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362 Cards in this Set

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Term
Definition
EMS System
Emergency Medical Services system.
EMT-Basic
emergency medical technician trained to the basic level.
EMT-Intermediate
emergency medical technician trained to the intermediate level.
First Responder
a person typically trained to the first-responder level who is likely to be the first person on the scene with emergency care training.
Advanced Emergency Medical Technician
under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2005 National EMS scope of practice model, designation of the level of EMS practitioner that will replace the existing EMT-Intermediate level with the addition of the use of advanced airway devices, monitoring of blood glucose levels, initiation of intravenous and intraosseous infusions, and administration of a select number of medications.
Emergency Medical Responder
under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2005 National EMS Scope of Practice Model, designation of the level of EMS practitioner that will replace the existing first-responder level.
Emergency Medical Technician
under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2005 National EMS Scope of Practice Model, designation of the level of EMS practitioner that will replace the existing EMT-Basic level with the addition of advanced oxygen therapy and ventilation equipment, pulse oximetry, use of automatic blood pressure monitoring equipment, and limited medical administration.
EMT-Paramedic
emergency medical technician trained to the paramedic level.
Paramedic
under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2005 National EMS Scope of Practice Model, designation of the level of EMS practitioner that will replace the existing EMT Paramedic level to provide the highest level of prehospital care, including advanced assessments, formation of a field impression, and invasive and drug interventions.
prehospital care
emergency medical treatment given to patients before they are transported to a hospital or other facility. Also called out-of-hospital care.
Americans with Disabilities Act
a federal law passed in 1990 that protect individuals with a documented disability from being denied initial or continued employment based on their disability.
medical direction
medical policies, procedures, and practices that are available to EMS providers either off-line or on-line.
medical director
physician who is legally responsible for the clinical and patient care aspects of an EMS system.
medical oversight
the medical director's broad responsibilities, including all clinical and administrative functions and activities necessary to exercise ultimate responsibility for the emergency care provided by individual personnel and the entire emergency medical services (EMS) system.
off-line medical direction
medical policies, procedures, and practices that medical direction has established in written guidelines.
on-line medical direction
direct orders from a physician to a prehospital care provider given by radio or telephone.
protocols
the policies and procedures for all components of an EMS system. Also called orders or standing orders.
standing orders
preauthorized treatment procedures; a type of treatment protocol. See also off-line medical direction, protocols.
quality improvement
a system of internal and external reviews and audits of an EMS system to ensure a high quality of care. Also known as continuous quality improvement (CQI).
burnout
a condition resulting from chronic job stress, characterized by a state of irritability and fatigue that can markedly decrease effectiveness
critical incident
any situation that causes unusually strong emotions that interfere with the ability to function
critical incident stress debriefing
a session usually held within 24 to 72 hours of a critical incident, where a team of peer counselors and mental health professionals help emergency service personnel work through the emotions that normally follow a critical incident.
defusing
a session held prior to a critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) for emergency service personnel most directly involved to provide an opportunity to vent emotions and get information before the CISD>
pathogens
microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses that cause disease
body substance isolation
see standard precautions
personal protective equipment
equipment worn to protect against injury and spreading infectious disease
standard precautions
a method of preventing infection y disease organisms based on the premise that all blood and body fluids are infections. Formerly called body substance isolation.
cleaning
the process of washing a soiled object with soap and water
disinfecting
in addition to cleaning, this process involves using a disinfectant such as alcohol or bleach to kill many of the microorganisms that may be present on the surface of an object
purified protein derivative tuberculin test
a test to determine the presence of a tuberculosis infection based on a person's positive reaction to tuberculin, a substance prepared from the tubercle bacillus.
sterilization
the process by which an object is subject to certain chemical or physical substances *typically, superheated steam in an autoclave) that kill all microorganisms on the surface of an object.
duty to act
the obligation to care for a patient who requires it.
scope of practice
the actions and care that are legally allowed to be provided by an EMT.
standard of care
emergency care that would be expected to be given to a patient by any trained EMT under similar circumstanced.
