All glossary terms

Browse through the list below, or use the categories on the left to narrow your search. Clicking any entry will display related images and articles.

A-Z A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

abbreviation

ab·bre·vi·a·tion

/əˌbrēvēˈāSHən/

Noun

Shortened medical terms. The advantage of shortening the written document is obvious, but frequently that advantage is outweighed by the disadvantage of potential mistakes or confusion resulting from the misunderstanding of abbreviations. If there is any doubt as to the use of a medical term or abbreviation, should spell out the word in its entirety.

abdominal aortic aneurysm

ab·dom·i·nal a·or·tic an·eu·rysm

/ˌabˈdämən(ə)l āˈôrdik ˈanyəˌrizəm/

Noun

An out-pouching of the descending abdominal aorta

abdominal cavity

ab·dom·i·nal cav·i·ty

/abˈdämənl ˈkavitē/

Noun

Also known as the abdomen, this cavity is separated from the thoracic cavity by the diaphragm. It contains the stomach, liver, spleen, gallbladder and parts of the pancreas, as well as the small and large intestines.

abrasion

a·bra·sion

/əˈbrāZHən/

Noun

An open injury caused by rubbing or scraping of the skin. While the bleeding from this injury may be minimal, abrasions can still cause problems for the patient. Because sensory receptors are damaged, abrasions can be extremely painful. The loss of the epidermis and parts of the dermal layer exposes the patient to potential infection. This is especially true if large areas of the skin are damaged

absence seizure

ab·sence sei·zure

/ˈabsəns ˈsēZHər/

Noun

Brief generalized seizures in which the patient suddenly loses consciousness without further muscle activity. These attacks end abruptly, and the patient resumes their activities

absent

ab·sent

/ˈabsənt/

Adjective

Used to describe when a provider hears no breath sounds upon auscultating the lungs

acceptance

ac·cept·ance

/akˈseptəns/

Noun

1. The act of being received as adequate. 2. One of the five stages of death and dying created by medical ethicist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. This final stage comes with peace and understanding of the death that is approaching. Generally, the patient will want to be left alone. Additionally, feelings and physical pain may be non-existent. This stage has also been described as the end of the dying struggle.

accessory muscles

ac·ces·so·ry mus·cles

/akˈses(ə)rē ˈməsəls/

Noun

The muscles of the sternocleidomastoids and scalenes, which the body employs to increase tidal volume when the respiratory rate is not sufficient to correct hypoxemia. The intercostal muscles increase outward expansion of the chest and raise the height of the chest. Sternal notch retraction as well as intercostal retractions might be seen as these muscles work to assist in breathing.

acromegaly

ac·ro·meg·a·ly

/ˌakrōˈmeɡəlē/

Noun

Abnormal growth of parts of the body due to over-production of growth hormone

action

ac·tion

/'akSHən/

Noun

The action of a medication is its desired therapeutic effect on the body. For example, the action of epinephrine is to stimulate the “fight or flight” response by increasing the heart rate, contracting the blood vessels, and dilating the lower airway.

acute arterial occlusion

a·cute ar·te·ri·al oc·clu·sion

/əˈkyo͞ot ˌärˈtirēəl əˈklo͞oZHən/

Noun

A clot that lodges in a major peripheral artery

acute coronary syndrome

a·cute cor·o·nar·y syn·drome

/əˈkyo͞ot ˈkôrəˌnerē ˈsinˌdrōm/

Noun

Conditions caused by complete or incomplete blockage of a coronary artery

acute hypertensive pulmonary edema

a·cute hy·per·ten·sive pul·mo·nar·y e·de·ma

/əˈkyo͞ot ˌhīpərˈtensiv ˈpəlməˌnerē iˈdēmə/

Noun

A heart failure condition that occurs when pressure in the lung’s capillary beds increases rapidly, due to either fluid volume overload or the left ventricle’s failure to contract efficiently

acute radiation syndrome

a·cute ra·di·a·tion syn·drome

/əˈkyo͞ot ˌrādēˈāSH(ə)n ˈsinˌdrōm/

Noun

May include signs of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. In severe exposure cases, altered mental status, cerebral edema, and seizures may result.

adenosine triphosphate

a·den·o·sine tri·phos·phate

/əˈdenəˌsēn trī'fŏs'fāt'/

Noun

Oxygen and glucose are absorbed by cells, and interact with each other to produce the fuel known as adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.

adrenal gland

ad·re·nal gland

/əˈdrēnl gland/

Noun

The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system, located above the kidneys. The right adrenal gland is triangular shaped, while the left adrenal gland is semilunar shaped. They are chiefly responsible for secreting the hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine in response to stress.

adrenal insufficiency crisis

ad·re·nal in·suf·fi·cien·cy cri·sis

/əˈdrēnl ˌinsəˈfiSHənsē ˈkrīsis/

Noun

A potentially life-threatening condition that can occur in individuals whose adrenal glands produce an insufficient amount of steroid hormones

advanced directive

ad·vanced di·rec·tive

/ədˈvanst diˈrektiv/

Noun

An advanced directive is a written document that clearly specifies what actions a health care provider should, or should not perform in life-or-death situations. A common example of an advanced directive is a “Do Not Resuscitate” or DNR order.

advanced emergency medical technician

ad·vanced e·mer·gen·cy med·i·cal tech·ni·cian

/ədˈvanst iˈmərjənsē ˈmedikəl tekˈniSHən/

Noun

A person certified as an EMT who is also authorized to perform limited invasive procedures. These include starting IV’s, administering several medications, and inserting specific types of supraglottic airways. The recommended training time is 150 - 250 hours. It incluces classroom, skills and training time spent performing clinical observations.

adventitious

ad·ven·ti·tious

/ad vuhn tish uhs/

Adjective

Unusual breath sounds

adverse side effect

ad·verse side ef·fect

/adˈvərs sīd iˈfekt/

Noun

An adverse side effect is an untoward change of health in a patient who has received a medication. For example, epinephrine raises the blood pressure, which could be a problem for some patients.

afferent spinal nerve

af·fer·ent spi·nal nerve

/ˈaf(ə)rənt ˈspīnl nərv/

Noun

Afferent spinal nerves move information from the body to the brain for processing.

afterload

af·ter·load

af´ter-lōd

Noun

The static pressure within the vascular system itself that keeps the aortic valve shut

albumin

al·bu·min

/alˈbyo͞omən/

Noun

The substance in plasma that regulates fluid balance between blood and tissue

alveolus

al·ve·o·lus

/alˈvēələs/

Noun

These small pockets of the alveolar ducts and sacs and terminal bronchioles through whose walls the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen takes place between the alveolar air and capillary blood. The bronchioles divide and become smaller until they terminate in the air sacs, known as alveoli. Each alveolus is surrounded by capillaries; like a capillary wall, the alveolar wall is also one cell thin. This allows gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through easily. Hundreds of millions of alveoli make up the bulk of the lungs.

American Ambulance Association

A·mer·i·can am·bu·lance as·so·ci·a·tion

/əˈmerikən əˌˈambyələns sōsēˈāSHən,-SHē-/

Noun

Founded in 1979, this association represents ambulance services across the United States.

American Heart Association

A·mer·i·can Heart As·so·ci·a·tion

/əˈmerikən härt əˌsōsēˈāSHən/

Noun

The American Heart Association is a non-profit organization that fosters appropriate cardiac care to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. It was founded by six cardiologists in 1924 and is headquartered in Dallas.

amniotic fluid

am·ni·ot·ic flu·id

/am nee ot ik ˈflo͞oid/

Noun

amniotic sac

am·ni·ot·ic sac

/am nee ot ik sak/

Noun

A protective enclosure filled with fluid that surrounds a fetus

amputation

am·pu·ta·tion

/ˈampyəˌtā SH(ə)n/

Noun

A partial or complete loss of an appendage

anaphylactic shock

an·a·phy·lac·tic shock

/an uh fuh lak tik shok/

Noun

A condition in which blood pressure falls to dangerously low levels after a severe allergic reaction causes the arteries to dilate tremendously, while the arterial walls become porous, allowing plasma to leak out into the surrounding tissue.

anaphylaxis

an·a·phy·lax·is

/ˌanəfəˈlaksis/

Noun

A life threatening type of allergic reaction that occurs because large amounts of histamine have been released by the hypersensitive mast cells. It is the most severe and fatal type of allergic reaction

anatomic position

an·a·tom·ic po·si·tion

/ˌanəˈtämik pəˈziSHən/

Noun

The position used as a reference in describing the relation of body parts to one another: standing erect, facing forward, with arms at the sides and palms turned forward.

anatomy

a na to my

/əˈnatəmē/

Noun

The study of the structures that make up the body, including their forms and how they are organized.

anemia

a·ne·mi·a

/əˈnēmēə/

Noun

A blood disorder characterized by an inadequate number of red blood cells

aneurysm

an·eu·rysm

/ˈanyəˌrizəm

Noun

An out-pouching of the arterial wall, which is usually due to weakening of the arteries due to cardiovascular disease

anger

an·ger

/ˈaNGgər/

Noun

One of the five stages of death and dying created by medical ethicist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. Anger often comes after denial. The patient thinks, “Why me?” This patient can be difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy.

angina

an·gi·na

/anˈjīnə/

Noun

A symptom of localized pain often caused by gradual narrowing of one or more coronary arteries

angioedema

an·gi·o·e·de·ma

/ˈanjēə iˈdēmə/

Noun

Large areas of swelling under the skin

anisocoria

an·i·so·co·ri·a

/an ahy 'suh kawr 'ee uh/

Noun

Unequal puils

antecubital

an·te·cu·bi·tal

/ān'tē kyōō'bĭ tl/

Adjective

The inner elbow of the arm

anterior

an·te·ri·or

/anˈti(ə)rēər/

Adjective

Also known as the ventral side, this anatomy term is used to refer to the front of the body.

antigen

an·ti·gen

/ˈan(t)əjən/

Noun

A substance found on the red blood cell’s surface that causes antibodies to form and attack when exposed to a red blood cell that is different from itself.

antisocial personality disorder

an·ti·so·cial per·son·al·i·ty dis·or·der

/ˌan(t)ēˈsōSHəl ˌpərsəˈnalədē disˈôrdər/

Noun

A personality disorder marked by impulsive behavior and an indifference for social rules and the rights and feelings of others

anxiety disorder

anx·i·e·ty dis·or·der

/aNGˈzīədē ˌdisˈôrdər/

Noun

A condition marked with an excessive, irrational dread of everyday activities

aorta

a·or·ta

/āˈôrdə/

Noun

The largest and strongest of the arteries as it is the vessel receiving blood, during systole, at the greatest pressure after it leaves the left ventricle of the heart

aortic dissection

a·or·tic dis·sec·tion

/āˈôrdik dəˈsekSH(ə)n/

Noun

A separation of the arterial layers of the ascending and descending aorta

apparent life-threatening event

ap·par·ent life threat·en·ing e·vent

/əˈperənt līf ˈTHretniNG əˈvent

Noun

Defined by the National Institutes of Health as an episode that is frightening to the observer and that is characterized by some sort of combination of apnea, color change, marked change in muscle tone, choking, or gagging

appendicitis

ap·pen·di·ci·tis

/əˌpendəˈsīdəs/

Noun

Inflammation of the soft tissue lining the appendix

appendicular portion

ap·pen·dic·u·lar por·tion

/apənˈdikyələr ˈpôrSHən/

Noun

Anatomically, the body is divided into two portions: axial and appendicular. The appendicular portion includes the upper and lower limbs.

arachnoid mater

a·rach·noid ma·ter

/əˈrakˌnoid ˈmātər/

Noun

The arachnoid mater is the fine, delicate membrane in the middle of the three layers of membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

arterial bleed

ar·te·ri·al bleed

/ˌärˈtirēəl blēd/

Noun

A damaged artery will tend to bleed quickly. When it first begins, the bleeding may be pulsating or spurting out of the wound. If bleeding is not controlled, the pressure inside the arteries will decrease, and the blood flow will become more steady. The color of arterial blood is bright red. A cleanly severed artery will tend to constrict and slow bleeding naturally but usually not enough to fully control bleeding and additional steps are needed to stop the flow.

