Lence Lazoroski Mary S Case Study PS520

3021 words 13 pages
Mary’s Case Study
Unit 5
Lence Lazoroski

PS520-01: Neuropsychology
March 4, 2012

Case Study Summary
Mary S. is a 17-year-old Latina High School Junior who is popular amongst her peers and performs academically in the top quarter of her class. One day, while at a party, she was dared by her friends to dive off a second floor balcony in the swimming pool. When she dove head first, she slipped and experienced a sharp blow to her head on the side of the pool. She was unconscious and had to be pulled out of the water by her friends. Once out of the water, her friends noticed that that she was bleeding freely on the side of her head where she struck the side of the pool.
Mary was rushed to a hospital ICU
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A TBI can be an open head injury or a closed head injury. “Open head injuries are injuries in which the skull has been fractured or the membranes surrounding the brain (dura mater) have been breached” (All About TBI, 2012, para 5). These types of injuries are very serious and may require surgery to extract pieces of the fractured skull and implant synthetic pieces. Closed head injuries, on the other hand, do not break the skull and are typically caused by blows to the head. Both open and closed head injuries can cause mild to severe brain damage (All About TBI, 2012).
Diagnostic Imaging Scans
Since the PET scan administered to Mary indicated bruising and hemorrhaging on the frontal lobes tissues, it can be assumed that she suffered a closed head injury (there are no indications that she needed any surgical repair which would have suggested an open head injury) (All About TBI, 2012). “Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance (called a tracer) to look for disease in the body. Unlike magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans, which reveal the structure of organs, a PET scan shows how the organs and tissues are functioning” (Titolo, 2010, para 1). PET scans use a small amount of a radioactive substance injected into a vein which travels through the blood and