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327 Cards in this Set

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Abandonment
The termination of the paramedic-patient relationship without assurance that an equal or greater level of care will continue.
Acidosis
A high concentration of hydrogen ions; a pH below 7.35.
Acrocyanosis
Cyanosis of the extremities.
Active Transport
Movement of a substance through a cell membrane against the osmotic gradient; that is, from an area of lesser concentration, opposite to the normal direction of diffusion; requires the use of energy to move a substance.
Addendum
Addition or supplement to an original report.
Addison’s disease
Endocrine disorder characterized by adrenocortical insufficiency. Symptoms may include weakness, fatigue, weight loss, and hyperpigmentation of skin and mucous membranes.
ATP
(adenosine triphosphate)
A high-energy compound present in all cells, especially muscle cells; when split by enzyme action it yields energy. Energy is stored in ATP.
None
Adrenergic
Pertaining to the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. See also sympathomimetic.
Advance Directive
A document created to ensure that certain treatment choices are honored when a patient is unconscious or otherwise unable to express his choice of treatment.
Aerobic metabolism
The second stage of metabolism, requiring the presence of oxygen, in which the breakdown of glucose (in a process called the Krebs or citric acid cycle) yields a high amount of energy. Aerobic means “with oxygen.”
Anaerobic metabolism
The first stage of metabolism, which does not require oxygen, in which the breakdown of glucose (in a process called glycolysis) produces pyruvic acid and yields very little energy. Anaerobic means “without oxygen.”
Affect
Visible indicators of mood.
Afterload
The resistance against which the heart must pump.
Aggregate
To cluster or come together.
Agonist
Drug that binds to a receptor and causes it to initiate the expected response.
Ageism
Discrimination against aged or elderly people.
Antagonist
Drug that binds to a receptor but does not cause it initiate the expected response.
Algorithm
Schematic flow chart that outlines appropriate care for specific signs and symptoms.
Alkalosis
A low concentration of hydrogen ions; a pH above 7.45.
Alveoli
Microscopic air sacs in the lungs where most oxygen and carbon dioxide gas exchanges take place.
Amniotic fluid
Clear, watery fluid that surrounds and protects the developing fetus.
Ampule
Breakable glass vessel containing liquid medication.
Amputation
Severance, removal, or detachment, either partial or complete, of a body part.
Anabolism
The constructive or “building up” phase of metabolism in which cells convert nonliving substances into living cytoplasm.
Analgesia
The absence of the sensation of pain.
Anastomosis
Communication between two or more vessels.
Anemia
A reduction in red blood cells or in the hemoglobin content within the red blood cells to a point below that required to meet the oxygen requirements of the body.
Aneurysm
The ballooning of an arterial wall, resulting from a defect or weakness in the wall.
Anesthesia
The absence of all sensations.
Angina Pectoris
Chest pain that results when the myocardial demand for oxygen exceeds the heart’s ability to deliver an adequate supply of oxygenated blood to the myocardium.
Anion
Ion with a negative charge – so called because it will be attracted to an anode, or positive pole.
Anoxia
The absence or near absence of oxygen.
Antepartum
Before the onset of labor.
Antiadrenergic
See sympatholytic
Anticholinergic
See parasympatholytic
Antibiotic
Agent that kills or decreased the growth of bacteria.
Antidiuresis
Formation and passage of a concentrated urine, preserving blood volume.
Antidysrhythmic
Drug used to treat and prevent abnormal cardiac rhythms.
Antiemetic
Medication used to prevent vomiting.
Antigen
A marker on the surface of a cell that identifies it as “self” or “non-self” and that is capable, under appropriate conditions, of inducing a specific immune response.
Antihistamine
Medication that arrests the effects of histamine by blocking its receptors.
Antihyperlipidemic
Drug used to treat high blood cholesterol.
Antihypertensive
Drug used to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Antiseptic
Cleansing agent that destroys or inhibits pathogenic microorganisms but is not toxic to living tissue.