arteriole

ar·te·ri·ole

/ärˈti(ə)rē ōl/

Noun

When arteries branch out to supply blood to different parts of the body, they subdivide and become smaller, eventually becoming arterioles which bring blood to the tissues.

arteriosclerosis

ar·ter·ri·o·scle·ro·sis

/ärˌti(ə)rēōskləˈrōsis/

Noun

A condition in which the inner lining of large and medium arteries becomes narrow and thick.

artery

ar·ter·y

/ˈärtərē/

Noun

Arteries have the ability to stretch under a wave of blood, and “snap” back, much like an elastic band, to help move blood through the arterial side of the vasculature. Arteries divide and subdivide, becoming arterioles and ending in capillary beds whose walls are one cell thin.

aspiration

as·pi·ra·tion

/ˌaspəˈrāSHən/

Noun

The inhalation of foreign bodies into the airway.

aspiration pneumonia

as·pi·ra·tion pneu·mo·nia

/ˌaspəˈrāSH(ə)n n(y)o͞oˈmōnyə/

Noun

A form of pneumonia caused by aspiration of a foreign body (usually food) into the lower airways.

assault

as·sault

/əˈsôlt/

Noun

Causing a patient to feel afraid that you might cause harm is known as assault.

assisted medication

as·sist·ed med·i·ca·tion

/əˈsist'ed ˌmedəˈkāSHən/

Noun

Depending on the policies and medical control of individual EMS systems, prehospital care providers may be permitted to assist patients in taking their own medication that had previously been prescribed by a doctor. These can be referred to as assisted medications. Generally, these medications include autoinjected epinephrine (EpiPen), beta 2 agonists by metered-dose inhaler, and nitroglycerine.

asthma

asth·ma

/ˈazmə/

Noun

The most common type of reactive airway disorders, marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing

asystole

a·sys·to·le

/asys·to·le/

Noun

When the heart has no contractions due to a lack of electrical impulses. Characterized by the lack of a heartbeat, which creates a flat line on a heart monitor. Colloquially called a flatline.

atherosclerosis

ath·er·o·scle·ro·sis

/ˌaTHərōskləˈrōsəs/

Noun

A condition in which the inner lining of large and medium arteries becomes narrow and thick

atlas

at·las

/ˈatləs/

Noun

The first cervical vertebra that supports the weight of the head.

atom

a·tom

/ˈatəm/

Noun

Extremely small particle made up of subatomic particles

atrial fibrillation

a·tri·al fi·bril·la·tion

/ey tree əl \ˌfi-brə-ˈlā-shən/

Noun

An irregularly irregular heart rhythm

atrial kick

a·tri·al kick

/ˈātrēuhl kik/

Noun

The atria push blood into the ventricles with a certain amount of volume and force. This produces an atrial kick that allows the ventricles to fill with about 20% more blood that what would normally enter if the atrial did not contract efficiently.

atrium

a·tri·um

/ˈātrēəm/

Noun

Either of the two upper chambers of the heart that squeeze blood into the lower chambers (ventricles). The right atrium receives deoxygenated blood, whereas the left atrium receives oxygenated blood.

atrophy

at·ro·phy

/ˈatrəfē/

Verb

To decrease in size, typically due to degeneration in cells

audible sound

au·di·ble sound

/ˈôdəbəl sound/

Noun

A sound that you detect without special equipment, such as stridor or snoring.

auditory canal

au·di·to·ry ca·nal

/ˈôdiˌtôrē kəˈnal/

Noun

The auditory canal extends from the middle ear to the throat. It is needed in order to maintain proper atmospheric pressure inside the middle ear which allows normal hearing to occur. Infections can cause this tube to clog, causing partial hearing loss and pain.

auricle

au·ri·cle

/ˈôrikəl/

Noun

The most notable part of the outer ear is the auricle, which is shaped to channel sound into the external auditory canal.

auscultate

au·scul·tate

/aw skuh l teyt/

Verb

The act of listening to lung sounds for the presence of uneven breath sounds, wheezing, or crackles.

auscultated sound

aus·cul·tat·ed sound

/aws″kul-ta´ted sound/

Noun

A sound that requires the use of a stethoscope, a listening device that amplifies these normally very quiet sounds. Examples of auscultated sounds include lung sounds and Korotkoff sounds associated with taking a blood pressure.

authorized medication

au·thor·ized med·i·ca·tion

/ˈôTHəˌrīzd ˌmedəˈkāSHən/

Noun

Authorized medications are those that EMTs are allowed to give within their scope of practice.

automated external defibrillator

au·to·mat·ed ex·ter·nal de·fib·ril·la·tor

/ˈôdəˌmādəd ikˈstərnl dēˈfibrəˌlādər/

Noun

A device that can be used to analyze the patient’s heart rhythm and deliver a counter-shock

automatic transport ventilator

au·to·mat·ic trans·port ven·ti·la·tor

/aw tuh mat ik trans-pawrt ven tl ey ter/

Noun

A mechanical device with electronic circuitry to precisely regulate the rate and volume of positive pressure ventilations. Automatic transport ventilators typically require the patient to have an advanced airway such as an endotracheal tube or a tracheostomy.

automatic vehicle locator

au·to·mat·ic ve·hi·cle lo·ca·tor

/ˌôtəˈmatik ˈvēəkəl ˈlōˌkātər/

Noun

Provides real-time emergency vehicle location to dispatchers through the use of global positioning satellite systems (GPSS)

automaticity

au·to·ma·ti·ci·ty

/ôtəma'tiˈsitē/

Noun

The ability to produce an electrical impulse without being stimulated.

avoidant personality disorder

a·void·ant per·son·al·i·ty dis·or·der

/əˈvoidənt ˌpərsəˈnalədē disˈôrdər/

Noun

A type of personality disorder characterized by extreme social inhibition and withdrawal

AVPU scale

AV·PU scale

/äv po͞o,po͝o skāl/

Noun

An acronym for a scale used during the primary assessment to quickly identify the patient’s level of consciousness by determining how a patient responds to some form of stimulus. AVPU stands for alert, verbal, pain and unresponsive. If a patient is responding spontaneously, they are an "A" on the AVPU. If they are responsive to verbal stimuli, they are a "V" on the scale. If they respond to painful stimulus, such as squeezing of the trapezius muscle, applying supraorbital or mandibular pressure, or providing a sternal rub, they are a "P." If they are unresponsive to any stimulus, they are a "U."

avulsion

a·vul·sion

/əˈvəlSHən/

Noun

This open injury occurs when a flap of skin is partially or completely torn off. Bleeding may be significant, depending on the amount of area involved and depth of the avulsion. Because of the loss of skin, the risk of infection is significant

axial portion

ax·i·al por·tion

/ˈaksēəl ˈpôrSHən/

Noun

Anatomically, the body is divided into two portions: axial and appendicular. The axial portion includes the head, neck and trunk. Within the axial portion, there are several cavities: cranial, vertebral, thoracic, abdominal, pelvic, and retroperitoneal.

axis

ax·is

/ˈaksəs/

Noun

The second cervical vertebra

backboard

back·board

/ˈbakbôrd/

Noun

A flat device used in spinal immoblization to which the patient is placed and secured with straps and a head immobilization device. Pads are used to fill the voids.

bag-valve mask

bag valve mask

/bag valv mask/

Noun

A common hand-held artificial ventilation device that's used to deliver positive pressure ventilations.

bargaining

bar·gain·ing

/ˈbärgən iNG/

Verb

One of the five stages of death and dying created by medical ethicist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. This stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. The patient thinks, "I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time..."

baroreceptor

bar·o·re·cep·tor

/ˌbarōriˈseptəf/

Noun

A receptor that measures pressure within the artery.

base station

base sta·tion

/bās ˈstāSHən/

Noun

A fixed radio that is used to maintain communication with a fleet of EMS vehicles and personnel that are using portable hand-held or mobile radios

baseline

base·line

/ˈbāsˌlīn/

Noun

The set of vital signs that indicates a starting set for comparison

battery

bat·ter·y

/ˈbatərē/

Noun

Actually placing your hands on a patient without consent is termed battery. For example, not gaining consent prior to performing a hands-on assessment may be a battery case.

battle's sign

bat·tles sign

/ˈbatles sīn/

Noun

Bruising behind the ears, a finding that develops slowly and indicates a basal skull fracture.

behavioral disease

be·hav·ior·al dis·ease

/bəˈhāvyərəl dəˈzēz/

Noun

A nonphysical conditions can affect the overall function of the body

behavioral emergency

be·hav·ior·al e·mer·gen·cy

/bəˈhāvyərəl əˈmərjənsē/

Noun

A behavior that significantly deviates from accepted norms and is inappropriate according to social/cultural standards that significantly impacts a person's health, relationships, work, or ability to function, and potentially poses a danger to the individual or others surrounding him.

bilateral

bi·lat·er·al

/bīˈlatərəl/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to refer to paired structures, one on each side of the midline.

bile

bile

/bīl/

Noun

An alkaline digestive fluid that is secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.

biotransformation

bi·o·trans·for·ma·tion

/ˌbīōˌtransfərˈmāSHən/

Noun

The act of changing the chemical form of medications or toxins

bipolar disorder

bi·po·lar dis·or·der

/bīˈpōlər ˌdisˈôrdər/

Noun

A condition marked by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. Also called manic depression

bite wound

bite wound

/bīt wo͞ond/

Noun

Soft tissue injury that can be a combination of both open and closed wounds, with penetration by the teeth and crushing by force

bladder

blad·der

/ˈbladər/

Noun

The urinary bladder is a hollow organ located within the pelvis, that expands as it collects urine from the kidneys. The urine is stored there until excretion.

blastocyst

blas·to·cyst

/ˈblastəˌsist/

Noun

A morula that has hollowed out while the cells continued to divide. The blastocyst is what eventually attaches to the endometrium, continuing to develop into an embryo.

blood

blood

/bləd/

Noun

Blood consists mostly of water containing nutrients, wastes, and specialized blood cells. Blood travels through the vascular system, carrying oxygen toward and carbon dioxide away from the tissues of the body.

blood pressure

blood pres·sure

/bləd ˈpreSHər/

Noun

The pressure of the blood in the circulatory system

blunt trauma

blunt trau·ma

/blənt ˈtroumə/

Noun

The injuries of blunt trauma result when tissues undergo compression, deceleration, acceleration, and sheer forces, a lateral force that stretches tissues as one structure changes speed at a different rate than an adjacent structure. Compression results when an organ or structure is squeezed between other structures or organs.

body substance isolation

bod·y sub·stance i·so·la·tion

/ˈbädē ˈsəbstəns ˌīsəˈlāSH(ə)n//

Noun

Precautions that regard all body fluids as potentially infectious

body surface area

bod·y sur·face ar·e·a

/ˈbädē ˈsərfəs ˈerēə/

Noun

The total surface area of the human body, often used as a tool to determine the amount of skin that has been burned.

bone

bone

/bōn/

Noun

The functional unit of the skeletal system is the bone cell. Bones appear to have a wide variety of sizes and shapes; however they are similar in composition. All bones are made up of a combination of live cells embedded in a matrix of collagen and mineral salts (such as calcium). Collagen provides the primary strength of the bone and is somewhat resilient, allowing for flexibility. The salts cause the bone to be hard, making it difficult to crush.

bony orbit

bon·y or·bit

/ˈbōnē ˈôrbit/

Noun

Surrounding the eye, it forms the eye socket and protects the eye. Its shape is supported by a clear, jelly -like substance called vitreous humor.

borderline personality disorder

bord·er·line per·son·al·i·ty dis·or·der

/ˈbôrdərˌlīn ˌpərsəˈnalədē disˈôrdər/

Noun

A personality disorder characterized by a pattern of instability and impulsiveness

bowel obstruction

bow·el ob·struc·tion

/ˈbou(ə)l əbˈstrəkSH(ə)n/

Noun

Unresolved constipation that causes a blockage and the tissue at the site of obstruction is denied circulation. If the blockage is present long enough, the tissue will become ischemic and infarct, rendering that part of the bowel ineffective at moving waste products.

