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80 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Aerobic Metabolism

Metabolism that can proceed only in the presence of oxygen

Agonal gasps

Occasional, gasping breaths that occur after the heart has stopped


The upper airway tract or the passage above the larynx, which includes the nose, mouth, and throat

Alveolar minute volume

Volume of air moved through the lungs in one minute minus the dead space; calculated by multiplying tidal volume and respiratory rate

Alveolar Ventilation

Volume of air that reaches the alveoli. Determined by subtracting the amount of dead space from tidal volume

American Standard Safety System

A safety system for large oxygen cylinders, designed to prevent the accidental attachment of a regulator to a cylinder containing the wrong type of gas

Anaerobic Metabolism

Metabolism that takes place in the absence of oxygen; principal product is lactic acid


Absence of spontaneous breathing


In the context of airway, the introduction of vomitus or other foreign material into the lungs

Ataxic respirations

Irregular, ineffective respirations that may or may not have an identifiable pattern

Automatic Transport Ventilator


Ventilation device attached to a control box that allows the variables of ventilation to be set. It frees the EMT to perform other tasks while the patient is being ventilated

Bag-Valve Mask (BVM)

Device with one-way valve and a face mask attached to a ventilation bag; when attached to a reservoir and connected to oxygen, it delivers more than 90% supplemental oxygen

Barrier device

A protective item, such as a pocket mask with a valve, that limits exposure to a patients body fluids


A body part or condition that appears on both sides of the midline


Subdivision of the smaller bronchi in the lungs; made of smooth muscle and dilate or constrict in response to various stimuli


Noninvasive method to quickly and efficiently provide information on a patients ventilatory status, circulation, and metabolism. Effectively measures the concentration of carbon dioxide in expired air over time


Point at which the trachea divides into the left and right mainstem bronchi


Monitor the levels of O2, CO2, and the pH of the cerebrospinal fluid and then provide feedback to the respiratory centers to modify the rate and depth of breathing based on the body's needs at any given time


Ability of alveoli to expand when air is drawn in during inhalation

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Method of ventilation used primarily in the treatment of critically ill patients with respiratory distress; can prevent the need for endotracheal intubation

Dead Space

The portion of the tidal volume that does not reach the alveoli and thus does not participate in gas exchange


Process where molecules move from an area of higher concentrations to an area of lower concentration


Shortness of breath

End-tidal CO2

Amount of carbon dioxide present at the end of an exhaled breath


Passive part of the breathing process in which the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles relax, forcing air out of the lungs

External Respiration

The exchange of gases between the lungs and the blood cells in the pulmonary capillaries; also called pulmonary respiration

Gag reflix

Normal reflec mechanism that causes retching; activated by touching the soft palate or the back of the throat

Gastric Distension

Condition in which air fills the stomach, often as a result of high volume and pressure during artificial ventilation


Space between the vocal cords that is the narrowest portion of the adults airway; also called glottic opening

Good air exchange

Term used to distinguished the degree of distress in a patient with a mild airway obstruction. With good air exchange, the patient is still conscious and able to cough forcefully, although wheezing may be heard

Head tilt chin left maneuver

Combination of two movements to open the airway by tilting the forehead back and lifting the chin, not used on trauma patient


Increased carbon dioxide level in the bloodstream


Dangerous condition which the body tissues and cells do not have enough oxygen

Hypoxic drive

Condition which chronically low levels of oxygen in the blood stimulate the respiratory drive, seen in patients with chronic lung diseases


Active, muscular part of breathing that draws in air to the airway and lungs

Internal respiration

Exchange of gases between blood cells and the tissues

Intrapulmonary Shunting

Bypassing of oxygen-poor blood past nonfunctional alveoli to the left side of the heart

Jaw-thrust Maneuver

Technique to open the airway by placing the fingers behind the angle of the jaw and bringing the jaw forward; used for patients who may have cervical spine injury

Labored breathing

Breathing that requires greater than normal effort; may be slower or faster than normal and usually requires the use of accessory muscles


Complex structure formed by many independent cartilaginous structures that all work together; where the upper airway ends and the lower airway begins; also called the voice box

Manually triggered ventilation device

Fixed flow rate ventilation device that delivers a breath every time its button is pushed; also referred to as a flow-restricted, oxygen-powered ventilation device