Anuria
No elimination of urine.
APGAR scoring
A numerical system of rating the condition of a newborn. It evaluates the newborn’s heart rate, respiratory rate, muscle tone, reflex irritability, and color.
Aphasia
Absence or impairment of the ability to communicate through speaking, writing, or signing as a result of brain dysfunction. Sensory aphasia is when the person cannot understand the spoke word. Motor aphasia is when a person can understand what is said but cannot speak. Global aphasia is when the person has both sensory and motor aphasia.
Apnea
Absence of breathing.
Appendicular skeleton
Bones of the extremities, shoulder girdle, and pelvis (excepting the sacrum).
Axial skeleton
Bones of the head, thorax, and spine.
Aqueous humor
Clear fluid filling the anterior chamber of the eye.
Arachnoid
Middle layer of the meninges.
Arteriosclerosis
A thickening, loss of elasticity, and hardening of the walls of the arteries from calcium deposits.
Arthritis
Inflammation of the joint.
Ascending Loop of Henle
The part of the renal tubule beyond the descending loop of Henle.
Ascites
An accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal space and in the abdomen; often a result of congestive heart failure or liver failure.
Asphyxia
A decrease in the amount of oxygen and an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide as a result of some interference with respiration.
Aspiration
Inhaling foreign material, such as vomitus, into the lungs.
Atelectasis
Alveolar collapse.
Aural medication
Drug administered through the mucous membranes of the ear and ear canal.
Automaticity
Capability of self-depolarization by pacemaker cells of the heart.
AV node
Avulsion
Forceful tearing away or separation of body tissue; an avulsion may be partial or complete.
Babinski
A response in which the big toe dorsiflexes and the other toes fan out when sole is stimulated.
Bacteriostatic
Capable of inhibiting bacterial growth or reproduction.
Barotrauma
Injury caused by pressure within an enclosed space.
Battery
The unlawful touching of another individual without his consent.
Battle’s sign
See retroauricular ecchymosis.
Bell’s palsy
One-sided facial paralysis with an unknown cause characterized by the inability to close the eye, pain, tearing of the eyes, drooling, hypersensitivity to sound, and impairment of taste.
Bipolar
Condition characterized by one of more manic episodes, with or without periods of depression.
BSI
(body substance isolation)
A strict form of infection control that is based on the assumption that all blood and other body fluids are infectious.
None
Bolus
Concentrated mass of medication.
Borborygmi
Loud, prolonged, gurgling bowel sounds indicating hyperperistalsis.
Bradycardia
A heart rate less than 60 beats per minute.
Bradypnea
Slow respiration.
Bronchiolitis
Viral infection of the medium-sized airways, occurring most frequently during the first year of life.
Broselow tape
A measure tape for infants that provides important information regarding airway equipment and medication doses based on the patient’s length.
Bruit
Sound of turbulent blood flow around a partial obstruction; usually associated with atherosclerotic disease.
Buccal
Between the cheek and gums.
Cannula
Hollow needle used to puncture a vein.
Cardiac cycle
The period of time from the end of one cardiac contraction to the end of the next.
Cardiac output
The amount of blood pumped by the heart in 1 minute.
Cartilage
Connective tissue providing the articular surfaces of the skeletal system.
Catabolism
The destructive or “breaking down” phase of metabolism in which cells break down complex substances into simpler substances with release of energy.
Catecholamine
A hormone such as epinephrine or nonepinephrine that strongly affects the nervous and cardiovascular systems, metabolic rate, temperature, and smooth muscle.
Cation
Ion with a positive charge – so called because it will be attracted to a cathode, or negative pole.
Cellulistis
Inflammation of cellular or connective tissue.
Cerebellum
Portion of the brain located dorsally to the pons and medulla oblongata. It plays an important role in the fine control of voluntary muscular movements.