good Samaritan law
a law that provides immunity from liability for acts performed in good faith to assist at the scene of a medical emergency unless those acts constitute gross negligence.
advance directive
instructions, written in advance, such as a living will or do not resuscitate (DNR) order.
do not resuscitate order
a legal document, usually signed by the patient and his physician, that indicates to medical personnel which, if any, life-sustaining measures should be taken when the patient's heart and respiratory functions have ceased.
expressed consent
permission that must be obtained from every conscious, mentally competent adult before emergency treatment may be provided.
implied consent
the assumption that, in a true emergency where a patient who is unresponsive or unable to make a rational decision is at significant risk of death, disability, or deterioration of condition, that patient would agree to emergency treatment.
informed consent
consent for treatment that is given by a competent patient based on full disclosure of possible risks and consequences.
minor consent
permission obtained from a parent or legal guardian for emergency treatment of a minor or a mentally incompetent adult.
intentional tort
a wrongful act, injury, or damage that is committed knowingly.
negligence
the act of deviating form an accepted standard of care through carelessness, inattention, disregard, inadvertence, or oversight, which results in further injury to the patient. Simple negligence is a failure to perform care or commission of an error in care. Gross negligence is willful, wanton, or extremely reckless patient care that goes far beyond simple negligence or carelessness and that can be construed as being dangerous to the patient.
proximate cause
the act of deviating from an accepted standard of care through carelessness, inattention, disregard, inadvertence, or oversight, which results in further injury to the patient.
tort
a wrongful act, injury, or damage. See also intentional tort.
abandonment
the act of discontinuing emergency care without ensuring that another health care professional with equivalent or better training will take over.
assault
a willful threat to inflict harm on a person.
battery
the act of touching a person unlawfully without his consent.
defamation
an intentional false communication that injures another person's reputation or good name.
false imprisonment
the intentional and unjustifiable detention of a person without his consent or other legal authority.
libel
the act of injuring a person's reputation or good name in writing or through the mass media with malicious intent or reckless disregard for the falsity of those statements.
slander
the act of injuring a person's reputation or good name through spoken statements with malicious intent or reckless disregard for the falsity of those statements.
consolidated omnibus budget reconciliation act
a federal regulation that ensures the public's access to emergency health care regardless of ability to pay.
emergency medical treatment and active labor act
a federal regulation that ensures the public's access to emergency health care regardless of ability to pay. Also known as the "anti-patient dumping statute" forbidding turning a patient away at the door or sending him to a public hospital because of in ability to pay.
health insurance portability and accountability act
a federal law enacted in 1996 that protects the privacy of patient health care information and gives the patient control over how the information is distributed and used.
anatomical position
a position in which the patient is standing erect, facing forward, with arms down at the sides and palms forward
anatomy
the study of the structure of the body and the relationship of its parts to each other
lateral recumbent
a position in which the patient is lying on the left or right side. also called recovery position
physiology
the study of the function of the living body and its parts.
prone
lying face down.
supine
lying face up.
Fowler's position
a position in which the patient is lying on the back with upper body elevated at a 45 degree to 60 degree angle. semi-Fowler's position is when the upper body is at an angle less than 45 degrees.
Trendelenburg position
lying on the back with the lower part of the body elevated higher than the head on an inclined plane.
anatomical planes
imaginary divisions of the body
anterior plane
the front, or abdominal side of the body.
frontal plane
a vertical plane drawn side to side through the body from the midaxillary line on one side to the midaxillary line on the opposite side, which divides the body into anterior and posterior planes.
left plane
everything to the left of the midline
midaxillary line
an imaginary line that divides the body into anterior and posterior planes; the imaginary line form the middle of the armpit to the ankle
midaxillary line
an imaginary line that divides the body into anterior and posterior planes; the imaginary line from the middle of the armpit to the ankle.
midline
an imaginary line drawn vertically through the middle of the patient's body, dividing it into right and left planes.
posterior plane
the back or dorsal side of the body.
right plane
everything to the right of the midline.
sagittal plane
a vertical plane drawn front to back through the body at the midline, dividing the body into right and left planes.