Boyle's law

Boyles law

/boilz lô/

Noun

The law that states that pressure and volume are inversely proportional for a fixed amount of an ideal gas kept at a fixed temperature

bradycardia

brad·y·car·di·a

/ˌbradiˈkärdēə/

Noun

A heart rate that is too slow to maintain perfusion

bradypnea

brad·yp·ne·a

/brād'ĭp nē'ə, brād'ē nē'ə/

Noun

A ventilatory rate of less than 12 respirations per minute in adults.

brain

brain

/brān/

Noun

In addition to being the seat of consciousness, the brain is also responsible for coordinating and controlling nearly all of the body’s processes, from processing incoming sensory information, making both conscious and unconscious decisions, to executing commands to respond to the sensory stimulus. Brain cells do not have the capacity to operate anaerobically, and will rapidly die without oxygen.

brainstem

brain·stem

/ˈbrānˌstem/

Noun

The brainstem is located deep inside the brain, and resembles more of the spinal cord than it does the cerebrum or cerebellum. It controls most of the major autonomic functions of the body, including heart rate, breathing rate and the contraction and relaxation of the vasculature.

Braxton-Hicks contractions

Brax·ton Hicks con·trac·tions

/ˌbrakstən ˈhiks kənˌtrakSH(ə)nz/

Noun

Early labor contractions that are mild and sporadic; they can occur weeks before actual labor begins.

breast

breast

/brest/

Noun

One of two protrusions of soft tissue in the upper body that, in females, produce milk after childbirth

bronchiole

bron·chi·ole

/ˈbräNGkēˌōl/

Noun

The bronchi continue to divide again and again into numerous bronchioles. Each of these bronchioles can expand or constrict depending upon the needs of the body for air exchange as well as reacting to certain substances. For example, pollen can cause the bronchioles to abnormally constrict in a patient with asthma, making it very difficult to breathe.

bronchiolitis

bron·chi·o·li·tis

/ˌbräNGkēəˈlīdəs/

Noun

A lower respiratory infection in infants younger than 1 year of age

bronchoconstriction

bron·cho·con·stric·tion

/brong'kō kənˈstrikSHən/

Noun

Constriction of the larger conducting airways including the bronchi and several generations of bronchioles

bronchus

bron·chus

/ˈbräNGkəs/

Noun

Either of the two main airway branches that begin at the trachea before dividing into the left and right bronchi, which enter the lungs. The bronchi continue to divide again and again into numerous bronchioles.

capillary

cap·il·lar·y

/ˈkapəˌlerē/

Noun

Any of the very thin-walled blood vessels that form a network between the smallest arterioles and tributaries.

capillary bed

cap·il·lar·y bed

/ˈkapəˌlerē bed/

Noun

An immense network of capillaries whose walls are one cell thin, allowing oxygen and carbon dioxide to diffuse easily across the membrane between the blood and cell. Capillary beds regroup and eventually become veins.

capillary bleed

cap·il·lar·y bleed

/ˈkapəˌlerē blēd/

Noun

Bleeding from capillary beds tends to ooze, and the blood tends to be darker in color. Controlling capillary bleeding is usually simple to achieve, unless there is a large area to manage. Generally speaking, capillary bleeding is not life-threatening.

capillary permeability

cap·il·lar·y per·me·a·bil·i·ty

/ˈkapəˌlerē ˌpərmēəˈbilitē/

Noun

The ability of molecules to pass through capillary walls. Increased capillary permeability is defined as an increased ability of molecules to pass through, while decreased permeability means fewer molecules are able to move across the vessel wall.

carbon dioxide

car·bon di·ox·ide

/ˈkärbən dīˈäkˌsīd/

Noun

An odorless, colorless gas that results from oxidation of carbon formed in the tissues. It is formed during respiration and is a primary regulator of blood flow to the brain through vasodilation and vasoconstriction.

cardiac arrest

car·di·ac ar·rest

/kahr dee ak uh rest/

Noun

When the heart beats poorly or not at all

cardiac muscle

car·di·ac mus·cle

/ˈkärdēˌak ˈməsəl/

Noun

Cardiac muscle has both the properties of skeletal and smooth muscle, and is found only in the heart. Its unique properties allow the heart to contract continuously without prolonged rest.

cardiogenic shock

car·di·o·gen·ic shock

/kär′dē-ō-jĕn′ĭk shok/

Noun

If enough cardiac tissue becomes injured or infarcted, especially in the left ventricle, the heart will not be able to move enough blood into the systemic circulation and blood pressure begins to fall.

cardiopulmonary resuscitation

car·di·o·pul·mo·nar·y re·sus·ci·tate

/ˌkärdēōˈpo͝olməˌnerē,-ˈpəl- rəˈsəsəˌtāt/

Noun

A procedure for treatment of sudden cardiac arrest that consists of compressing the chest and providing artificial ventilation.

cardiovascular system

car·di·o·vas·cu·lar sys·tem

/ˌkärdēōˈvaskyələr ˈsistəm/

Noun

A complex system of organs that work together to transport and supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and remove wastes.

carina

ca·ri·na

/kəˈrēnə,-ˈrī-/

Noun

The structure where the trachea divides, or bifurcates, into left and right main stem bronchi. The carina is located near the junction of the fourth and fifth thoracic vertebra.

carotid bodies

ca·rot·id bod·ies

/kəˈrätid ˈbädēs/

Noun

Chemoreceptors that measures changes in blood composition.

carotid sinuses

ca·rot·id si·nus·es

/kəˈrätid sīnəs es/

Noun

Receptors that measure pressure within the artery. They are located in the carotid arteries that pass through the neck to the brain and face.

cartilage

car·ti·lage

/ˈkärtl-ij/

Noun

Not as dense as bone, cartilage has greater flexibility and serves several functions. It provides shape to structures such as the nose and ears; protects and provides a smooth surface between bones to allow for painless movement; and connects bones of the ribcage in a very flexible yet strong way.

cavitation

cav·i·ta·tion

/ˌkavəˈtāSHən/

Noun

A temporary cavity produces a shock wave created as a bullet tears through tissue.

cell

cell

/sel/

Noun

Many molecules and compounds that are organized to sustain life.

cellular telephone

cel·lu·lar tel·e·phone

/ˈselyələr ˈteləˌfōn/

Noun

A means of communicating between dispatch, field personnel, and hospitals. In addition to being able to carry on a full duplex conversation, they have the added benefit of features such as text messaging, paging, and global positioning features

central nervous system

cen·tral nerv·ous sys·tem

/ˈsentrəl ˈnərvəs ˈsistəm/

Noun

The central nervous system is the division of the nervous system that involves the brain and spinal cord.

central pulses

cen·tral puls·es

/sen-truhl puhls es/

Noun

These are found toward the body’s core. They include the femoral and carotid arteries.

central vision

cen·tral vi·sion

/ˈsentrəl ˈviZHən/

Noun

Also called direct vision, central vision allows for viewing of fine, sharp, straight-ahead quality details.

cerebellum

cer·e·bel·lum

/ˌserəˈbeləm/

Noun

The cerebellum is the area of the brain that is located in the inferior ventral side of the brain. It is responsible for coordinating sensory input and motor responses that control movement and posture.

cerebral perfusion pressure

ce·re·bral per·fu·sion pres·sure

/səˈrēbrəl pərˈfyo͞o shion ˈpreSHər/

Noun

The minimum amount of pressure of 60 mmHg that's needed for the brain to receive enough oxygen and nutrients. It can be calculated as mean arterial pressure minus intracranial pressure.

cerebrospinal fluid

ce·re·bral spi·nal flu·id

/səˈrēbrəl ˈspīnl ˈflo͞oid/

Noun

A clear, colorless liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. In trauma, leakage of cerebrospinal fluid through the nose may be associated with severe mid-face or basilar skull fractures.

cerebrum

ce·re·brum

/səˈrēbrəm/

Noun

The cerebrum is the area of the brain that comprises most of the mass, folding upon itself multiple times in order to increase the amount of surface area that can fit inside the skull. It is also responsible for so-called “higher order” processes, such as making conscious thought and storing information as memories, which it then uses to make decisions (called reasoning).

certification

cer·ti·fi·ca·tion

/sûr t -f -k sh n/

Noun

An acknowledgement by an authorized agency such as local or state government that one has demonstrated entry-level competency in a field of study.

cervical vertebrae

cer·vi·cal ver·te·brae

/ˈsərvik(ə)l ˈvərdəbrə/

Noun

Seven vertebra that are allow the neck to turn 180 degrees from left to right. They are the smallest and most mobile of the vertebrae.

chemical burn

chem·i·cal burn

/ˈkemək(ə)l bərn/

Noun

These can be categorized into two general categories. In an incident involving an acid, the chemical causes the proteins to nature, forming a coagulum or eschar that effectively slows or stops the depth of the burn. A base liquefies the skin and can continue to burn for some time, causing a deep and large tissue injury

chemical name

chem i cal name

/ˈkemikəl nām/

Noun

The chemical name of a medication is the description of its chemical structure. For example, the chemical name for adrenalin is (-)-3,4-dihydroxy-a - [(methylamino)methyl] benzylalcohol.

chemoreceptor

che·mo·re·cep·tor

/ˈkēmōriˌseptər/

Noun

A receptor that measures changes in blood composition by detecting carbon dioxide and oxygen levels

chest cage

chest cage

/CHest kāj/

Noun

The structure composed of ribs and muscles that protects the organs inside the chest.

chest compression fraction

chest com·pres·sion frac·tion

/CHest kəmˈpreSHən ˈfrakSHən/

Noun

The proportion of resuscitation time without spontaneous circulation during which chest compressions were administered. (Source: Christenson J, Andrusiek D, Everson-Stewart S, et al. Chest compression fraction determines survival in patients with out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation. Circulation. 2009;120:1241-7.)

chief complaint

chief com·plaint

/CHēf kəmˈplānt/

Noun

The chief complaint is stated in the patient’s words. It is his description about what bothers him the most. It can be documented using quotation marks, especially if it is out of the ordinary. For example, if the patient fell off a ladder, his chief complaint might be “my back hurts” or “I can’t feel my legs” (as opposed to “fall from a ladder”).

chlamydia trachomatis

chla·myd·i·a tra·cho·ma·tis

/kləˈmidēə trə kō'mə tĭs/

Noun

One of the most common bacterial sexually transmitted diseases among American women

cholecystitis

cho·le·cys·ti·tis

/ˌkōləsisˈtīdəs/

Noun

Inflammation and swelling of the gallbladder caused when bile backs up.

chronotropic effect

chron·o·trop·ic ef fect

/kron uh trop ik, troh pik ih fekt/

Noun

When the brainstem signals sent along the nervous and endocrine systems are to change the rate of the heart, and to the peripheral arterial system, where it can raise resistance.

chyme

chyme

/kīm/

Noun

As food in the stomach is broken down through chemical reactions, it becomes more liquid in nature, forming a substance called chyme. The stomach churns the chyme using peristaltic motions, and eventually pushes the chyme into the small intestines through the pyloric valve.

cilia

cil·i·a

/ˈsilēə/

Noun

Microscopic structures resembling hairs that occur in large numbers on cell surfaces, whose rhythmic motion causes movement of the cell or surrounding medium.

circumferential burn

cir·cum·fer·en·tial burn

/sərˌkʌm fəˈrɛn ʃəl bərn/

Noun

A burn that surrounds an extremity

clammy

clam·my

/klam ee/

Adjective

A unique sensation caused by the combination of cool skin temperature and diaphoresis.