CPP
The pressure moving blood through the brain. (cerebral perfusion pressure)
Cerebrum
Largest part of the brain. It consists of two hemispheres separated by a deep longitudinal fissure. It is the seat of consciousness and the center of the higher mental functions such as memory, learning, reasoning, judgment, intelligence, and emotions.
CVA
(cerbrovascular accident) See stoke.
Cheyne-Stokes
Respiratory pattern of alternating periods of apnea and tachypnea.
Cholinergic
Pertaining to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. See also parasympathomimetic.
COPD
(Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) a disease such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or asthma characterized by a decreased ability of the lungs to perform the function of ventilation.
Chronotrophy
Pertaining to heart rate.
Circadian Rhythm
Physiological phenomena that occur at approximately 24-hour intervals.
Coagulation
The third step in the clotting process, which involves the formation of a protein called fibrin that forms a network around a wound to stop bleeding, ward off infection, and lay a foundation for healing and repair of the wound.
Comminuted fracture
Fracture in which a bone is broken into several pieces.
Compensated shock
Early stage of shock during which the body’s compensatory mechanisms are able to maintain normal perfusion.
Concussion
A transient period of unconsciousness. In most cases, the unconsciousness will be followed by a complete return of function.
Conductivity
Ability of the cells to propagate the electrical impulse form one cell to another.
CHF
(congestive heart failure) Condition in which the heart’s reduced stroke volume causes an overload of fluid in the body’s other tissues.
Colostomy
Opening of a portion of the colon through the abdominal wall, allowing feces to be collected outside the body.
Connective tissue
The most abundant body tissue; it provides support, connection, and insulation. Examples: bone, fat, cartilage, blood
Conjunctiva
Mucous membrane that lines the eyelids.
Contractility
Ability of muscle cells to contract, or shorten.
Contrecoup injury
Occurring on the opposite side; an injury to the brain opposite the site of impact. See also coup injury.
Contusion
Closed wound in which the skin is unbroken, although damage has occurred to the tissue immediately beneath.
Convection
Transfer of hear via currents in liquids or gases.
Cornea
Thin, delicate layer of tissue covering the pupil and the iris.
Coup injury
An injury to the brain occurring on the same side as the site of impact. See also Contrecoup injury.
Creatinine
A waste product caused by metabolism within muscle cells.
Crepitus
Crunching or crackling sounds of fracture bone ends or unlubricated joints rubbing against each other.
Cricothyroid
Membrane between the cricoid and thyroid cartilages of the larynx.
Croup
Laryngotracheobronchitis; a common viral infection of young children, resulting in edema of the sub-glottic tissues; characterized by barking cough and inspiratory stridor.
Crowning
The bulging of the fetal head past the opening of the vagina during a contraction. Crowning is an indication of impending delivery.
Crystalloid
Intravenous solution that contains electrolytes but lacks the larger proteins associated with colloids. In solution, unlike a colloid, a crystalloid can diffuse through a membrane such as a capillary wall.
Cushing’s reflex
Response to cerebral ischemia characterized by an increase in systemic blood pressure, which maintains cerebral perfusion during increased intracranial pressure.
Cyanosis
Bluish discoloration of the skin due to reduction of hemoglobin in the blood resulting from poor ventilation.
Cytoplasm
The thick fluid that fills a cell; also called protoplasm.
Decompensated shock
Advanced stages of shock when the body’s compensatory mechanisms are no longer able to maintain normal perfusion; also called progressive shock.
Decontaminate
To destroy or remove pathogens.
Defibrillation
The process of passing an electrical current through a fibrillating heart to depolarize a critical mass of myocardial cells. This allows them to depolarize uniformly, resulting in an organized rhythm.
Degloving
Avulsion in which the mechanism of injury tears the skin off the underlying muscle, tissue, blood vessels, and bone.
Dehydration
Excess loss of body fluid.