shock position
elevation of the legs of a supine patient approximately 12 inches; an alternative to the Trendelenburg position.
anterior
toward the front. Opposite of posterior.
bilateral
on both sides
distal
distant, or far from the point of reference. Opposite of proximal.
dorsal
toward the back or spine. Opposite of ventral
inferior plane
everything below the transverse line (below the waist). Opposite to superior plane.
interior
beneath, lower, or toward the feet. opposite to superior.
lateral
refers to the left or right of the midline, or away from the midline, or to the side of the body. See also medial
left
refers to the patient's left
medial
toward the midline or center of the body. see also lateral.
midaxillary
refers to the center of the armpit (axilla)
midaxillary
refers to the center of the collarbone (clavicle).
midclavicular
refers to the center of the collarbone (clavicle).
midclavicular line
the imaginary line from the center of either clavicle down the anterior thorax.
palmar
relates to the palm of the hand.
plantar
refers to the sole of the foot.
posterior
toward the back. opposite of anterior.
proximal
near the point of reference. Opposite of distal.
right
refers to the patient's right
superior
above; toward the head. Opposite to inferior.
superior plane
everything above the transverse line (above the waist). Opposite to inferior plane.
transverse line
an imaginary line drawn horizontally through the waist.
transverse plane
an imaginary line drawn horizontally through the waist, front to back, which divides the body into superior and inferior planes.
ventral
toward the front, or toward the anterior portion of the body. Opposite of dorsal.
abdominal quadrants
the four parts of the abdomen as divided by imaginary horizontal and vertical lines through the umbilicus
cranium
the bones that form the top, back, and sides of the skull plus the forehead.
musculoskeletal system
the system of bones and muscle plus connective tissue that provides support and protection to the body and permits motion
skull
the bony structure at the top of the spinal column that houses and protects the brain. The skull has two parts, the cranium and the face.
cervical spine
the first seven vertebrae, or the neck
coccyx
the last four vertebrae, or tailbone.
face
the area of the skull between toe brow and the chin
lumbar spine
the five vertebrae that form the lower back, located between the sacral and the thoracic spine.
mandible
the lower jaw.
maxillae
the fused bones of the upper jaw.
nasal bones
the bones that form the bed of the nose.
orbits
the eye sockets
sacral spine
five vertebrae that are fused together to form the rigid part of the posterior side of the pelvis. Also called the sacrum.
spinal column
the column of vertebrae that encloses the spinal cord.
sternum
the breastbone.
thoracic spine
the upper back, or the 12 thoracic vertebrae directly inferior to the cervical spine.
thorax
the chest, or that part of the body between the base of the neck and the diaphragm.
vertebrae
the 33 bony segments of the spinal column. pl of vertebra.
zygomatic bones
the cheek bones.
acetabulum
the rounded cavity or socket on the external surface of the pelvis that receives the head of the femur
calcaneus
the heel bone
clavicle
the collarbone, attached to the superior portion of the sternum.
extremities
the limbs of the body. the lower extremities include the hips, thighs, legs, ankles, and feet. the upper extremities include the shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist, and hand.
femur
the thigh bone
fibula
the lateral, smaller long bone of the lower leg
iliac crest
the upper margin of the bones of the pelvis.
ischium
the posterior and inferior portion of the pelvis
malleolus
the knobby surface landmark of the ankle. There is a medial malleolus and a lateral malleolus.
manubrium
the superior portion of the sternum where the clavicle is attached.
patella
the kneecap
pelvis
the bones that form the floor of the abdominal cavity: the sacrum and coccyx of the spine, the iliac crests, the pubis, and the ischium.
pubis
bone of the groin.
tarsals
the bones of the ankle, hind foot, and midfoot.
tibia
the medial, larger bone of the lower leg; the shinbone.
xiphoid process
inferior portion of the sternum.
acromiun
the lateral triangular projection of the scapula that forms the point of the shoulder
carpals
the eight bones that form the wrist.
