Case studies

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Case 1 – Chapter 12

Ahmed has worked as a phlebotomist in the local hospital for the last 7 years. Last year, he began to complain of watery, nasal congestion and wheezing whenever he went to work. He suspected he was allergic to something at the hospital because his symptoms abated when he was at home over the weekends. One day, he arrived at work for the morning shift and put on his gloves. Within minutes, he went into severe respiratory distress requiring treatment in the emergency ward. It was determined at that time that his allergic response was due to latex exposure (Learning Objectives 5 to 7).

  1. Ahmed experienced a type I, IgE-mediated hypersensitivity response. How can this be determined by his signs and symptoms? How might another type of latex hypersensitivity reaction present?
  2. How do T2H cells, mast cells, and eosinophils function to produce the signs and symptoms typical of a type I hypersensitivity disorder?
  3. How is it that someone who does not come into direct contact with latex can still have a hypersensitivity response to the material? What do food allergies have to do with latex allergies?

Case 2 – Chapter 4

Marsha and Clement are both carriers of sickle cell anemia, a disease that is autosomal recessive. Their first child, Amelia, does not have the disease. Marsha and Clement are planning another pregnancy, but they are concerned about their second child having the condition. Clement’s father died from complications of sickle cell disease shortly before Amelia was born (Learning Objective 8).

  1. Draw a Punnett square to determine the likelihood of Marsha and Clement having a baby with sickle cell anemia. What is the chance the baby will be a carrier of the disease, just like the parents?
  2. Marsha suggested to the nurse at the local family planning clinic that if the baby were a boy, he might have a higher risk of developing the disease, just like his grandfather. If you were this nurse, how would you respond?
  3. When Amelia, who does not have sickle cell anemia, grows up and marries someone who does have the disease, how likely will her children have the disease?
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