Dementia
Condition involving gradual development of memory impairment and cognitive disturbance; a deterioration of mental status usually associated with structural neurologic disease. It is often progressive and irreversible.
Demyelination
Destruction or removal of the myelin sheath of nerve tissue; found in Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Dermatome
Topographical region of the body surface innervated by one nerve root.
Dermis
True skin, also called, the corium; it is the layer of tissue producing the epidermis and housing the structures, blood vessels, and nerves normally associated with the skin.
Diabetes mellitus
Disorder of inadequate insulin activity, due either to inadequate production of insulin or to decreased responsiveness of body cells to insulin.
Diabetic ketoacidosis
Complication of diabetes caused by decreased insulin secretion or intake and characterized by high levels of blood glucose, metabolic acidosis, and in advanced stages, coma; often referred to as diabetic coma.
Diaphoresis
Sweatiness.
Diastole
The period of time when the myocardium is relaxed and cardiac filling and coronary perfusion occur.
Diffusion
Movement of solute in a solution from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration.
DIC
Disseminated intravascular coagulation. A disorder of coagulation caused by systemic activation of the coagulation cascade.
Diuresis
Formation and passage of a dilute urine, decreasing blood volume.
Dura mater
Tough layer of the meninges firmly attached to the interior of the skull and interior of the spinal column.
Dysphagia
Inability to swallow or difficulty swallowing.
Dysplasia
A change in cell size, shape, or appearance caused by an external stressor.
Dyspnea
Difficult or labored breathing; a sensation of “shortness of breath”; an abnormality of breathing rate, pattern, or effort.
Dysrhythmia
Any deviation from the normal electrical rhythm of the heart.
Dysuria
Painful urination often associated with cystitis.
Ecchymosis
Blue-black discoloration of the skin due to leakage of blood into the tissues.
Ectopic pregnancy
The implantation of a developing fetus outside of the uterus, often in a fallopian tube.
Edema
Excess fluid in the interstitial space.
Effacement
The thinning and shortening of the cervix during labor.
Embolus
Undissolved solid, liquid, or gaseous matter in the bloodstream that may cause blockage of blood vessels; plural: emboli
EMD
Emergency medical dispatcher. EMS person medically and technically trained to assign emergency medical resources to a medical emergency; usually the person who is contacted by anyone who calls the EMS system.
EMSC
Emergency Medical Services for Children. Federally funded program aimed at improving the health of pediatric patients who suffer from life-threatening illnesses and injuries.
EOC
Emergency Operations Center. A site from which civil government officials (municipal, county, state, and/or federal) exercise direction and control in an emergency or disaster.
Emesis
Vomitus.
Endometriosis
Condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus.
Endotracheal Intubation
Passing a tube into the trachea to protect and maintain the airway and to permit medication administration and deep suctioning.
Epidermis
Outermost layer of the skin comprised of dead or dying cells.
Epiglottis
Bacterial infection of the epiglottis, usually occurring in children older than age 4; a serious medical emergency.
Epistaxsis
Nosebleed.
Erythema
General reddening of the skin due to dilation of superficial capillaries.
EDC
Estimated date of confinement. The approximate day the infant will be born. This date is usually set at 40 weeks after the date of the mother’s last menstrual period. (LMP)
Evaporation
Change from liquid to a gaseous state.
Evisceration
A protrusion of organs from a wound.
Excitability
Ability of the cells to respond to an electrical stimulus.
ECF
Extracellular fluid. The fluid outside the body cells. Extracellular fluid is comprised of intravascular fluid and interstitial fluid.
Extravasation
Leakage of fluid or medication from the blood vessel that is commonly found with infiltration.
Extubation
Removing a tube from a body opening.
Fallopian tubes
Thin tubes that extend laterally from the uterus and conduct eggs from the ovaries into the uterine cavity.
Febrile seizures
Seizures that occur as a result of a sudden increase in body temperature; occur most commonly between ages 6 months and 6 years.