humerus
the largest bone in the upper extremity, located in the proximal portion of the upper arm
joint
a place where one bone meets another
metacarpals
the bones of the hand
metatarsals
the bones that form the arch of the foot.
olecranon
the part of the ulna that forms the bony prominence of the elbow.
phalanges
bones of the fingers, thumbs, and toes. pl of phalanx.
radius
the lateral bone of the forearm.
scapula
the shoulder blade.
ulna
the medial bone of the forearm
cardiac muscle
a kind of involuntary muscle found only in the walls of the hearts. Cardiac muscle has automaticity, the ability to generate an impulse on its own, separately from the central nervous system.
involuntary muscle
muscle that carries out the automatic muscular functions of the body. also called smooth muscle.
voluntary muscle
any muscle that can be consciously controlled by the individual. also called skeletal muscle.
Adam's apple
see thyroid cartilage
cricoid cartilage
the lowermost cartilage of the larynx.
epiglottis
a small, leaf shaped flap of tissue located immediately posterior to the root of the tongue, that covers the entrance of the larynx to keep food and liquid from entering the trachea and lungs
esophagus
a passageway at the lower end of the pharynx that leads to the stomach
larynx
structure that houses the vocal cords and is located inferior to the pharynx and superior to the trachea
nasopharynx
nasal portion of the pharynx situated above the soft palate.
oropharynx
the central portion of the pharynx lying between the soft palate and the epiglottis with the mouth as the opening.
oxygenation
the form of respiration in which oxygen molecules move across a membrane from an area of high oxygen concentration to an area of low oxygen concentration, as when oxygen moves out of a blood vessel into a cell.
pharynx
the throat, or passageway for air from the nasal cavity to the larynx and passageway for food from the mouth to the esophagus.
respiration
the process of moving oxygen and carbon dioxide across membranes, in and out of alveoli, capillaries, and cells; gas exchange
respiratory system
the organs involved in the exchange of gases between an organism and the atmosphere
thyroid cartilage
the Adam's apple; the anterior cartilage that covers the larynx.
trachea
the windpipe.
ventilation
the mechanical process by which air is moved in and out of the lungs, primarily caused by changes in pressure inside the chest.
alveoli
the air sacs of the lungs. pl of alveolus
bronchi
the two main branches leading from the trachea to the lungs, providing the passageway for air movement. pl of bronchus.
bronchioles
small branches of the bronchi
diaphragm
a powerful dome-shaped muscle essential to respiration that also separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity.
intercostal muscles
the muscles between the ribs
lungs
the principal organs of respiration
atria
the two upper chambers of the heart. pl of atrium.
cardiovascular system
see circulatory system
circulatory system
the body system that transports blood to all parts of the body. Includes the heart, blood vessels, and blood. Also called the cardiovascular system.
heart
the muscular organ that contracts to force blood into circulation through the body
valves
structures within the heart and circulatory system that keep blood flowing in one direction and prevent backflow.
ventricles
the two lower chambers of the heart.
aorta
the major artery from the heart.
arteriole
the smallest branch of an artery, which at its distal end leads into a capillary
artery
a blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart
brachial artery
the major artery of the upper arm
bundle of His
a band of cardiac muscle fibers that originates in the atrioventricular node and passes through the atriuventricular junction and carries the electrical impulse from the atria and, by connecting to the Purkinje fibers, to the ventricles
capillary
a tiny blood vessel that connects an arteriole to a venule
carotid artery
one of two major arteries of the neck, which supply the brain and head with blood.
coronary arteries
blood vessels that supply the heart with blood
dorsalis pedis artery
an artery of the foot, which can be felt on the top surface of the foot
femoral artery
the major artery of the thigh that supplies the groin and leg with blood
posterior tibial artery
a major artery that travels from the calf to the foot and that can be felt on the medial surface of the ankle bone.
pulmonary artery
artery that leads from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs.
pulmonary vein
vein that drains the lungs and returns the blood to the left atrium of the heart.
radial artery
a major artery of the arm, distal to the elbow joint.
vein
a blood vessel that carries blood back to the heart.
