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Environmental Factors That Affect The Human Body

Many changes happen from conception to birth. A single-celled zygote multiplies and grows over approximately nine months into a living, breathing human being composed of trillions of cells. That's quite an amazing feat! With such rapid growth occurring, it is not surprising that the developing fetus is vulnerable to a number of different environmental influences.

For this Application assignment, refer to the following Case Study about Sam, a male infant:

An infant male, Sam, was born to Jane and Roberto. Jane works in the city as a medical transcriptionist, but requested 12 weeks of family leave effective immediately upon Sam's birth.

Sam was born six weeks premature, by Cesarean delivery. His Apgar score at one minute was five after receiving oxygen, his Apgar score at five minutes was eight. Apart from the first few minutes after birth, Sam has not required oxygen or respiratory assistance. Because of his prematurity, Sam stayed in the hospital for 72 hours before he was discharged.

Jane drank occasionally throughout the pregnancy, but reported drinking most heavily during the last trimester of her pregnancy, which was about the time Roberto got laid off from his job. There is suspicion, although not confirmed, that Sam has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Sam is a fussy eater, requiring short and frequent feedings. He has been home for two weeks and wakes up hungry every two hours. He does not sleep through the night.

Roberto and Jane live in a house in a rural area. They do not have a network of friends and family who live nearby who can help, but Jane's mother has offered to move in with them temporarily. Roberto and Jane's mother get along very well. Jane is debating whether she should reduce her family leave and go back to work earlier than she had planned.

Many of the details in the above case study have purposely been left ambiguous (e.g., ethnicity, geographic location, etc.) so that you can make some conjectures of your own and relate that to Sam's short-term and long-term prognosis.

Describe environmental factors presented in the Case Study, as well as others that may be present but not specifically identified in the Case Study that might affect Sam's development.
With the environmental factors you explained in mind, describe what you think the best case scenario and the worst case scenario might be for Sam's short-term developmental outcomes and explain why.
Be specific, provide examples, and justify your response with citations from the Learning Resources/literature.

Solution Preview

Case Study:

The environmental factors that can affect the human body are the factors in the intermediate environment of the human body, the social & economic environment and the cultural environment the environmental factors presented in the case study (The Role, n.d). The factors that might affect Sam's development are factors like Sam being born premature. This may hinder proper development of his physical body since this can lead to disabilities such as loss vision, cerebral palsy, etc.

The other environmental factor that can affect Sam's development is the drinking behavior that was practiced by Jane her mother especially at the final stages of her pregnancy. This is because excessive drinking puts the infant at a risk of getting Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). This disorder describes the mental and physical defects an infant gets because of being exposed to alcohol before birth. This defect causes the infant to be retarded and have problems in learning, behavior and also emotional problems. Exposing an infant to excessive drinking before it's born also leads to defect ...

Solution Summary

The environmental factors that can affect the human body are examined in this case.