Belvidere North Students Experience Human Cadaver

Belvidere North Students Experience Human Cadaver

Lily Bakulski, Sports Editor

On Thursday, November 15, I, and 47 other students at Belvidere North High School, traveled to the National University of Health Sciences. The 48 of us take the Anatomy and Physiology class that is offered at North and there we got the once in a lifetime chance to see a human cadaver. The National University of Health Sciences is located in Lombard, Illinois.

Our day began at school where we all met at 8:10 in the morning in the main lobby. We all then sat on a bus for an hour and a half and drove into the city of Chicago through a blizzard. Once we arrived at the National University, we were greeted there by the woman who would be walking us through the anatomy of the human cadaver. Once we were sitting in the lab area, she taught us all about what they offer at the National University of Health Sciences. There, they offer massage therapy, naturopathics, biomedical sciences, chiropractic medicine, science in acupuncture and oriental medicine. The woman who taught us was actually a doctor in Chiropractic Medicine which was weird because studying human cadavers is not her specialty.

After she was done talking all about the programs they offer at their university, she told us the two things that they get to know when the human cadaver is donated to them for science. It is the age of the person when they died and what was their cause of death. The human cadaver we got to look at and learn from was an 84 year old woman who died from anorexia. Our speaker then said that her case was rare because anorexia is not usually the reason why someone dies. They found out that her secondary cause of death was cardiomegaly which is enlargement of the heart.

The doctor who spoke to us walked us through her body, first started at her lower leg. There are two main bones in the lower leg, tibia and fibula. Her two bones were fairly small because she was anorexic. She was also a very petite woman..that could be seen by the size of her organs.

“It was a good because we got to see something that we might not ever get to see again. It was also super cool to see the insides of a real human body,” said Brandon Burke (‘20).

Our speaker also walked us through the different muscles found in each part of the body. Looking at her muscles, they are not what everyone thinks they are. They are very tight and long and form to your bones. We learned all about her heart and lungs and we also learned that your heart actually sits in the middle of your chest, not the left side.

Once we were done being walked through her body, all of us students got the chance to go up to her body and hold her organs and to look at a human cadaver. We also got the chance to hold a real human brain, study a cirrhotic liver, feel a gallbladder with gallstones and hold a cross dissection of a spinal cord.

Overall, this trip was a wonderful experience for all of us. Some of us learned that we never want to go into a profession involving the human body and I feel that some of us found in fascinating.

“The cadaver lab field trip was a once in a lifetime experience that not a lot of high schoolers get to go on. It definitely gave me the confidence that I can achieve my goals in the medical field,” said Ashlyn Smith (‘19).

There will hopefully be another trip next spring to the National University of Health Sciences where another group of students will get to experience what really lives inside our bodies.