clavicle

clav·i·cle

/ˈklavikəl/

Noun

The bone that connects the scapula and the sternum. Clavicles cover the anterior top two sets of ribs.

clitoris

clit·o·ris

/ˈklidərəs/

Noun

A small body of erectile tissue that consists of two columns of erectile tissue that is the main receptor of sexual sensation in the female

closed chest wound

closed chest wound

/klōzd CHest wo͞ond/

Noun

A chest wound resulting from a significant blunt force trauma mechanism. Unlike the open chest wound there may be few external signs of a closed chest wound.

closed injury

closed in·ju·ry

/klōzd ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

An injury that doesn't break the integrity of the skin

closed question

closed ques·tion

/klōzd ˈkwesCHən/

Noun

One that can be answered by a single word or short phrase. They can help you direct the discussion, and are easier and faster to answer. However, they may not help you get a complete or detailed answer from the patient.

clot

clot

/klät/

Noun

A collection of coagulating agents that causes bleeding to stop. A web forms when platelets stick to each other and the wall of a damaged area of skin. This web catches red blood cells, blood proteins, and white blood cells that are passing through. A clot is quickly formed, causing bleeding to stop. After the damage tissues repairs itself, the clot dissolves, leaving behind the new, healthy vessel.

clubbing

club·bing

/'kləbiNG/

Noun

Clubbing is a condition of chronic swelling of the fingertips, which can be due to long-term hypoxia (low oxygen levels).

coagulation

co·ag·u·la·tion

/kōˈaɡyəˌlāSH(ə)n/

Noun

The process of fluid becoming semi-solid, such as blood cells gathering to become a blood clot

coccygeal vertebrae

coc·cyg′e·al ver·te·brae

/ˈkɒkˈsɪdʒ i əl ˈvərdəbrə/

Noun

The final 4 coccygeal vertebrae, which are fused to form the coccyx

coccyx

coc·cyx

/ˈkäksiks/

Noun

A small, triangular bone at the base of the spinal column

cochlea

coch·le·a

/ˈkōklēə/

Noun

Located in the inner ear, the spiral cavity of the cochlea contains the nerve endings that are responsible for translating the auditory signal that is sent to the brain.

cognitive skill

cog·ni·tive skill

/ˈkäɡnədiv skil/

Noun

A subset of nontechnical skills including decision making, task management, and situational awareness.

collar bone

col·lar bone

/ˈkälər bōn/

Noun

The top of the lungs that extends superiorly just past the clavicle

combining form

com·bin·ing form

/kəmˈbīn'iNG fôrm/

Noun

Also known as "combining vowels", combining forms are just that, vowels (most commonly “o”, but other vowels are used as well), combined with root words to facilitate the pronunciation of the medical term. For example, muscul–o–skeletal.

communicable disease

com·mu·ni·ca·ble dis·ease

/kəˈmyo͞onikəbəl diˈzēz/

Noun

Communicable diseases come in a variety of forms, such as bacterial, viral and fungal infections. These micro-organisms can be transmitted through the atmosphere (airborne) or through human secretions such as saliva, tears, semen, or blood (bloodborne).

communication

com·mu·ni·ca·tion

/kəˌmyo͞onəˈkāSHən/

Noun

Speaking clearly and seeking to understand what is being said. When writing a report, do so with legible printing, use appropriate medical terminology, and be accurate in your observations.

compartment syndrome

com·part·ment syn·drome

/kəmˈpärtmənt ˈsinˌdrōm/

Noun

When swelling from injury becomes trapped in certain parts of the tissue, causing hypoxia in the tissue and, eventually, necrosis

compensated shock

com·pen·sated shock

/ˈkämpənˌsā ted SHäk/

Noun

When blood pressure is appropriate but there are signs of inadequate tissue perfusion

compensation

com·pen·sa·tion

/ˌkämpənˈsāSH(ə)n/

Noun

How the body adapts to maintain balance

compliant

com·pli·ant

/kəmˈplīənt/

Adjective

Stretchy

computer-aided dispatch

com·put·er aid·ed de·vice

/kəmˈpyo͞otər ād ed diˈvīs/

Noun

A CAD is a computer software program used by public safety dispatchers and personnel to help manage emergency incidents from the moment a 9-1-1 call is received until the conclusion of a call

concussion

con·cus·sion

/kənˈkəSHən/

Noun

A temporary change in neurologic function after the brain experiences rapid acceleration/deceleration forces or a direct blow to the head

conduction system

con·duc·tion sys·tem

/kənˈdəkSHən ˈsistəm/

Noun

The system that coordinates the timing and distribution of electrical impulses in the heart.

congenital

con·ge·ni·tal

/kənˈjenətl/

Adjective

A type of genetic disease that exists from birth

congenital disease

con·gen·i·tal dis·ease

/kənˈjenədl dəˈzēz/

Noun

A genetic disease that exists from birth

conjugate

con·ju·gate

/ˈkänjəˌgāt/

Adjective

When both eyes are pointed in the same direction

constipation

con·sti·pa·tion

/ˌkänstəˈpāSH(ə)n//

Noun

When the digestive tract is unable to easily discharge fecal waste from the body

contagious

con·ta·gious

/kənˈtājəs/

Adjective

Diseases that can be transmitted from one body to the next

continuous quality improvement

con·tin·u·ous qual·i·ty im·prove·ment

/kənˈtinyo͞oəs ˈkwälətē imˈpro͞ovmənt/

Noun

Systematically evaluating certain aspects of care on an ongoing basis. Data is collected and analyzed for any trends or signs of changes in quality, ether positive or negative. Specific possible causes of degradation or improvement are identified and plans are implement to correct or continue the identified behaviors.

contraindication

con·tra·in·di·ca·tion

/ˈkän-trə indiˈkāSHən/

Noun

A contraindication of a medication is a condition in which it could be harmful and should not be given to a patient. For example, an oral liquid drug should not be administered to a patient who is unconscious or unable to swallow.

contralateral

con·tra·lat·er·al

/ˌkäntrəˈlatərəl/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to refer to structures on the opposite side of the midline.

contrecoup injury

con·tre·coup in·ju·ry

/ˈkäntrəˌko͞o ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

The injury on the opposite side of the head as the impact from blunt force trauma

control center

con·trol cen·ter

/kənˈtrōl ˈsentər/

Noun

The control center receives information from receptors, compares that to what should be happening, and decides whether or not to make a change. If change is required, an effector will take action. For example, if skin receptors report a rise in heat, the control center will compare that with what it knows to be a safe temperature. If it is too hot, the control center will activate an effector, like a muscle to move the body part away from the heat source.

contusion

con·tu·sion

/kənˈto͞oZHən/

Noun

Commonly called a bruise, a contusion is an injury to the dermal layer of the skin. If blood vessels are damaged, blood may pool, producing a black to blue discoloration called ecchymosis. This color will slowly turn yellow and even green as the injury heals itself.

cord concussion

cord con·cus·sion

/kôrd kənˈkəSHən/

Noun

Injury to the spinal cord due to a blow to the vertebral column that results in temporary loss of cord function

cord transection

cord trans·ec·tion

/kôrd tranˈsekSH(ə)n/

Noun

Injuty caused by shearing of the spinal cord that results in permanent neurologic dysfunction below the level of the injury

cornea

cor·ne·a

/ˈkôrnēə/

Noun

The clear opening that allows light to enter the eye is the cornea.

coronary artery

co·ro·nar·y art·te·ry

/ˈkôrəˌnerē ˈärtərē/

Noun

The myocardium receives blood through a series of vessels called coronary arteries. These arteries branch directly off the aorta shortly after the junction with the left ventricle.

coronary artery disease

co·ro·nar·y ar·ter·y dis·ease

/ˈkôrəˌnerē ˈärtərē diˈzēz/

Noun

A disease that may cause the blood flow through the coronary arteries to slow or stop.

coronary perfusion pressure

cor·o·nar·y per·fu·sion pres·sure

/ˈkôrəˌnerē per fyoo zhuh n ˈpreSHər/

Noun

The difference between the systolic pressure and diastolic pressure

corpora cavernosa

cor·pus ca·ver·no·sum

/ˌkôrpəs ˌkavərˈnōsəm/

Noun

Two masses of erectile tissue forming the bulk of the penis and the clitoris

corpus luteum

cor·pus lu·te·um

/ˌkôrpəs ˈlo͞otēəm/

Noun

A small mass of endocrine tissue that develops from the follicle after ovulation has occurred. It functions as a temporary endocrine gland, secreting progesterone and estrogen, which help prepare the uterus for possible implantation of the fertilized egg. It remains active for several months if implanation occurs or begins to degenerate after about 10 days if implantation does not occur.

coup injury

coup in·ju·ry

/ko͞o ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

The injury on the same side of the head as the impact from blunt force trauma

cranial cavity

cra·ni·al cav·i·ty

/ˈkrānēəl ˈkavitē/

Noun

The space inside the skull, which contains the brain.

cranial vault

cra·ni·al vault

/ˈkrānēəl vôlt/

Noun

The space inside the skull occupied by the brain.

cricoid cartilage

cri·coid car·ti·lage

/ˈkrīˌkoid ˈkärtl-ij/

Noun

A continuous firm ring of cartilage located below the thyroid cartilage. Both of these cartilages together provide airway structure and support so they do not collapse and obstruct flow in and out of the lungs.

crisis management briefing

cri·sis man·age·ment brief·ing

/ˈkrīsis ˈmanijmənt ˈbrēfiNG/

Noun

A critical incident stress management intervention, this is a large, homogeneous (composed of such likeminded individuals as EMTs, paramedics and firefighters) group intervention used before, during and after a crisis to discuss stress survival skills and/or other available support services. Briefings may be repeated as situation changes.

critical incident stress debriefing

crit·i·cal in·ci·dent stress de·brief·ing

/ˈkritikəl ˈinsidənt stres dēˈbrēf iNG/

Noun

A critical incident stress management intervention, this is a proactive intervention involving a group meeting or discussion about an especially distressing event. Based on core principles of crisis intervention, CISD is facilitated by a specially trained team that includes professional and peer support personnel. Ideally CISD is conducted between 24 and 72 hours after the incident, but may be held later under exceptional circumstances.

critical incident stress management

crit·i·cal in·ci·dent stress man·age·ment

/ˈkritikəl ˈinsidənt stres ˈmanijmənt/

Noun

Critical incident stress management is an intervention protocol developed specifically for dealing with traumatic events. It is a structured process for helping those involved in a critical incident to share their experiences, vent emotions, learn about stress reactions and symptoms and given referrals for further help if required. Its effectiveness has been questioned in recent studies. CISM interventions include: critical incident stress debriefing, defusing, grief and loss sessions and crisis management briefing.

crush injury

crush in·ju·ry

/krəSH ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

Blunt force trauma spread over a larger area of the body

Cushing’s syndrome

Cush·ing·s syn·drome

/ko͝oSH iNGs ˈsinˌdrōm/

Noun

A pattern of significant hypertension, bradycardia and irregular breathing caused by pressure in the brain so high that the pons area is affected.

cyanotic

cy a·not ic

/sahy uh not ik/

Adjective

Skin color that is blue due to a lack of perfusion.

cystic fibrosis

cys·tic fi·bro·sis

/ˈsistik fīˈbrōsəs/

Noun

A genetic disease that affects the cells in the respiratory system that produce mucus. The mucus producing cells make mucus that is so thick that it can interfere with airway clearance and lung function.

decision making

de·ci·sion mak·ing

/dəˈsiZHən ˈmākiNG/

Noun

The selection of choices among alternatives. Source: http://www.ise.ncsu.edu/nsf_itr/794B/papers/Klein_2008_HF_NDM.pdf

decompensated shock

de·con·tam·i·nate

/ˌdēˈkämpənˌsā ted SHäk/

Noun

Shock associated with hypotension. Also called late stage or irreversible shock.