venae cavae
the principal veins tat carry deoxygenated blood to the heart. pl of vena cava. the superior vena cava carries blood from the upper body; the inferior vena cava carries blood from the lower body.
venule
the smallest branch of a vein.
blood pressure
the force exerted by the blood on the interior walls of the blood vessels
diastolic blood pressure
the pressure exerted against the walls of the arteries when the left ventricle is at rest. See also systolic blood pressure.
edema
swelling caused by fluid accumulating in the tissues.
hydrostatic pressure
the blood pressure or force exerted against the inside of vessel walls.
perfusion
the delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to the cells of all organ systems, which results from the constant adequate circulation of blood through the capillaries.
plasma
the liquid part of the blood.
platelets
components of blood that are essential to the formation of blood clots.
pulse
the wave of blood propelled through the arteries as a result of the contraction of the left ventricle.
red blood cells
part of the blood that gives it its color, carries oxygen to body cells, and carries carbon dioxide away from body cells.
systolic blood pressure
the pressure exerted against the walls of the arteries when the ventricle contracts. see also diastolic blood pressure.
white blood cells
the part of the blood that helps the body's immune system defend against infection.
hypoperfusion
the insufficient delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to some of the body's cells and inadequate elimination of carbon dioxide and other wastes that results from inadequate circulation of blood. also called shock
shock
see hypoperfusion
shock
see hypoperfusion
aerobic metabolism
chemical and physical changes that take places within the cells in the presence of oxygen
anaerobic metabolism
chemical and physical changes that take place within the cells without the presence of oxygen
central nervous system
the brain and the spinal cord. abbrev CNS
nervous system
the body system including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves that controls the voluntary and involuntary activity of the human body.
endocrine system
a system ductless glands that produce hormones that regulate body functions
peripheral nervous system
that portion of the nervous system located outside the brain and spinal cord. abbr. PNS.
dermis
the second layer of the skin. See also epidermis, subcutaneous layer.
epidermis
the outermost layer of the skin. See also dermis, subcutaneous layer
subcutaneous layer
a layer of fatty tissue just below the dermis. See also dermis, epidermis.
combining form
word part that carries the word's essential meaning
prefix
a syllable added to the beginning of a word to modify its meaning or to give additional or specific meaning to the word.
suffix
a syllable added to the end of a word to modify its meaning or to give additional or specific meaning to the word.
baseline vital signs
the first set of vital sign measurements to which subsequent measurements can be compared.
vital signs
the traditional signs of life; assessments related to breathing, pulse, skin, pupils, and blood pressure.
sphygmomanometer
instrument used to measure blood pressure. Also called a blood pressure cuff.
stridor
a harsh, high pitched sound heard on inspiration that indicates swelling of the larynx.
bradycardia
a heart rate less than 60 beats per minute.
tachycardia
a heart rate greater than 100 bpm.
conjunctiva
the thin covering of the inner eyelids and exposed portion of the sclera of the eye.
cyanosis
a blue-gray color of the mucous membranes and or skin, which indicated inadequate oxygenation or poor perfusion.
flushing
abnormally red skin color.
jaundice
a condition characterized by yellowness of the skin, sclera of the eyes, mucous membranes, and body fluids.
mottling
a skin discoloration similar to cyanosis but occurring in a blotchy pattern; a possible sign of shock.
pallor
pale or abnormally white skin color.
pulsus paradoxus
a decrease in pulse strength during inhalation.
capillary refill
the amount of time it takes for capillaries that have been compressed to refill with blood.
clammy
a moist, or a cool and moist, condition; a skin condition often characteristic of shock
constricted
narrowed, made small.
dilated
expanded, made large.
blood pressure
the force exerted by the flood on the interior walls of the blood vessels
diastolic blood pressure
the pressure exerted against the walls of the arteries while the left ventricle of the heart is at rest.
systolic blood pressure
the amount of pressure exerted against the walls of the arteries when the left ventricle of the heart contracts and ejects blood.
auscultation
listening for sounds within the body with a stethoscope
pulse pressure
the difference between the systolic blood pressure and the diastolic blood pressure.
