CASE STUDY – AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM. ALL CASE STUDY RESPONSES MUST BE INCLUDE CITATIONS
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. Although anxious and scared about what they might see at the wreckage, the sisters stop their car and attempt to give assistance to the driver. The driver, who is trapped in the car and is still conscious, identifies himself as Nick Nitwit. Kristin and Kathy observe that the driver has sustained a serious compound fracture of the leg and severe trauma to his thigh. Nick's thigh was bleeding profusely, and his tibia and fibula were both exposed. It was clearly visible to both ladies that the tibia had multiple fractures. With heart racing and sweat pouring down her face, Kathy immediately gets on her cell phone and calls the paramedics. She then turns to her sister Kristin to suggest that they lift the car off Nick. To her dismay, Kristin looks as white as ghost and before Kathy could say a word, Kristin promptly faints. Kathy, on the other hand, jumps into action and is able to lift several hundred pounds of wreckage off of the driver's leg, and pull Mr. Nitwit to safety just before the car is consumed by fire. Kathy then turns her attention to Kristin, but she had already regained consciousness. Kristin told her sister she was embarrassed and she apologized profusely for her actions, as they waited for the paramedics to come.
Based on your knowledge of functional generalization and some important exceptions of the autonomic nervous system:
1. 1) Explain the response mediated by the autonomic nervous system of Kristin. Give evidence from the case to help support your answer.
2. 2) Explain the response mediated by the autonomic nervous system of Kathy. Give evidence from the case to help support your answer.
3. 3) Do think that Kristin was right to be embarrassed and indeed needed to apologize for her actions? Give reasons (based on your knowledge of nervous system physiology) for your answers.
4. 4) Describe one example when the two branches of the autonomic nervous system coordinate activities of certain structures to enhance the responses rather than oppose them.