deep

deep

/dēp/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to indicate that a part is toward the inside of the body.

deep vein thrombosis

deep vein throm·bo·sis

/dēp vān THrämˈbōsəs/

Noun

When a blood clot forms in a large vein of the legs

defibrillation

de·fib·ril·la·tion

/dēˌfibrəˈlāSHən/

Noun

Sending an electric shock through the heart to stop arrhythmia

deformity

de·form·i·ty

/dəˈfôrmədē/

Adjective

A malformed body part

defusing

de·fuse·ing

/diˈfyo͞oz iNG/

Noun

A critical incident stress management intervention, this is an intervention that is a shorter, less formal version of a debriefing. It is designed to stabilize people affected by the incident so that they can return to their normal routines without unusual stress. It generally lasts from 30 to 60 minutes, but may last longer. Defusing is best conducted within one to four hours after a critical incident. It is not usually conducted more than 12 hours after the incident.

dehydration

de·hy·dra·tion

/dee hahy drey shuhn/

Noun

Bodily fluid volume loss

demographic information

dem·o·graph·ic in·for·ma·tion

/ˌdeməˈgrafik ˌinfərˈmāSHən/

Noun

Factors such as the age, sex, and weight of a patient, that can provide you with clues and insight about their current situation. They may also help you determine the proper treatment and transport options for your patient.

denaturation

de·na·tur·a·tion

/dē-nā'chər'a'SHən/

Noun

The process of the proteins of the skin breaking down, changing shape and stopping their function due to exposure to high temperatures

denial

de·ni·al

/diˈnīəl/

Noun

One of the five stages of death and dying created by medical ethicist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. Denial is often an early stage, where the patient is unable to accept the concept of death. She might think, “This is not happening to me.” Denial is a temporary defense mechanism.

depolarization

depo·lar·i·za·tion

/de poh ler uh zey shuhn/

Noun

A small amount of electricity

depression

de·pres·sion

/diˈpreSHən/

Noun

One of the five stages of death and dying created by medical ethicist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. During the fourth stage, the patient recognizes that death is certain. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect himself from love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer an individual up that is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be experienced and processed.

dermis

der·mis

/ˈdərmis/

Noun

The layer of skin below the epidermis is the dermis; a layer of live cells that is flexible. The dermis contains blood vessels, sweat glands and hair follicles. Melanin is also found in the dermis and contains the pigment that we see as skin color.

descending aorta

de·scend·ing a·or·ta

/dəˈsend ING āˈôrdə/

Noun

The part of the aorta that lies on the ventral side of the spine. It starts at the aortic arch and ends at the abdomen.

diabetes

di·a·be·tes

/ˌdīəˈbētēz/

Noun

A condition in which there are elevated levels of glucose in the blood, due to the body's inability to produce enough insulin.

diabetic ketoacidosis

di·a·be·tic ke·to·ac·i·do·sis

/ˌdīəˈbedik kēt-ō-ˌas-ə-ˈdō-səs/

Noun

A condition in which such waste products as ketones and acids are released into the bloodstream

diagnose

di·ag·nose

/ˌdīəɡˈnōs/

Verb

Using a battery of tests, deductive reasoning and experience to determine the underlying nature of the problem at hand

diagnosis

diag·no·sis

/dīəgˈnōsis/

Noun

A pronouncement or conclusion of the actual medical condition

diagnostic procedure

di·ag·nos·tic pro·ce·dure

/ˌdīəɡˈnästik prəˈsējər/

Noun

Procedures designed to elicit information about a patient’s condition. Examples include taking a blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer and taking a chest x-ray.

diaphoresis

di·a·pho·re·sis

/dahy uh fuh ree sis/

Noun

As the shift in circulation away from the skin to the core continues, glands in the skin start to secrete fluid, causing sweat to form.

diaphoretic

di·a·pho·ret·ic

/ˌdīəfəˈretik/

Adjective

To be sweaty

diaphragm

di·a·phragm

/ˈdīəˌfram/

Noun

The diaphragm is the muscle that divides the abdominal cavity from the thoracic cavity. When stimulated by the brain, the diaphragm contracts, increasing the size of the thoracic cavity. This results in a small but significant negative pressure inside the chest, which causes air to rush into the lungs. At the end of this inhalation phase, the brain signals the diaphragm to stop contracting. As the muscle relaxes, the now positive pressure in the chest pushes air out of the lungs.

diarrhea

di·ar·rhe·a

/ˌdīəˈrēə/

Noun

Loose stool caused when too much liquid water remains in the digestive tract

diastole

di·as·to·le

/dīˈastl-ē/

Noun

Resting phase of each contraction of the heart

diastolic pressure

dias·tol·ic pres·sure

/dīa stol ik presh er/

Noun

The bottom number of a blood pressure reading, which represents the mean arterial pressure when the ventricles are filled with blood

differential process

dif·fe·ren·tial pro·cess

/ˌdifəˈrenCHəl präˌses/

Noun

The process of distinguishing one medical condition from another.

diffuse axonal injury

dif·fuse axon·al in·ju·ry

/dəˈfyo͞os ks-nl, k-snl ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

A widespread injury throughout the brain.

digestive system

di·ges·tive sys·tem

/diˈjestiv ˈsistəm/

Noun

The digestive system consists of the organs and glands that perform the mechanical and chemical processes necessary to break food down into particles small and simple enough to be absorbed into the body.

diminished

di·min·ished

/diˈminiSHt/

Adjective

Used to describe unusually quiet breath sounds

diplopia

di·plo·pi·a

/diˈplōpēə/

Noun

Double vision

direct contact

di·rect con·tact

/diˈrekt ˈkänˌtakt/

Noun

Direct contact transmission occurs when a person with a communicable disease gives it to another person through behaviors such as touching or sexual contact.

direct pressure

di·rect pres·sure

/dəˈrekt ˈpreSHər/

Noun

Applying pressure with a gloved hand to a wound that is bleeding

direction of force

di·rec·tion of force

/diˈrekSHən əv fôrs/

Noun

Motor vehicle collisions can be categorized into five types based on the direction of force. They are frontal, rear, lateral, and rotational impact, and rollover.

disconjugate

dis·con·ju·gate

/dis kon'jū gāt/

Adjective

When the eyes are not pointed in the same direction

disease

dis·ease

/diˈzēz/

Noun

An abnormal condition that affects some part of the body

dissection

dis·sec·tion

/dəˈsekSH(ə)n/

Noun

When blood flows in between the arterial layers, spreading them apart

disseminated intravascular coagulation

dis·sem·i·na·ted in·tra·vas·cu·lar co·ag·u·la·tion

/dəˈseməˌnā ted ˌintrəˈvaskyələr kōˈaɡyəˌlāSH(ə)n/

Noun

A life-threatening condition where a rapid onset of multiple clotting events causes a massive depletion of platets in the blood

distal

dis·tal

/ˈdistl/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to refer to a part further from a specific area than another.

distended

dis·tend·ed

/disˈtendəd/

Adjective

When the abdomen is unusually large, often from being filled with air or liquid, such as blood

domestic abuse

do·mes·tic a·buse

/dəˈmestik əˈbyo͞os/

Noun

Physical, emotional, or sexual mistreatment of someone else in their home. It can be in the form of threatening and intimidation, or abandonment.

dosage

dos·age

/ˈdōsij/

Noun

Although the terms dose and dosage are often used interchangeably, the dosage is the schedule by which doses of medication are administered. The dosage for digoxin (Lanoxin) prescribed to a patient may be two 125 mcg tablets once a day.

dose

dose

/dōs/

Noun

The dose is the amount of medication given to the patient, often calculated based on the patient's weight or age (not to be confused with "dosage").

drug

drug

/drəɡ/

Noun

Any substance that has a physiological effect on the body

duodenum

du·o·de·num

/ˌd(y)o͞oəˈdēnəm/

Noun

The first section of the small iIntestines

dura mater

du·ra ma·ter

/ˈd(y)o͝orə ˈmātər/

Noun

The dura mater is the outermost and toughest of the three layers of membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

durable power of attorney

du·ra·ble pow·er of at·tor·ney

/ˈd(y)o͝orəbəlˈpou(-ə)r əv əˈtərnē/

Noun

Like children, an adult can also have a legal guardian appointed by a court to make medical decisions on his behalf. This guardian has a durable power of attorney over the medical care of a patient who otherwise does not have the ability to make decisions related to that care.

duty to act

du·ty to act

/ˈd(y)o͞otē to͞o akt/

Noun

When you are on duty as an EMT you have the obligation to provide care when requested. This is known as duty to act. Compensation is not a factor associated with duty to act; rather it is whether there is an expectation for a response.

dysmenorrhea

dys·men·or·rhe·a

/ˌdismenəˈrēə/

Noun

Painful menstration. Primary dysmenorrhea is a condition associated with ovulatory cycles and is believed to be caused by the release of prostaglandins with menses. Secondary dysmenorrhea develops later in life, typically after age 25. It is associated with PID, endometriosis, ovulation, and even intrauterine devices (IUDs).

dysrhythmia

dys·rhyth·mi·a

/disˈriT͟Hmēə/

Noun

An abnormal heart rhythm that may be irregular, too fast, too slow, or cause abnormal heart function

ear

ear

/i(ə)r/

Noun

The ear is the organ responsible for detecting sound, as well as a sense of balance. It is made of three sections, the outer, middle and inner.

ecchymosis

ec·chy·mo·sis

/ˌekəˈmōsis/

Noun

Discoloration caused by bleeding under tissues

ectopic pregnancy

ec·top·ic

/ekˈtäpik/

Noun

When a fertilized egg stops short and implants on the wall of a fallopian tube

effector

ef·fec·tor

/iˈfektər/

Noun

If a control center decides a change needs to be made due to the information it has received from the receptors, an effector will be activated. An effector may be a gland or a muscle.

efferent spinal nerve

ef·fer·ent spi·nal nerve

/ˈefərənt ˈspīnl nərv/

Noun

Efferent spinal nerves move information from the brain to the body.

ejaculation

e·jac·u·la·tion

/iˌjakyəˈlāSHən/

Noun

The release of semen through the urethra of the penis.

electrical burn

e·lec·tri·cal burn

/əˈlektrək(ə)l bərn/

Noun

Burns from electricity occur as the energy is transformed to heat as it passes through the soft tissue. The severity and depth of the soft tissue burn depends on the type of current, the amount of voltage and contact time.

electrolyte

e·lec·tro·lyte

/əˈlektrəˌlīt/

Noun

A substance found in plasma that's used by the body for a variety of functions, including maintenance of pH balance

emancipated minor

e·man·ci·pat·ed mi·nor

/iˈmansəˌpādəd ˈmīnər/

Noun

A class of that has been made free of parental control and have decision-making authority regarding their own health care. In most states, minors are usually automatically emancipated when they become pregnant or have children of their own regardless of their age.

embolus

em·bo·lus

/ˈembələs/

Noun

Blockage resulting from a blood clot formed in the body that travels to the coronary artery and becomes lodged

emergency medical dispatch

e·mer·gen·cy med·i·cal de·vice

/iˈmərjənsē ˈmedikəl diˈvīs/

Noun

Programs that provide specific protocols for call takers and dispatchers to follow for virtually any type of medical incident. EMD also provides scripts for dispatchers to use in assisting callers in managing different medical conditions prior to help arriving.

emergency medical responder

e·mer·gen·cy med·i·cal re·spond·er

/iˈmərjənsē ˈmedikəl riˈspänd ə,ər/

Noun

A person trained to provide basic life support. Training is recommended to be 48 - 60 hours in length. It includes classroom and skills time. It is designed to prepare people who are first on scene, including police officers, lifeguards or industrial first aid teams, to provide rudimentary care.