palpation
feeling, as for a pulse.
orthostatic vital signs
a comparison of blood pressure and heart rate readings while a patient is supine and while the patient is sitting upright or standing. An increase in heart rate of 10-20 bpm and decrease in blood pressure of 10-20 mmHg when the patient becomes upright is considered a positive orthostatic test. Also called a tilt test.
tilt test
see orthostatic vital signs
pulse oximeter
device for measuring the level of hemoglobin saturated with oxygen.
pulse oximetry
measurement of blood oxygen saturation level.
sample history
a type of patient history. sample is an acronym used to remember categories of information necessary to the patient history: signs and symptoms, allergies, medications, pertinent past history, last oral intake, and events leading to the injury or illness.
signs
any objective evidence of medical or trauma conditions that can be seen, heard, felt, or smelled in a patient.
symptoms
conditions that must be described by the patient because they cannot be observed by another person.
body mechanics
application of the study of muscles and body movement (kinesiology) to the use of the body and to the prevention and correction of problems related posture and lifting.
kyphosis
abnormal curvature of the spine with convexity backways. also called slouch.
lordosis
abnormal anterior convexity of the spine. Also called swayback.
power grip
recommended gripping technique. The palm and fingers come in complete contact with the object and all fingers are bent at the same angle.
power lift
recommended technique for lifting. Feet are apart, knees bent, back and abdominal muscles tightened, back as straight as possible, lifting force driven through heels and arches, upper body rising before hips.
emergency move
a patient move that should be performed when there is immediate danger to the patient or to the rescuer.
nonurgent move
a patient move made when no immediate threat to life exists.
urgent move
a patient move made because there is an immediate threat to life due to the patient's condition and the patient must be moved quickly for transport.
esophagus
a tubular structure that serves as a passageway for food and liquids to enter the stomach.
mucous membrane
a thin layer of tissue that lines various structures within the body.
nasopharynx
the portion of the pharynx that extends from the nostrils to the soft palate.
oropharynx
a portion of the pharynx that extends form the mouth to the oral cavity at the base of the tongue.
pharynx
the common passageway fro the respiratory and digestive tract; the throat.
trachea
a tubular structure that serves as the passageway for air to enter into the lungs; the windpipe.
upper airway
the portion of the respiratory system that extends form the nose and mouth to the larynx.
epiglottis
a small flap of cartilaginous tissue that acts as a valve and closes over the trachea during swallowing.
larynx
the part of the air passage that connects the pharynx with the trachea. Also, it is considered the organ of voice since it contains the vocal cords.
alveoli
small air sacs in the lungs that fill with air on inspiration and are the point of gas exchange with the pulmonary capillaries.
bronchi
branches of the respiratory tract form the trachea into the lungs. Singular bronchus.
bronchiole
smaller branches of the bronchi. They continue to branch and get smaller, eventually leading into alveolar sacs.
carina
the point at which the trachea splits into the right and left mainstem bronchi.
cricoid cartilage
the most inferior portion of the larynx and only full cartilaginous ring of the upper airway. It is felt immediately below the thyroid cartilage.
lower airway
the portion of the respiratory system that extends from the trachea to the alveoli of the lungs.
parietal pleura
the outermost pleural layer that adheres to the chest wall.
pleura
two layers of connective tissue that surround the lungs.
pleural space
a small space between the visceral and parietal pleura that is at negative pressure and filled with serous fluid.
serous fluid
fluid that acts as a lubricant to reduce the friction between the parietal and visceral pleura.
thyroid cartilage
the bulky cartilage that forms the anterior portion of the larynx; see also Adam's apple.
visceral pleura
innermost layer of the pleura that covers the lung.
diaphragm
the major muscle of respiration that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity.
exhalation
the passive process of breathing air out of the lungs. Also called expiration.
expiration
the passive process of breathing air out of the lungs. Also called exhalation.
inhalation
the active process of breathing air into the lungs. Also called inspiration.
inspiration
the active process of breathing air into the lungs. Also called inhalation.