Fibrin
Protein fibers that trap red blood cells as part of the clotting process.
Fibrinolytic
Drug that acts directly on the thrombi to break them down; also called thrombolytic.
FBAO
Foreign body airway obstruction. Blockage or obstruction of the airway by an object that impairs respiration; in the case of pediatric patients, tongues, abundant secretions, and deciduous (baby) teeth are more likely to block airways.
Frostbite
Environmentally induced freezing of body tissues, causing destruction of cells. See also deep frostbite; superficial frostbite.
Gangrene
Death of tissue or bone, usually from an insufficient blood supply; deep-space infection usually caused by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens.
GCS
Glasgow Coma Scale. Tool used in evaluated and quantifying neurological status or the degree of coma by determining the best motor, verbal, and eye-opening response to standardized stimuli.
Glaucoma
Group of eye diseases that results in increased intraocular pressure on the optic nerve; if left untreated, it can lead to blindness.
Glomerular Filtration
The removal from blood of water and other elements that enter the nephron tubule.
Glucagon
Substance that increases blood glucose level.
Glycosuria
Glucose in urine, which occurs when blood glucose levels exceed the kidney’s ability to reabsorb glucose.
Half-life
Time required for half of the nuclei of a radioactive substance to lose activity by undergoing radioactive decay. In biology and pharmacology, the time required by the body to metabolize and inactive half the amount of a substance taken in.
Heatstroke
Acute, dangerous reaction to heat exposure, characterized by a body temperature usually above 105°F (40.6°C) and central nervous system disturbances. The body usually ceases to perspire.
Hematemesis
Bloody vomitus.
Hematoma
Collection of blood beneath the skin or trapped within a body compartment.
Hematuria
Blood in the urine.
Hemolysis
The destruction of red blood cells.
Hemophilia
A blood disorder in which one of the proteins necessary for blood clotting is missing or defective.
Hemoptysis
Coughing up blood.
Hemothorax
Accumulation in the pleural cavity of blood or fluid containing blood.
Hemorrhoid
Small mass of swollen veins in the anus or rectum.
Hepatitis
Inflammation of the liver characterized by diffuse or patchy tissue necrosis.
Hemostasis
The body’s natural ability to stop bleeding, the ability to clot blood.
Homeostasis
The natural tendency of the body to maintain a steady and normal internal environment.
Hydrolysis
The breakage of a chemical bond by adding water, or by incorporating a hydroxyl (OH−) group into one fragment and a hydrogen ion (H+) into the other.
Hypercarbia
Excessive pressure of carbon dioxide in the blood.
Hyperglycemia
Abnormally high concentration of glucose in the blood.
Hyperosmolar
A solution that has a concentration of the substance greater than that of a second solution.
Hypertension
Blood pressure higher than normal.
Hyperthermia
Increase in the body’s core temperature.
Hypertonic
Having a greater concentration of solute molecules; one solution may be hypertonic to another.
Hyphema
Blood in the anterior chamber of the eye, in front of the iris.
Hypotension
Blood pressure lower than normal.
Hypotonic
Having a lesser concentration of solute molecules; one solution may be hypotonic to another.
Hypovolemic shock
Decreased amount of intravascular fluid in the body; often due to trauma that causes blood loss into a body cavity or frank external hemorrhage; in children, can be the result of vomiting and diarrhea.
Hypoxia
State in which insufficient oxygen is available to meet the oxygen requirements of the cells. Oxygen deficiency.
Immunity
[biological] the body’s ability to respond to the presence of a pathogen; a long-term condition of protection from infection or disease. [legal] exemption from legal liability.
Incendiary
An agent that combusts easily or creates combustion.
Incision
Very smooth or surgical laceration frequently caused by a knife, scalpel, razor blade, or piece of glass.
Infarction
Area of dead tissue caused by the lack of blood.