emergency medical technician

e·mer·gen·cy med·i·cal tech·ni·cian

/iˈmərjənsē ˈmedikəl tekˈniSHən/

Noun

A person certified as an EMR who is also authorized to perform additional basic life support. Training is recommended to be at least 150 - 190 hours. It incluces classroom, skills and training time spent performing clinical observations.

emotional disease

e·mo·tion·al dis·ease

/əˈmōSH(ə)n(ə)l dəˈzēz/

Noun

A nonphysical condition can affect the overall function of the body

empathy

em·pa·thy

/ˈempəTHē/

Noun

The ability to understand what the patient is experiencing emotionally as well as physically.

endocrine system

en·do·crine sys·tem

/ˈendəkrin ˈsistəm/

Noun

The endocrine system uses a series of chemicals called hormones to create a level of coordination and control that is slower in response than the nervous system, but longer in duration. These hormones interact with receptors on target organs, which triggers an action.

endometrial tissue

en·do·me·tri·al tis·sue

/ĕn′dō-mē′trē-əl ˈtiSHo͞o/

Noun

The lining of the uterus that thickens to maintain implantation and support of a fertilized egg, embryo, and the growth of the placenta

endometriosis

en·do·me·tri·o·sis

/ˌendōˌmētrēˈōsis/

Noun

A disease characterized by the presence and growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. Signs and symptoms include abnormal or painful bleeding, pelvic or abdominal pain, weakness, and diarrhea or constipation.

endometrium

en·do·me·tri·um

/ˌendōˈmētrēəm/

Noun

The inner lining of the uterus

endotoxin

en·do·tox·in

/ˈendəˌtäksən/

Noun

Proteins produced by bacteria that are toxic to the body

energy

en·er·gy

/ˈenərjē/

Noun

The agent of trauma. The effect of energy depends on its type, amount, and duration of exposure, as well as the composition and shape of the material involved in trauma.

enteral

en te ral

/ˈentərəl/

Adjective

A type of medication that is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, such as pills and oral liquids.

epidermis

ep·i·der·mis

/ˌepiˈdərmis/

Noun

The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin, and is comprised of dead cells that are constantly rubbed off.

epidural hematoma

ep·i·du·ral he·ma·to·ma

/ˌepəˈd(y)o͝orəl ˌhēməˈtōmə/

Noun

A bleed where blood collects between the skull and the dura mater

epidural space

ep·i·du·ral space

/ˌepəˈd(y)o͝orəl spās/

Noun

The potential space around the dura mater. It doesn't exist under normal conditions but can be created under abnormal conditions.

epiglottis

ep i glot tis

/ˌepiˈglätəs/

Noun

Located at the superior aspect of the laryngeal opening. Acts to prevent anything other than air from entering the airway.

epilepsy

ep·i·lep·sy

/ˈepəˌlepsē/

Noun

The most common cause of seizures in adults and is a chronic diisorder in which an individual is subject to repeated episodes

epinephrine

ep·i·neph·rine

/ep uh nef rin, reen/

Noun

The hormone secreted by the adrenal gland that has the main effect of causing the peripheral arteries to constrict. Epinephrine causes the heart to speed up and squeeze more forcefully, while at the same time cause the bronchioles in the lung to dilate

epiphyseal plate

e·piph·y·s·e·al plate

/ih pif uh ˈsē(ə)l plāt/

Noun

The growth plate, which is made up of the articular cartilage, epiphyseal line, compact bone, medullary cavity, and periosteum.

epistaxis

ep·i·stax·is

/ˌepəˈstaksis/

Noun

A nose bleed

erythrocyte

e·ryth·ro·cyte

/ih-rith-ruh-sahyt/

Noun

A red blood cells (RBCs) that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues

eschar

es·char

/ˈeskär/

Noun

A condition from a burn in which the skin becomes hard and inflexible makes movement difficult

estrogen

es·tro·gen

/ˈestrəjən/

Noun

The hormone that promotes in females the development of secondary sex characteristics, such increasing fat deposits to the breasts, buttocks and thighs, preparing the breasts for future milk production and feeding, and the development of the female sex organs such as the vagina and uterus.

ethical behavior

eth·i·cal be·hav·ior

/ˈeTHikəl biˈhāvyər/

Noun

Acting in an ethical manner.

ethics

eth·ics

/ˈeTHiks/

Noun

Ethics is defined as the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group. For an individual, ethics may vary widely, depending upon that person’s sense of right or wrong behavior (moral conduct). Medical ethics examines questions of moral right and wrong as they apply in the context of medical care.

eupnea

eup·ne·a

/ūp-ne´ah/

Noun

Breathing at a normal rate

event phase

e·vent phase

/iˈvent fāz/

Noun

The time frame in which the trauma takes place.

evidence-based medicine

ev·i·dence based med·i·cine

/ˈevədəns bāsˈed ˈmedisən/

Noun

Using research findings to develop and refine prehospital medicine rather than continuing to base medical care on conjecture and individual opinions.

evisceration

e·vis·ce·ra·tion

/iˈvisəˌrāSH(ə)n/

Noun

When penetrating trauma causes and opening large enough to release abdominal contents outside of the abdominal cavity

excited delirium

ex·cit·ed de·lir·i·um

/ikˈsīdəd dəˈlirēəm/

Noun

A controversial condition of acute behavioral disinhibition that may include bizarre behaviors, aggressiveness, agitation, ranting, hyperactivity, paranoia, panic, violence, public disturbance, surprising physical strength, profuse sweating due to hyperthermia, respiratory arrest, and death

exhalation

ex·ha·la·tion

/ˌeks(h)əˈlāSHən/

Noun

During exhalation, the thoracic cavity decreases in size causing the air in the lungs to be pushed out.

expiratory

ex·pir·a·to·ry

/ex·pir·a·to·ry/

Adjective

One of two phases of normal breathing, this is the act of breathing oit. Visual signs include chest fal.

expressed consent

ex·pressed con·sent

/ikˈsprest kənˈsent/

Noun

Most often, the patient will clearly allow the EMT to perform an assessment and provide treatment. This is known as expressed consent. A patient must be legally competent in order to give expressed consent, meaning that he is old enough (over 18 years, typically), and mentally alert enough to understand what is being explained and what is happening to him. The consent to treatment does not have to be verbal.

exsanguination

ex·san·gui·na·tion

/ekˌsaNGgwəˈnāSHən/

Noun

Rapid blood loss

extension

ex·ten·sion

/ikˈstenSHən/

Noun

An abnormal reflex that causes the arms and legs to bend outward when stimulated.

external auditory canal

ex·ter·nal au·di·to·ry ca·nal

/ikˈstərnl ˈôdiˌtôrē kəˈnal/

Noun

The external auditory canal channels sound from the outer ear to the tympanic membrane. Wax and hairs found inside the canal helps to keep large particles from entering deep into the ear.

external bleeding

ex·ter·nal bleed·ing

/ikˈstərnl ˈblēdiNG/

Noun

Bleeding that appears outside the body.

external validity

ex·ter·nal va·lid·i·ty

/ikˈstərnl vəˈlidətē/

Noun

Regarding how well the researchers did in proving their hypothesis. To have external validity, their findings must relate to a wide variety of situations.

extraocular muscles

ex·tra·oc·u·lar mus·cle

/ˈɛk strəˈɒk yə lər ˈməsəl/

Noun

Muscles that control eye movement

extrinsic disease

ex·trin·sic dis·ease

/ikˈstrinzik dəˈzēz/

Adjective

Systematic illnesses that originate from outside the body

eye

eye

/ī/

Noun

The eye is a round sphere about 2.5 centimeters in diameter. A jelly-like fluid inside helps it keep its shape, and a series of muscles control its movement within the eye socket. Information perceived by each eye is sent through the optic nerve to the brain, where it is compiled in order to give us three-dimensional vision.

eyelid

eye·lid

/ˈīˌlid/

Noun

The eyelid covers the surface of the anterior eye, protecting it from dust and other particles.

face

face

/fās/

Noun

The front of the head from the forehead to the chin. It is divided into functional thirds. The upper one-third is made up of the lower portion of the frontal bone, supraorbital ridge, nasal glabellar region, and frontal sinuses. The middle third (midface) includes the orbits, nasal bone, zygomatic bones, maxillary sinuses, temporal bones, and basal bone of the maxilla. The basal bone of the mandible and the teeth-bearing bones of the maxilla and mandible compose the lower third of the face.

fallopian tube

fal·lo·pi·an tube

/fəˈlōpēən ˌt(y)o͞ob/

Noun

Once an egg is released from the ovary (ovulation) it travels down toward the uterus through a fallopian or uterine tube. If sperm is present in the fallopian tube, fertilization may occur and cell division begins.

false imprisonment

false im·pris·on·ment

/fôls imˈprizənmənt/

Noun

Confining or restricting a patient’s ability to leave your care is cause for a false imprisonment charge. Immobilizing a patient to a long spine board or transporting her to a hospital without proper consent constitutes false imprisonment.

fecal vomiting

fe·cal vom·it·ing

/ˈfē-kəl ˈvä-mət ING/

Noun

When the path of waste removal reverses due to an unresolved bowel obstruction

feces

fe·ces

/ˈfēsēz/

Noun

After food is digested, the nutrients are slowly absorbed by the small intestine into the bloodstream. Leftover products such as cellulose are left behind, eventually coalescing into feces. Water is reabsorbed in the large intestines, leaving behind solid fecal matter that is excreted out of the rectum through the anus.

feedback mechanism

feed·back mech·an·ism

/ˈfēdˌbak ˈmekəˌnizəm/

Noun

If the body senses that something is happening that takes it out of homeostasis, it will perform an action that brings it back into balance. These actions take the form of Feedback Mechanisms. Negative Feedback Mechanisms attempt to bring the body back into homeostasis (like shivering in the cold in order to create heat), while Positive Feedback Mechanisms purposefully take the body out of homeostasis temporarily for a specific purpose (like raising the body temperature in order to kill a viral infection).

fertilization

fer·til·i·za·tion

/ˌfərtl-iˈzāSHən/

Noun

Human fertilization occurs when the male sperm joins with the female egg, resulting in a fertilized egg (otherwise known as a zygote).

fetus

fe·tus

/ˈfēdəs/

Noun

The point at which the embryo has developed to the point where it is recognizable as being human.

fibrinogen

fi·brin·o·gen

/fīˈbrinəjən/

Noun

A protein found in plasma that's involved in blood coagulation

Fick's law

ficks law

/fiks lô/

Noun

A principle developed by Adolf Eugen Fick that states that blood flow is proportional to the difference in concentration of a substance in the blood as it enters and leaves an organ and which is used to determine cardiac output from the difference in oxygen concentration in blood before it enters and after it leaves the lungs and from the rate at which oxygen is consumed.

field impression

field im·pres·sion

/fēld imˈpreSHən/

Noun

A differential process issimilar to the one a physician goes through when diagnosing a patient.

fimbria

fim·bri·a

/ˈfimbrēə/

Noun

Tiny finger-like structures on the ends of the fallopian tubes, which facilitate the egg’s route into the uterus

first law of motion

first law of mo·tion

/fərst lô əv ˈmōSHən/

Noun

Isaac Newton's first law of motion says that an object at rest will remain at rest, and an object in motion will remain in motion, unless acted on by an outside force.

flexion

flex·ion

/ˈflekSHən/

Noun

An abnormal reflex that causes the arms and legs to bend inward when stimulated.

flow restricted oxygen powered ventilation device

flow re·strict·ed ox·y·gen pow·ered ven·ti·la·tion mask

/floh ri strik tid ok si juhn pou erd ven tl ey shuhn mask, mahsk/

Noun

A mechanical device with a valve that can be manually triggered either by a lever or a button. When the valve is open, oxygen flows at approximately 40 lpm. The device can produce positive pressure. It must be used with caution when ventilating patients, especially with potentially inelastic lungs, such as emphysema patients.

