Aneurysm Model

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The aneurysm model was made by cutting two 16-inch lengths from the legs of red tights.

One length represented the healthy artery- it stretched and contracted easily to simulate how a healthy artery expands to fill a “beat” of blood, then contracts to push that blood along. We created the artery with the aneurysm by making a 1-inch hole near the center of a 12 inch long cardboard cylindrical tube that was 3 inches in diameter. Next, we slid the tube inside the second length of tights, pulling about two inches of the tights out over the end of the tube, tucking it inside the tube to cover the cardboard edge and securely attaching the tucked in portion of the tights to the inside of the tube with glue. After the glue set, we gently pulled the tights along the outside of the cylinder until they were smooth, tucked the excess tights inside the other end of the tube and secured it with glue.

Subsequently we attached a balloon to a balloon inflater with a twister tie, placed the balloon and inflater in the tube until the balloon was next to the 1-inch circular hole. Then we gently pressed the balloon through the hole and positioned it between the outside of the tube and the red tights. When the balloon was inflated, it looked like an aneurysm in an artery. As the balloon was inflated we described how plaque hardens arteries, raises blood pressure and may weaken a part of the artery so much that the increased blood pressure can cause an aneurysm. Then we described how the aneurysm may burst and cause internal bleeding.

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