Infection
Presence of an agent with the host without necessarily causing the disease.
Inflammation
Complex process of local cellular and biochemical changes as a consequence of injury or infection; an early stage of healing. Also called inflammatory response.
Ingestion
Entry of a substance into the body through the gastrointestinal tract.
Inhalation
Entry of a substance into the body through the gastrointestinal tract.
Injection
Entry of a substance into the body though a break in the skin.
Inotrophy
Pertaining to cardiac contractile force.
Insulin
Substance that decreased blood glucose level.
Intercalated discs
Specialized bands of tissue inserted between myocardial cells that increase the rate in which the action potential is spread from cell to cell.
Interstitial fluid
The fluid in body tissues that is outside the cells and outside the vascular system.
Intervener physician
A licensed physician professionally unrelated to the patients at the scene, who attempts to assist EMS providers with patient care.
Intracellular fluid
(ICF) The fluid inside the body cells.
Intradermal
Within the dermal layer of the skin.
Intramuscular
Within the muscle.
Intraosseous
Within the bone.
Intravascular space
The volume contained by all the arteries, veins, and capillaries and other components of the circulatory system.
Ion
A charged particle; an atom or group of atoms whose electrical charge has changed from neutral to positive or negative by losing or gaining one or more electrons. (In an atom’s normal, nonionized state, its positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons balance each other so that the atom’s charge is neutral.
Iris
Pigmented portion of the eye; the muscular area that constricts or dilates to change the size of the pupil.
Ischemia
A blockage in the delivery of oxygenated blood to the cells.
Isotonic
Equal in concentration of solute molecules; solutions may be isotonic to each other.
Kussmaul’s respiration
Rapid deep respirations caused by severe metabolic and central nervous system problems.
Laceration
An open wound, normally a tear with jagged borders.
Larynx
The complex structure that joins the pharynx with the trachea.
Licensure
The process by which a governmental agency grants permission to engage in a given occupation to an applicant who has attained the degree of competency required to ensure the public’s protection.
Mandible
The jawbone.
Maxilla
Bone of the upper jaw.
Mechanism of injury
The processes and forces that cause trauma.
Meconium
Dark green material found in the intestine of the full-tem newborn. It can be expelled from the intestine into the amniotic fluid during periods of fetal distress.
Medulla Oblongata
Lower portion of the brainstem containing the respiratory, cardiac, and vasomotor centers.
Meninges
Three membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord: dura mater, pia mater, and arachnoid membrane.
Mesentery
Double fold of peritoneum that supports the major portion of the small bowel, suspending it from the posterior abdominal wall.
Metabolic acidosis
Acidity caused by increased production of acids during metabolism or form causes such as vomiting, diarrhea, diabetes, or medication.
Metabolic alkalosis
Alkalinity caused by an increase in plasma bicarbonate resulting from causes including diuresis, vomiting, or ingestion of too much sodium bicarbonate.
Minute volume
Amount of gas inhales and exhaled in 1 minute.
Mitosis
Cell division of the nucleus; each daughter cell contains the same number of chromosomes as the mother cell; the process by which the body grows.
MCI
Multiple-casualty incident. Incident that generates large numbers of patients and that often makes traditional EMS response ineffective because of special circumstances surrounding the event; also known as a mass-casualty incident.
MI
Myocardial infarction. Death and subsequent necrosis of the heart muscle caused by inadequate blood supply; also called acute myocardial infarction (AMI)
Negative feedback loop
Body mechanisms that work to reverse, or compensate for, a pathophysiological process (or to reverse any physiological process, whether pathological or nonpathological.
Nasopharyngeal Airway
Uncuffed tube that follows the natural curvature of the nasopharynx, passing through the nose and extending from the nostril to the posterior pharynx.
Necrosis
Cell death; a pathological cell change. Four types of necrotic cell change are coagulative, liquefactive, caseous, and fatty. Gangrenous necrosis refers to tissue death over a wide area.