flushed

flushed

/fləSHt/

Adjective

Skin color that is red due to hyperperfusion

follicle

fol·li·cle

/ˈfälək(ə)l/

Noun

The location in the female body where the immature egg grows and develops.

follicular phase

fol·lic·u·lar phase

/fuh lik yuh ler fāz/

Noun

The stage in the menstrual cycle in which estrogen is released from the developing follicles in the ovary, which stimulates the growth of the endometrium. Its blood vessels and glands begin to develop all over again. It is also called the preovulatory, proliferative or estrogen phase.

fontanel

fon·ta·nel

/ˌfäntnˈel/

Noun

A gap between the bones in an infant's skull that are not fused at birth

Foreign body airway obstruction

for·eign bod·y air·way·ob·struc·tion

/ˈfôrən,ˈfär- ˈbädē ˈeərˌwā əbˈstrəkSHən,äb-/

Noun

Choking

frontal

fron·tal

/ˈfrəntl/

Adjective

This imaginary plane travels vertically through the body, cutting it into the front and back sections. A frontal plane is also known as a coronal plane.

frontal impact collision

fron·tal im·pact col·li·sion

/ˈfrəntl ˈimˌpakt kəˈliZHən/

Noun

This may be head-on or offset from the center of the vehicle. The front of the car comes to a sudden stop, but the rear of the car and its occupants continue to move forward. As occupants continue to travel forward in a crash, they tend to follow one of two possible paths: up-and-over and down-and-under

frontal lobe

fron·tal lobe

/ˈfrən(t)l lōb/

Noun

The part of the brain responsible for judgment, behavior, and voluntary motor functions

full thickness burn

full thick·ness burn

/fo͝ol ˈTHiknəs bərn/

Noun

A burn that consumes all layers of the skin. When the skin either takes on a dry, white appearance and appears thick and leather like or turns black looks charred, it is a third degree burn. When a full thickness burn involves the subcutaneous layer, muscle tissue, bones and organs, it is a fourth degree burn.

functional disease

func·tion·al dis·eas·e

/ˈfəNG(k)SH(ə)n(ə)l diˈzēz/

Noun

A disorder affecting one or more body systems with an abnormal change in the function of an organ

functional disorder

func·tion·al dis·or·der

/ˈfəNG(k)SH(ə)n(ə)l ˌdisˈôrdər/

Noun

A condition that is psychological in origin because it has no apparent link to changes in brain structure or physiology

fundus

fun·dus

/ˈfəndəs/

Noun

The top of the uterus

gallbladder

gall·blad·der

/ˈgôlˌbladər/

Noun

The hollow, pear-shaped organ located beneath the liver where bile is stored and later released into the intestines.

gallstone

gall·stone

/ˈɡôlˌstōn/

Noun

Small deposits in the gallbladder caused by hardening of minerals that can block the gall duct and cause inflammation of the gallbladder

gasket

gas·ket

/gas kit/

Noun

A rubber or plastic piece that is placed between the oxygen regulator and oxygen tank to ensure a leak proof seal. This gasket should be replaced each time the regulator is fitted to a new tank.

gastric ulcer

gas·tric ul·cer

/ˈɡastrik ˈəlsər/

Noun

A sore that develops in the lining of the stomach or upper portion of the small intestine due to prolonged increased production of stomach acids. Some casuses include chronic ingestion of alcohol and acidic foods, and stress.

gastroenteritis

gas·tro·en·ter·i·tis

/ˌɡastrōˌen(t)əˈrīdəs/

Noun

An illness caused by a brief viral infection of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Colloquially called the stomach flu

gastrointestinal tract

gas·tro·in·tes·ti·nal tract

/ˌɡastrōinˈtestənl trakt/

Noun

The esophagus, stomach, large intestine, small intestine and rectum. It is lined with soft, squamous epithelial cells and mucous membranes.

general impression

gen·er·al im·pres·sion

/ˈjen(ə)rəl imˈpreSHən/

Noun

The initial contact with the patient in which the provider gets an overview of the patient’s general appearance and level of distress

generalized seizure

gen·er·al·ized sei·zure

/ˈjen(ə)rəˌlīz d ˈsēZHər/

Noun

A seizure that involves the entire cerebral cortex. They usually begin with an altered sensation before a loss of consciousness

generic name

ge·ne·ric name

/jəˈnerik nām/

Noun

The generic name of a medication refers to its chemical composition rather than the trade or brand name under which it is marketed.

genetic disease

ge·net·ic dis·ease

/jəˈnedik dəˈzēz/

Noun

A systematic illnesse that results from a malformation of genetic material within the individual’s DNA

genital herpes

gen·i·tal her·pes

/ˈjenədl ˈhərpēz/

Noun

A sexually transmitted disease caused by herpes simplex virus type 2. Symptoms usually appear within a week after infection and include painful blisters on the genital areas, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and generalized weakness. There is no cure for genital herpes.

genitourinary

gen·i·to·u·ri·nar·y

/ˌjenidōˈyo͝orəˌnerē/

Adjective

Anything related to the urinary tract or genitalia

gestation

ges·ta·tion

/jeˈstāSHən/

Noun

The period of time during which development takes place within the uterus, between conception and birth.

glans

glans

/ɡlanz/

Noun

The rounded external part forming the end of the penis or clitoris.

Glasgow Coma Scale

Glas·gow co·ma scale

/ˈglas kō ˈkōmə skāl/

Noun

A method of evaluating level of consciousness that checks for the patient’s ability to respond appropriately with her environment. Using the Glasgow Coma Scale, or GCS, the provider assigns the patient a score for their resonsiveness to visual, verbal and physical stimuli. Three points, one for each of the three categories, is the minimum. Fourteen is the highest. The scale is below. Eye Opening Eyes open spontaneously: 4 points Eyes open after being spoken to: 3 points Eyes open after painful stimulus applied: 2 points Eyes remain closed regardless of stimulus: 1 point Verbal Response Disoriented, confused when questioned: 4 points Provides inappropriate answers when questioned or with painful stimulus: 3 points Mumbles or makes incomprehensible sounds when questioned or with painful stimulus: 2 points Makes no sounds, even with painful stimulus : 1 point Motor Response Obeys simple commands: 6 points Localizes to painful stimulus: 5 points Withdraws from painful stimulus: 4 points Flexion with painful stimulus: 3 points Extension with painful stimulus: 2 points No response to painful stimulus: 1 point

globulin

glob·u·lin

/ˈɡläbyəlin/

Noun

A protein found in plasma that helps transport lipids and fat-soluble vitamins; also component of immune system

glottis

glot·tis

/ˈɡlädəs/

Noun

The opening between the vocal cords that expands and contracts in size, causing low and high pitched sounds, respectively.

glucagon

glu·ca·gon

/ˈglo͞okəˌgän/

Noun

Produced by the pancreas, glucagon is a hormone that raises blood glucose levels (creating the opposite effect of insulin, which lowers blood glucose levels). The pancreas will release glucagon when blood sugar levels are too low.

glucometer

glu·com·e·ter

/glū-kom'ĕ-tĕr/

Noun

A device used to measure blood sugar

glucose

glu·cose

/ˈglo͞okōs/

Noun

A sugar that is carried in the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract to all cells.

glycogen

gly·co·gen

/ˈglīkəjən/

Noun

When the body does not need glucose for energy, it converts it to a polysaccharide called glycogen, which it then stores in the muscles and liver for later use. Glycogen is easily converted back to glucose when needed for energy use.

gonadotropin-releasing hormone

go·nad·o·tro·pin re·lea·sing hor·mone

/ɡōˌnadəˈtrōpən rəˈlēsING ˈhôrˌmōn/

Noun

A hormone released by the hypothalamus that stimulates ovulation and is necessary for final maturation of the follicle, ovulation, and later development of the corpus luteum. Also known as luteinizing releasing hormone

gonorrhea

gon·or·rhe·a

/ˌɡänəˈrēə/

Noun

A sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium, Neisseria gonorrheae. It is contacted from genital-to-genital contact, but may also be spread by oral-to-genital contact. In the male symptoms of infection are usually noticed within days in the urethra (with painful discharge), while in the female symptoms may be delayed for weeks or months and usually involve multiple structures.

Good Samaritan laws

Good Sa·mar·i·tan laws

/go͝od səˈmaritn lôz/

Noun

Collectively known as immunity or Good Samaritan laws, these statutes limit the potential for legal damages a victim can receive from a rescuer in case of an unintended injury or death.

grief and loss session

grief and loss ses·sion

/grēf and lôs,läs ˈseSHən/

Noun

A critical incident stress management intervention, this is a structured group or individual session following a death that assists people in understanding their own grief reactions.

gross negligence

gross neg·li·gence

/grōs ˈnegləjəns/

Noun

A particularly harmful form of malpractice is gross negligence, where intent to breach duty or cause harm can be proven.

grunt

grunt

/grənt/

Noun

An abnormal breath sound caused by diminished airway patency that can be heard without a stethoscope during inspiration.

gurgle

gur·gle

/ˈgərgəl/

Noun

An abnormal breath sound caused by diminished airway patency that can be heard without a stethoscope during inspiration.

hair

hair

/he(ə)r/

Noun

Hair is a fine, threadlike substance growing from the skin on virtually all parts of the body. In most mammals, hair serves to conserve heat. Humans have too little hair to serve that purpose, with the notable exception of the head, where there is little fat to insulate the area.

head immobilization device

head im·mo·bi·liza·tion de·vice

/hed i(m)ˈmōbəˌlīzāSH(ə)n dəˈvīs/

Noun

A device that minimizes the patient’s head from moving from side to side

head tilt, chin lift

head tilt chin lift

/hed tilt CHin lift/

Noun

This is the most common manual airway maneuver. The index and third finger of one hand lifts the mandible forward while the palm of the other hand gently restrains the patient’s forehead.

heart

heart

/härt/

Noun

The heart is a four-chambered pump that can be organized in two different ways. On one hand, the upper chambers, called the atria, squeeze blood into the lower chambers, known as the ventricles. By doing so, the heart ensures that the ventricles are filled with blood before they contract. On the other hand, the right side of the heart is designed to pump blood into the pulmonary circulation, or the part of the vasculature that leads to and away from the lungs. The left side of the heart pumps blood returning from the pulmonary circulation out to the rest of the body.

heart failure

heart fail·ure

/härt ˈfālyər/

Noun

When the ventricles are damaged, reducing their ability to pump effectively

helmet

hel·met

/ˈhelmit/

Noun

A helmet is a device worn on the head that's designed to absorb the energy of an impact, reducing injury to the skull, brain, and face.

hematemesis

he·ma·tem·e·sis

/ˌhēməˈteməsis/

Noun

Emesis with blood. It looks like used coffee grounds and has a strong, unique odor. One common cause is a bleeding gastric ulcer

hematoma

he·ma·to·ma

/ˌhēməˈtōmə/

Noun

A bump or mass formed when blood collects in the skin. It can be palpated. It will turn dark blue or black in color as the blood loses the oxygen it was carrying. The mass can put pressure on pain receptors in the skin, causing them to be quite tender sometimes.

hemoglobin

he·mo·glo·bin

/hee-muh-gloh-bin/

Noun

The protein responsible for the red blood cell's ability to carry oxygen

hemophilia

he·mo·phil·i·a

/ˌhēməˈfilēə/

Noun

A genetic disorder of the blood-clotting system

hemorrhagic shock

hem·or·rhag·ic shock

/hem uh raj ik shok/

Noun

A fall in blood pressure from bleeding

hemorrhagic stroke

hem·or·rhag·ic stroke

/ˌheməˈrajik strōk/

Noun

The less common type of stroke, caused by sudden rupture of a blood vessel in the brain and bleeding to the surrounding tissue

hemorrhoid

hem·or·rhoid

/ˈhem(ə)ˌroid/

Noun

A condition caused when veins around the anus have become weakened and swollen from excessive pressure

hemostasis

he·mo·sta·sis

/ˌhēməˈstāsəs/

Noun

Coagulation, which stops bleeding when a tear develops in the blood vessels

hemostatic agent

he·mo·stat·ic a·gent

/ˈhēmə,ˈstadik ˈājənt/

Noun

Commercially avaialable products that aid in controlling bleeding with the goal of speeding up the natural clotting process or sealing the wound.