intercostal muscles
the muscles between the ribs.
ventilation
the passage of air into and out of the lungs.
chemoreceptors
sense organs within the body, such as the carotid and aortic bodies, that are sensitive to chemical changes in the blood, especially to levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen, and that, in response, play a role in the regulation of respiration.
oxygenation
the process by which the blood and the cells become saturated with oxygen.
respiration
the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that takes place during inhalation and exhalation.
hypoperfusion
the insufficient supply of oxygen and other nutrients to some of the body's cells that results form inadequate circulation of blood. Also called shock.
hypoxia
a reduction of oxygen delivery to the tissues.
cyanosis
a bluish color of the skin and mucous membranes that indicates poor oxygenation of tissue.
deoxygenated
containing low amounts of oxygen, as with venous blood.
hemoglobin
a complex protein molecule found on the surface of the red blood cell that is responsible for carrying a majority of oxygen in the blood.
oxygenated
containing high amounts of oxygen, as with arterial blood.
patent airway
an airway that is open and clear of any obstructions.
crowing
a sound similar to that of a cawing crow that indicates that the muscles around the larynx are in spasm and beginning to narrow the opening into the trachea.
snoring
a sound that is heard when the base of the tongue or relaxed tissues in the pharynx partially block the upper airway; also called sonorous sound.
crossed-finger technique
a technique in which the thumb and index finger are crossed with the thumb on the lower incisors and the index finger on the upper incisors. The fingers are moved in a snapping scissor motion to open the mouth.
gurgling
a gargling sound that indicated a fluid is in the mouth or pharynx.
head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver
a manual technique used to open the airway. The head is tilted back by one hand. The tips of the fingers of the other hand are placed under the chin and used to lift it up and forward.
stridor
a harsh, high-pitched sound heard on inspiration that indicated swelling of the larynx.
jaw-thrust maneuver
a manual technique used to open the airway in the patient with a suspected injury. The fingers are placed at the angles of the jaw and used to lift the jaw up and forward.
French catheter
see soft catheter
hard catheter
see rigid catheter
rigid catheter
a rigid plastic tube that is part of a suctioning system, commonly referred to as a tonsil tip or tonsil sucker.
soft catheter
flexible tubing that is part of a suctioning system, also called a French catheter.
tonsil tip or tonsil sucker
see rigid catheter
nasal airway
a nasopharyngeal airway.
nasopharyngeal airway
a curved, hollow rubber tube with a flange or flare at the top end and a bevel at the distal end that is inserted into the nose. It fits in the nasopharynx and extends into the pharynx providing a passage for air.
oral airway
an oropharyngeal airway.
oropharyngeal airway
a semicircular hard plastic device that is inserted in the mouth and holds the tongue away from the back of the pharynx.
minute volume
the amount of air breathed in and out in one minute. Also called minute ventilation.
respiratory rate
the number of breaths taken in one minute. Also called frequency.
tidal volume
the amount of air breathed in and out in one normal respiration.
alveolar ventilation
the amount of inspired air that reaches the alveoli of the lungs.
dead air space
inspired air that fills the respiratory tract but never reaches the alveoli of the lungs.
retractions
depressions seen in the neck, above the clavicles, between the ribs, or below the rib cage from excessive muscle use during breathing. It is an indication of respiratory distress.
bilaterally
on both sides.
respiratory distress
a condition in which a person is working harder than normally to breathe. Also called breathing difficulty.
agonal respirations
gasping-type respirations that have no pattern and occur very infrequently; a sign of impending cardiac or respiratory arrest. Also called agonal breathing.
respiratory arrest
complete stoppage of breathing.
respiratory failure
insufficient respiratory rate and/or tidal volume.
bradypnea
a breathing rate that is slower than the normal rate.
tachypnea
a breathing rate that is faster than the normal rate.
positive pressure ventilation
method of aiding a patient whose breathing is inadequate by forcing air into his lungs.
cricoid pressure
pressure applied to the cricoid cartilage to compress the esophagus. Also called Sellick maneuver.
gastric distention
inflation of the stomach.
