Answers to… Shark Attack!

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Answers to…
Shark Attack!
1. Identify at least five organ
systems located in this region of
the arm that the surgeon would
have marked for reattachment.
• Circulatory, skeletal, lymphatic,
nervous, integumentary, and
muscular.
2. List the names of the
specific structures that had
to be reattached
• Specific bone: Humerus
2. List the names of the
specific structures that had
to be reattached
• Specific muscles: Biceps
brachii, brachialis, triceps,
tendon of the coracobrachialis
and/or part of the
brachioradialis (depending on
exact location of bite).
2. List the names of the
specific structures that had
to be reattached
• Specific nerves: Median nerve,
ulnar nerve, radial nerve,
musculocutaneous nerve,
antebrachial cutaneous nerves.
2. List the names of the
specific structures that had
to be reattached
• Specific blood vessels: Brachial
artery, superior and inferior
collateral artery, profunda brachii
artery and veins, cephalic vein,
basilic vein, other venous
tributaries.
3. What organ system was
most likely not
reattached? Explain.
• Lymphatic, since the vessels are
very small and hard to find. Also
the surgeons need to get the blood
flowing as quickly as possible and
not take the time to reattach the
lymphatic vessels, which are not as
critical.
4. Why was a clean bite so
important?
• Ragged edges would make ends
of blood vessels and nerves
difficult to identify and put
together, while clean edges
would facilitate identification
and reattachment.
5. Why was the bone shortened?
• To cut off the damaged area
and to avoid stretching the
severed blood vessels and
nerves.
6. Identify the movements
associated with the arm,
forearm, wrist, and fingers.
• Flexion, extension, abduction,
adduction, grasping, and
mobility of individual fingers.
7. Explain how the movements of
the reattached arm might be
altered after the reattachment.
• Decreased, because not all
nerve fibers are reconnected or
can regenerate.
8. Identify specific types of
activities that might cause Jim
problems after recovery.
• Grasping and moving individual
fingers.
9. Why would full use of his
forearm and hand be unlikely?
• Jim would not likely regain full
use of his forearm and hand
because not all of the nerve
fibers would regenerate.
10. Assume the role of the surgeons
as they explain the procedure to
Jim's parents. Write a one- to twopage explanation about the surgery,
paying particular attention to what
you would say about regaining use of
his arm, forearm, and hand.
• This is a summary of what students
have learned from the previous
questions but put into their own
words.
11. Assume the surgery to reconnect
blood vessels was successful and
blood flow was re-established
immediately throughout the
arm. Would the nerves of the arm
recover as quickly and completely as
the muscles? Explain why or why not.
• (11) If the surgery were
successful, the nerves would not
recover as quickly and completely
as the muscles because nerves do
not grow or regenerate as
well. [Students may discuss the
role of the myelin sheath when
explaining the problems
associated with getting all the
fibers to reconnect.]
12. How might this situation
have been different if Jim
had been 80 instead of 8
years old?
• (12) An 80-year-old person might
have underlying medical conditions
that would make reattachment
difficult (e.g., congestive heart
failure, diabetes, arteriosclerosis,
a weakened immune system, or
other age-related problems). A
person that old would also have
more difficulty regenerating
nerves and having the brain
understand any "rewiring."
The End of
Shark Attack!

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