The Ice Hockey Injury Case Study Answers

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  • First, I want to thank you all tremendously for the use of this excellent site and material. I have no doubt that this is one of the best ways for students to learn to actually understand and remember the material and be able to apply it to real life situations.

    Regarding this case — mine is a high school anatomy class consisting of 11th & 12th grade students. They were excited to receive the case and related to the individual in the case and his circumstance. As we started they were full of ideas. As they completed each part I questioned the group members and asked for explanations/clarifications, etc., before they received the next part. The students started to get frustrated at the process when they weren’t "told" the answers and needed to do more research. But then they were quite proud when they finally got the answers and could explain why. So, in all, they seemed to go through the cycle of excitement, frustration, excitement, frustration, excitement.... Sort of like real life.

    They did have particular problems with the CT scan. This wasn’t because they had never read one - they actually did a very nice job figuring that part out. (In fact, I gave most of them the CT scan before the blood work so they weren’t quite as sure of the answer yet.) Their difficulty rather resulted from the fact that the upper GI image seems to be flipped backwards from the Chest image. In other words, the right and left side of the body are reversed in the images.

    Outside of patient history I’m not sure there is any reasonable way for them to know it is the patient’s “left” lung. And even with the patient history it could actually be that he damaged his "right" lung when he was smashed against the boards even though he was hit with the stick on his left side. So, as a suggestion, I would like to see that image flipped. I also believe, although I am not certain, that these CT scan images are typically viewed as if you are looking up from the patients feet, thus putting the patient’s left on the viewing right. If that is in fact the case both images should reflect that. [Editor’s Note: The relevant portion of the case has been revised as a result of this comment.]

    As a fun follow-up activity I had the students write an “Ode to Rick” where they wrote a poem summarizing the story, the test results and their meaning, the treatment and prognosis. They really enjoyed it and it helped me see what they understood and still needed some help with. If you would like to see these "poems" for a little chuckle they can be found on my website at

    Again, this case was done beautifully and I highly appreciate the time and effort put into it.

    Thomas Fleetwood
    Science Department
    Charter School of Wilmington
    Wilmington, DE

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