Space within the chest that contains the heart, major blood vessels, vagus nerve, trachea, major bronchi, and esophagus; located between the two lungs

Metabolism (Cellular Respiration)

Biochemical processes that result in production of energy from nutrients within the cells

Mild airway obstruction

Occurs when foreign object partially obstructs the patients airway, the patient is able to move adequate amounts of air, but also experiences some degree of respiratory distress

Minute volume

Volume of air moved through the lungs in 1 minute; calculated by multiplying tidal volume and respiratory rate; also referred to as minute ventilation

Nasal cannula

Oxygen delivery device in which oxygen flows through two small, tubelike prongs that fit into the patients nostrils; delivers 24% to 44% supplemental oxygen, depending on flow rate

Nasopharyngeal Airway

Airway adjunct inserted into the nostril of an unresponsive patient or a patient with an altered level of consciousness who is unable to maintain airway patency independently


Nasal cavity; formed by the union of facial bones and protects the respiratory tract from contaminants

Nonrebreathing masks

Combination mask and reservoir bag system that is the preferred way to give oxygen in the prehospital setting; delivers up to 90% inspired oxygen and prevents inhaling the exhaled gas

Oropharyngeal airway

Airway adjunct inserted into the mouth of an unresponsive patient to keep the tongue from blocking the upper airway and facilitate suctioning the airway if necessary


Forms the posterior portion of the oral cavity, which is bordered superiority by the hard and soft palates, laterally by the cheeks,and inferiorly by the tongue


process of delivering oxygen to the blood by diffusion from the alveoli following inhalation into the lungs

Oxygen toxicity

Condition of excessive oxygen consumption resulting in cellular and tissue damage

Parietal Pleura

Membrane that lines the chest cavity

Partial Pressure

Term used to describe the amount of gas in air or dissolved in fluid, such as blood

Passive ventilation

Act of air moving in and out of the lungs during chest compressions


Open, clear of obstruction

Phrenic Nerve

Nerve that innervates the diaphragm; necessary for adequaate breathing to occur

Pin-indexing system

System established for portable cylinders to ensure that a regulator is not connected to a cylinder containing the wrong type of gas


Partial or complete accumulation of air in the pleural space

Poor air exchange

Term used to describe the degree of distress in a patient with a mild airway obstruction. With poor air exchange, the patient often has a weak, ineffective cough, increased difficulty breathing, or possible cyanosis and may produce a high pitched noise during inhalation (stridor)

Pulse oximetry

an assessment tool that measures oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in the capillary beds

Recovery Position

Sit-lying position used to maintain a clear airway in unconscious patients without injuries who are breathing adequately

Residual volume

Air that remains in the lungs after maximal expiration


Process of exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide


Movements in which the skin pulls in around the ribs during inspriation

Severe airway Obstruction

Occurs when a foreign body completely obstructs the patients airway. Patient cannot breathe, talk, or cough


An opening through the skin and into an organ or other structure; a stoma in the neck connects the trachea directly to the skin


High pitched noise heard primarily on inspriation

Suction catheter

Hollow, cylindrical device used to remove fluid from the patients airway


Liquid protein substance that coats the alveoli in the lungs, decreases the alveolar surface tension, and keeps the alveoli expanded; a low level in a premature infant contributes to respiratory distress syndrome

Tension Pneumothorax

Life-threatening collection of air within the pleural space; the volume and pressure have both collapsed the involved lung and caused a shift in the mediastinal structures to the opposite side

Tidal Volume

Amount of air that is moved in or out of lungs during one breath

Tonsil Tips

Large, semirigid suction tips recommended for suctioning the pharynx, also called Yankauer tips


Surgical opening into the trachea


Exchange of air between the lungs and the environment, spontaneously by the patient or with assistance from another person, such as an EMT

Visceral Pleura

Thin membrane that covers the lungs

Vital capacity

The amount of air that can be forcibly expelled from the lungs after breathing in as deeply as possible

Vocal Cords

Thin white bands of tough muscular tissue that are lateral borders of the glottis and serve as the primary center for speech production


Production of whistling sounds during expiration such as occurs in asthma and bronchiolitis