Negligence
Deviation from accepted standards of care recognized by law for the protection of others against the unreasonable risk of harm.
Neonate
An infant from the time of birth to 1 month of age.
Nephron
A microscopic structure within the kidney that produces urine.
Nocturia
Excessive urination during the night.
Osmosis
Movement of solvent in a solution from an area of lower solute concentration to an area of higher solute concentration.
Osmotic diuresis
Gently increased urination and dehydration that results when high levels of glucose cannot be reabsorbed into the blood from the kidney tubules and the osmotic pressure of the glucose in the tubules also prevents water reabsorption.
Otitis Media
Middle ear infection.
Palpation
Using your sense of touch to gather information.
Parasympatholytic
Drug or other substance that blocks or inhibits the actions of the parasympathetic nervous system; also called anticholinergic.
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Division of the autonomic nervous system that is responsible for controlling vegetative functions. Parasympathetic nervous system actions include decreased heart rate and constriction of the bronchioles and pupils. Its actions are mediated by the neurotransmitter.
Pallor
Paleness.
Perfusion
The supplying of oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues as a result of the constant passage of blood through the capillaries.
Peristalsis
Wavelike muscular motion of the esophagus and bowel that moves food through the digestive system.
Peritoneum
Fine fibrous tissue surrounding the interior of most of the abdominal cavity and covering most of the small bowel and some of the abdominal organs.
Peritonitis
Inflammation of the peritoneum, which lines the abdominal cavity, caused by chemical or bacterial irritation.
Pia mater
Inner and most delicate layer of the meninges. It covers the convolutions of the brain and spinal cord.
Pinna
Outer, visible portion of the ear.
Placenta
The organ that serves as a lifeline for the developing fetus. The placenta is attached to the wall of the uterus and the umbilical cord.
Plasma
The liquid part of the blood.
Pleurisy
Also known as pleuritis is an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs, which can cause painful respiration and other symptoms. Pleurisy can be generated by a variety of infectious and non-infectious causes.
Pneumothorax
A collection of air in the pleural space, causing a loss of the negative pressure that binds the lung to the chest wall. In an open pneumothorax, air enters the pleural space through an injury to the chest wall. In a closed pneumothorax, area enters the pleural space though an opening in the pleura that covers the lung. A tension pneumothorax develops when air in the pleural space cannot escape, causing a buildup of pressure and collapse of the lung.
Polyuria
Excessive urination.
Preload
The pressure within the ventricles at the end of diastole, also called end-diastolic volume.
PMD
Premenstrual syndrome. A variety of signs and symptoms, such as weight gain, irritability, or specific food cravings, associated with the changing hormonal levels that precede menstruation.
Proximal tubule
The part of the renal tubule beyond Bowman’s capsule.
Renin
An enzyme produced by kidney cells that platys a key role in the controlling arterial blood pressure.
RAS
Reticular activating system. A series of nervous tissues keeping the human system in a state of consciousness.
Retinal detachment
A condition that may be a traumatic origin and that presents with patient complaint of a dark curtain obstructing a portion of the field of view.
Retroauricular ecchymosis
Black-and-blue discoloration over the mastoid process (just behind the ear) that is characteristic of basilar skull fracture; also called Battle’s sign.
Retroperitoneal space
Division of the abdominal cavity containing those organs that lie posterior to the peritoneal lining.
Rhinorrhea
Watery discharge from the nose.
Ryan White Act
Federal law that outlines the rights and responsibilities of agencies and health care workers when an infectious disease exposure occurs.
Sclera
The white of the eye.
Secondary prevention
Medical care after an injury or illness that helps to prevent further problems from occurring.
Sellick maneuver
Pressure applied in a posterior direction to the anterior cricoid cartilage to occlude the esophagus.
Semipermeable
Able to allow some, but not all, substances to pass through. Cell membranes are Semipermeable.
