 49 year old woman who works as a paralegal in a high pressure law office in Washington D.C. Her 70 year old mother recently experienced a stroke that left her unable to care for herself. The Patient moved her mother to live with her and her sons. The patient’s elder brother died from a heart attack recently.

The patient has been generally healthy but had a hysterectomy, along with a removal of both ovaries, after the birth of her youngest son following complications at birth. She has been on hormone replacement therapy since then.

Patient has been feeling exhausted and experiences shortness of breath while walking between subway stops. She has been experiencing dizziness as well, which she attributes to her hectic work and home schedules. She keeps meaning to call her physician who she hasn’t seen for two years.

On a Monday morning, Patient reported to work having been unable to finish a project over the weekend. Her supervisor chastised her in front of everybody in the office. Patient appeared to drop her head to her chest. The staff thought she was overcome by emotions until the patient fell from her chair to the floor. The supervisor immediately started CPR and another coworker rushed to bring automated external defibrillator (AED). Patient received two shocks before paramedics arrived, she was transported to the nearby hospital and received emergency heart catheterization. The procedure showed the right coronary artery was occluded by a clot.  The doctors were able to open the blood vessel with a stent. The doctors concluded the Patient had undergone a myocardial infarction and catheterization showed plaque buildup in the other major blood vessels that supply the heart with blood.


Please answer the following questions.

  1. In United States, which groups of people (age/gender/race/ethnicity/weight/socioeconomic status) are at greatest risk for developing cardiac problems?
  2. What is artherothrombosis?  How does artherothrombosis differ in other countries compared to US? What factors might account for the differences?
  3. Which patient populations are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest in US? What can be done to help prevent sudden cardiac arrest?
  4. What are the expected impacts of Patient’s cardiac arrest and heart attack on her family? What steps can the family take to promote the health and well being of the entire family?
  5. With the aging baby boomers, what can be anticipated in terms of future access to health care for people with cardiovascular disease?
  6. Don’t forget to cite your references in APA format.

This case study is adapted from Essentials of Public Health Biology, C.U. Battle.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Diversity and Social Justice – Faculty Guide (2022 Edition) Copyright © 2021 by Barcin Acar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book