Anatomy word of the month: fontanelle

May 1, 2014 —

little fountainA “little fountain or spring” (derived from the Latin). In laymen’s terms, the “soft spots” of a baby’s head are membranous areas between the skull bones that allow changes in shape of the head as it traverses the birth canal. Minute pulsations of these areas, reflecting the heartbeat, gave rise to its name. The fontanelles gradually are transformed into bone after birth leaving the cranium a single mass of bone with only sutures, lines of merger, as signs of its origin from several separate bones.

Dr. Dyche was born in New Jersey and trained at Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center before coming to Des Moines in 1976. Over 30 plus years he has taught gross anatomy, embryology and neuroanatomy. He also served in administration as associate dean for basic sciences, dean of the College of Health Sciences, and acting director of the PA program. He was one of the founding instructors of CPR and ACLS at a time when few medical schools offered this training. He retired to Oregon in 2008, then returned to DMU in 2009. Did he miss the tornadoes, the below zero wind chills or the cadavers?