Sellick maneuver
see cricoid pressure
pocket mask
a plastic mask placed over the patient's nose and mouth through which ventilations can be delivered.
bag-valve-mask device
a positive pressure ventilation device that consists of a bag with a nonrebreather valve and a mask. The bag-valve device is connected to the mask or other airway. The bag is squeezed to deliver a ventilation to the patient.
flow-restricted, oxygen-powered ventilation device
a device that consists of a ventilation valve and a trigger or button and is driven directly by oxygen. It is used to provide positive pressure ventilation.
automatic transport ventilator
a positive pressure ventilation device that delivers ventilations automatically.
hypopnea
inadequate tidal volume in a breathing patient.
laryngectomy
a surgical procedure in which a patient's larynx is removed. A stoma is created for the patient to breathe through.
stoma
a surgical opening into the neck and trachea; see also tracheostomy.
tracheostomy
a surgical opening into the trachea in which a tube is inserted for the patient to breathe through; see also stoma.
tracheostomy tube
a hollow tube that is inserted into a tracheostomy to allow the patient to breathe.
high-pressure regulator
a one-gauge regulator that is used to power the flow-restricted, oxygen-powered ventilation device. The flow rate cannot be adjusted.
oxygen humidifier
a container that is filled with sterile water and connected to the oxygen regulator to add moisture to the dry oxygen prior to being delivered to the patient.
therapy regulator
a device that controls the flow and pressure of oxygen from the tank to allow for a consistent delivery of oxygen by liters per minute.
nonrebreather mask
an oxygen delivery device that consists of a reservoir and one-way valve. It can deliver up to 100% oxygen to the patient.
nasal cannula
an oxygen delivery device that consists of two prongs that are inserted into the nose of the patient. The oxygen concentration delivered is from 24 to 44%.
mechanism of injury
the factors and forces that cause traumatic injury
medical patient
a patient with a condition brought on by illness or by substances or by environmental factors that affect the function of the body
nature of illness
the type of medical condition or complaint a patient is suffering from
personal protective equipment
equipment worn to protect against injury and disease
scene size up
an assessment of the scene for safety hazards and to determine the nature of the patient's problem and the number of patients
trauma patient
a patient who has a physical injury or wound caused by external force or violence
scene safety
steps taken to ensure the safety and well being of the EMT, his partners, patients, and bystanders
index of suspicion
an anticipation that certain types of accidents and mechanisms will produce specific types of injuries.
patient assessment
procedures performed to find out what is wrong with a patient, on which decisions about emergency medical care and transport will be based.
scene size up
an assessment of the scene for safety hazards and to determine the nature of the patient's problem and the number of patients.
initial assessment
the portion of patient assessment conducted immediately following scene size up for the purpose of discovering and treating immediately life-threatening conditions. Initial assessment also includes determining whether the patient is injured or ill and making
penetrating trauma
a force that pierces the skin and body tissues, for example, a knife or gunshot wound.
blunt trauma
a force that impacts or is applied to the body but is not sharp enough to penetrate it, such as a blow or a crushing injury
chief complaint
the patient's answer to the question "Why did you call the ambulance?"
AVPU
a mnemonic for alert, responds to verbal stimulus, responds to painful stimulus, unresponsive, to characterize levels of responsiveness.
inline stabilization
bringing the patient's head into a neutral position in which the nose is linked up with the navel and holding it there manually.
extension posturing
a posture in which the patient arches the back and extends the arms straight out parallel to the body. A sign of serious head injury. Also called decerebrate posturing.
flexion posturing
a posture in which the patient arches the back and flexes the arms inward toward the chest. A sign of serious head injury. Also called decorticate posturing.
occluded
closed or blocked; not patent, as an occluded airway
patent
open; not blocked, as a patent airway.
apnea
absence of breathing; respiratory arrest.
dyspnea
shortness of breath or perceived difficulty in breathing
focused history and physical exam
the portion of patient assessment conducted after the initial assessment, for the purpose of identifying additional serious or potentially life-threatening injures or conditions and as a basis for further emergency care.