Sepsis
Also called septicemia. The systemic spread of toxins though the blood stream.
Shock
A state of inadequate tissue perfusion. See also hypoperfusion.
Shunt
Surgical connection that runs from the brain to the abdomen for the purpose of draining excess cerebrospinal fluid, thus preventing increased intracranial pressure.
Slander
Act of injuring a person’s character, name, or reputation by false or malicious statements spoken with malicious intent or reckless disregard for the falsity of those statements.
Solvent
A substance that dissolves other substances, forming a solution.
Stress
A state of physical or psychological arousal to stimulus.
Stroke
Injury to or death of brain tissue caused by either ischemic or hemorrhagic lesions to a portion of the brain. Commonly also called a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or brain attack.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Bleeding that occurs between the arachnoid and dura mater of the brain.
Subcutaneous emphysema
Skin layer beneath the dermis; the layer of loose connective between the skin and the muscle.
Sublingual
Beneath the tongue.
Subluxation
Partial displacement of a bone end from its position in a joint capsule.
Systemic
Throughout the body.
Sympatholytic
Drug or other substance that blocks the actions of the sympathetic nervous system; also called antiadrenergic.
Sympathomimetic
Drug or other substance the causes effects like those of the sympathetic nervous system; also called adrenergic.
Synapse
Space between nerves.
Syncope
Transient loss of consciousness due to inadequate flow of blood to the brain with rapid recovery of consciousness on becoming supine; fainting.
Systole
The period of the cardiac cycle when the myocardium is contracting.
Tachycardia
A heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute.
Tachypnea
Rapid respiration.
Tendons
Is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle to bone, or muscle to muscle. They are similar to ligaments except that ligaments join one bone to another. Tendons are designed to withstand tension. Typically tendons connect muscles to bones; together, a combination of tendons and muscles can only exert a pulling force.
Thalamus
Switching station between the pons and the cerebrum in the brain.
Thrombocytopenia
An abnormal decrease in the number of platelets. s
Thrombus
Blood clot.
Tinnitus
The sensation of ringing in the ears.
Tort
A civil wrong committed by one individual against another.
Trachea
Tube that connects the larynx to the mainstem bronchi.
TIA
Transient ischemic attack. Temporary, reversible interruption of blood flow to the brain; often seen as a precursor to a stroke.
Transdermal
Absorbed through the skin.
Turgor
Normal tension in a cell; the resistance of the skin to deformation.
Triage
Sorting patients based on the severity of their injuries.
Umbilical cord
Structure containing two arteries and one vein that connects the placenta and the fetus.
Urea
Waste derived from ammonia produced through protein metabolism.
Uremia
The syndrome of signs and symptoms associated with chronic renal failure.
Ureter
A duct that carries urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder.
Urethra
The duct that carries urine from the urinary bladder out of the body; in men, it also carries reproductive fluid (semen) to the outside of the body.
Urostomy
Surgical diversion of the urinary tract to a soma, or hole, in the abdominal wall.
Vagal response
Stimulation of the vagus nerve causing a parasympathetic response.
Vallecula
Depression between the epiglottis and the base of the tongue.
Varicose veins
Dilated superficial veins, usually in the lower extremities.
Vertebrae
The 33 bones making up the vertebral column; singular: vertebra.
Vertigo
The sensation of faintness or dizziness; may cause a loss of balance.
Vesicants
Agents that damage exposed skin, frequently causing vesicles (blisters).
Vial
Plastic or glass container with a self-sealing rubber top.
Visceral pain
Dull, poorly localized pain that originates in the walls of hollow organs.
Vitreous humor
Clear watery fluid filling the posterior chamber of the eye. It is responsible for giving the eye its spherical shape.
zygoma
The cheekbone.
(adenosine triphosphate)
A high-energy compound present in all cells, especially muscle cells; when split by enzyme action it yields energy. Energy is stored in ATP.