Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Epidural hemotoma example

Tragedies such as the accidental death of actress Natasha Richardson can be opportunities for teaching and learning.

Apparently, what seemed like a minor fall during a skiing lesson in Canada caused epidural bleeding that eventually resulted in the tragic death of a beloved celebrity. While it is fresh in everyone's mind, we have an excellent opportunity to teach and learn about the anatomy of the brain and meninges . . . and apply it to "real" life and death.

This story may also be an interesting basis for a case study to discuss in class or use on a test or exam.

The news report on NBC Nightly News (in the player below) includes a graphic explanation of the problem.

Additional resources given below may also be useful in discussing the subject in class.

The Nightly News report:

Also from MSNBC, this one focused on the anatomical/medical aspects of the tragedy (a bit more detailed than the previous clip):

Here's a clip that shows some interesting medical images of epidural hemotoma:

Here are some links to images that you can use to teach this information:

Diagram of skull and meninges
(FREE from Gray's Anatomy)

Epidural hematoma seen in CT scan

Diagram of epidural hematoma

Cadaver dissection
(links to other medical photos also)

See also

[NOTE: Please check copyright permissions if you plan to import and use any of these images or other rescources]

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