hereditary

he·re·di·tary

/həˈrediˌterē/

Adjective

Diseases that can be passed down from one generation to the next

high-energy weapon

high en·er·gy weap·on

/hī ˈenərjē ˈwepən/

Noun

A gun is a high-energy weapon.

history taking

his·to·ry tak·ing

/ˈhist(ə)rē ˈtākiNG/

Verb

The part of the assessment when the provider uses a specific line of questioning to identify as much information as possible about the chief complaint as quickly as they can

holistic

ho·lis·tic

/hōˈlistik/

Adjective

An approach to medicine that cares for not only the physical ailment, but also for the emotional, spiritual, environmental and social aspects of a patient's wellbeing

hollow organ

hol·low or·gan

/ˈhälō ˈôrɡən/

Noun

Non-solid organs that are designed to either hold something or allow something to pass through. Examples are the stomach, intestines, gall bladder, and urinary bladder.

homeostasis

ho·me·o·sta·sis

/ˌhōmēəˈstāsis/

Noun

Refers to the condition of balance within the body that is reached by cells and organ systems working together to maintain the proper function of various systems (heartbeat, blood pressure, body temperature, etc.).

hormone

hor·mone

/ˈhôrˌmōn/

Noun

Substances secreted by glands that regulate such processes as growth, metabolism and energy consumption, and reproduction

hospital radio

hos·pi·tal ra·di·o

/ˈhäˌspitl ˈrādēˌō/

Noun

Similar in function to the two–way mobile and hand held radios found in the field, these devices are used to receive radio reports from EMS units transporting patients to a hospital, or for consultation between medical direction and field units.

human chorionic gonadotropin

hu·man cho·ri·o·nic go·nad·o·tro·pin

/'(h)yo͞omən ˈkôrēˌänˈnik ɡōˌnadəˈtrōpən/

Noun

A hormone secreted by the placenta that signals the corpus luteum to continue to function

human error

hu·man er·ror

/ˈ(h)yo͞omən ˈerər/

Noun

An inappropriate or undesirable human decision or behavior that reduces, or has the potential for reducing, effectiveness, safety, or systems performance. Source: http://cecs.wright.edu/~dkender/hfe306/Error_files/v3_document.htm

hypercapnia

hy·per·cap·ni·a

/hī′ pər kăp ′nē ə/

Noun

Elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the blood

hypercarbic drive

hy·per·car·bic drive

/ˈhīpər kärbək drīv/

Noun

Ventilations regulated by measuring the amount of carbon dioxide and pH in the blood stream

hyperglycemia

hy·per·gly·ce·mi·a

/ˌhīpərglīˈsēmēə/

Noun

Readings of blood glucose above 120 micrograms per deciliter, or mcg/dcl

hyperosmolar syndrome

hy·per·os·mo·lar syn·drome

/ˌhī-pə-ˌräz-ˈmō-lər ˈsinˌdrōm/

Noun

A hyperglycemic condition most often seen in elderly diabetic patients in which not enough insulin is available to metabolize glucose, causing a significant amount of excess glucose to build in the bloodstream. It is triggered by a stressor on the body, such as an illness or infection. It can happen to people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, but occurs more often in people with Type 2. It may take days or even weeks to develop.

hyperpnea

hy·perp·ne·a

/hahy perp nee uh, hahy per nee uh/

Noun

Breathing more deeply

hypersensitivity

hy·per·sen·si·tiv·i·ty

/ˈhīpər ˌsensəˈtivədē/

Noun

An altered state of the immune system in which lymphocytes or antibodies attack harmless antigens because it recognizes the foreign substance

hypertension

hy·per·ten·sion

/ˌhīpərˈtenSHən/

Noun

Abnormally high blood pressure

hypertensive emergency

hy·per·ten·sive e·mer·gen·cy

/ˌhīpərˈtensiv əˈmərjənsē/

Noun

A a life-threatening emergency with a rapid and severe elevation in blood pressure that results in damage to vital organs

hyperthermia

hy·per·ther·mi·a

/ˌhīpərˈTHərmēə/

Noun

An elevated body temperature caused by loss of thermoregulatory mechanisms

hyperthyroidism

hy·per·thy·roid·ism

/ˌhīpərˈTHīroiˌdizəm/

Noun

A chronic condition of abnormally high thyroid activity

hyphema

hy·phe·ma

/haɪˈfi mə/

Noun

An accumulation of blood into the anterior chamber of the eye, often associated with deep, aching pain, diminished visual acuity, and increased intraocular pressure that can permanently damage the eye

hypocoagulability

hy·po·co·ag·u·la·bi·li·ty

/hi″per ko ag″u lah bil´ĭ te/

Noun

A coagulation disorder in which clots do not form quickly enough in response to bleeding

hypoglycemia

hy·po·gly·ce·mi·a

/ˌhīpōglīˈsēmēə/

Noun

Readings of blood glucose below 80 micrograms per deciliter, or mcg/dcl

hypoperfusion

hy·po·per·fu·sion

/hī-pō-pər-ˈfyü-zhən/

Noun

When blood pressure falls, the tissues no longer receive adequate amounts of nutrients and oxygen, and build up of waste and carbon dioxide occurs

hypotension

hy·po·ten·sion

/ˌhīpəˈtenSHən/

Noun

A blood pressure that's lower than normal

hypothermia

hy·po·ther·mi·a

/ˌhīpəˈTHərmēə/

Noun

Lower-than-usual body temperature

hypothesis

hy·poth·e·sis

/hīˈpäTHəsis/

Noun

An explanation formulated based on information that was available.

hypothyroidism

hy·po·thy·roid·ism

/ˌhīpōˈTHīroiˌdizəm/

Noun

A chronic condition of abnormally low thyroid activity

hypovolemic shock

hy·po·vo·le·mic shock

/hi''pō vŏ lē 'mik shok/

Noun

A condition of volume loss that causes blood pressure to fall to dangerously low levels. Causes can include vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating.

hypoxia

hy·pox·i·a

/hīˈpäksēə/

Noun

The condition in which low levels of oxygen reaches the tissues of the body

hypoxic drive

hy·pox·ic drive

/hīˈpäksek drīv/

Noun

Ventilations regulated by measuring the amount of oxygen in the blood stream

ileum

il·e·um

/ˈilēəm/

Noun

The third section of the small intestines

immune system

im·mune sy·stem

/iˈmyo͞on sistəm/

Noun

The body’s armament of natural defenses that has the ability to resist and overcome infection or diseases

immunoglobulins

im·mu·no·glob·u·lin

/ˌimyənōˈɡläbyələn/

Noun

Antibodies that attach to antigens and help lymphocytes recognize the foreign invaders throughout the body

impact

im·pact

/ˈimˌpakt/

Noun

Three impacts occur in rapid succession in a motor vehicle collision. The first impact is the collision of the motor vehicle with an object. The second impact is of the occupants against the interior of the vehicle. The third impact is of the vital organs against the interior surface of body cavities.

impaled object

im·pal·ed ob·ject

/imˈpāl'ed ˈäbjəkt

Noun

An object that has entered and lodged itself into the body, typically by force

impedance threshold device

im·ped·ance thresh·old de·vice

/im peed ns thresh ohld dih vahys/

Noun

A device inserted between the mask and bag during a cardiac arrest that acts as a “supervalve” that allows air to enter the lungs during bag compression. During cardiac compression, the valve allows air to escape from the lungs, but prevents atmospheric air from entering the chest. A small amount of negative pressure is created, promoting better blood flow through the heart and its coronary arteries.

implied consent

im·plied con·sent

/imˈplīd kənˈsent/

Noun

There will be times when a patient may not be able to provide consent, even if she wants to. In these situations, the doctrine of implied consent will allow you to initiate care. Implied consent means that it would be reasonable to assume that a person who was experiencing a medical emergency, who could not express consent, would do so if given the chance.

incus

in·cus

/ˈiNGkəs/

Noun

The middle ear is filled with air and contains several structures, including the incus - a small anvil-shaped bone that transmits vibrations between the malleus and stapes.

indication

in·di·ca·tion

/ˌindiˈkāSHən/

Noun

An indication of a medication is a reason for giving it to a patient and its intended therapeutic effect. In the case of epinephrine, one indication is to temporarily reverse the airway constriction associated with anaphylaxis.

indirect contact

in·di·rect con·tact

/ˌindəˈrekt ˈkänˌtakt/

Noun

Indirect contact occurs when an infected individual touches, sneezes on, or somehow contaminates a surface or object, such as a countertop or keyboard. Another person comes into contact with the same surface, and unknowingly becomes infected with the disease.

infarct

in·farct

/in fahrkt, in fahrkt/

Noun

An area of tissue that is dying or dead, such as in the heart

infarction

in·farc·tion

/inˈfärkSHən/

Noun

Cell death

infection

in·fec·tion

/inˈfekSHən/

Noun

When microbes overcome the body’s natural defenses

infectious disease

in·fec·tious dis·ease

/inˈfekSHəs dəˈzēz/

Noun

An infection of the abnormal growth of an organism into the body or tissues

inferior

in·fe·ri·or

/inˈfi(ə)rēər/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to indicate a part below another, or moving toward the feet.

inferior vena cava

in·fe·ri·or ve·na ca·va

/inˈfi(ə)rēər ˈvēnə ˈkävə/

Noun

The vein that returns blood to the heart from the lower body

infundibulum

in·fun·dib·u·lum

/ˌinfənˈdibyələm/

Noun

The free end of the uterine tube

inguinal hernia

in·gui·nal her·ni·a

/ˈiNGɡwənəl ˈhərnēə/

Noun

A condition that occurs when the muscles of the lower abdomen, the pelvic floor, weaken. Also called groin hernia

inhalation

in·ha·la·tion

/ˌinhəˈlāSHən/

Noun

The respiratory system draws in air from the atmosphere through an expansion of the thoracic cavity, known as inhalation.

inner ear

in·ner ear

/ˈinər 'i(ə)r/

Noun

The inner ear is filled with fluid, as well as the actual receptors for sound signals. It also contains the cochlea, and three semi-circular canals that create the sense of balance.

inotropic effect

i·no·trop·ic

/ee nuh trop ik, troh pik/

Noun

The brainstem sends signals along the nervous and endocrine systems to change the squeeze force of the heart, and to the peripheral arterial system, where it can raise resistance.

inspection

in·spec·tion

/inˈspekSHən/

Noun

Using sight to identify findings during a physical examination

inspiratory

in·spir·a·to·ry

/inˈspīrəˌtôrē/

Adjective

One of two phases of normal breathing, this is the act of breathing in. Visual signs include chest rise.

insulin

in·su·lin

/ˈinsələn/

Noun

Produced by the pancreas, insulin helps glucose (the main nutrient for building ATP) cross into the cells. It also encourages extra glucose to convert to glycogen that can be stored by muscles and the liver for later use. Lack of insulin causes a form of diabetes.

insulin shock

in·su·lin

/ˈinsələn/

Noun

A severe form of hypoglycemia

integrity

in·teg·ri·ty

/inˈtegritē/

Noun

Acting ethically.

integumentary system

in·teg·u·ment·a·ry sys·tem

/integyə'mənte(ə)rēˈ sistəm/

Noun

The integumentary system is designed to protect the body from outside harm. Derived from the Latin word integere or “to cover”, it is the most visible system, consisting of the skin, hair, and nails.

interaction

in·ter·ac·tion

/ˌin(t)ərˈakSH(ə)n/

Noun

How medications interact with other medications. This can affect the potency, clinical effectiveness, and metabolism of medication given during emergency care

intercostal

in·ter·cos·tal

/ˌintərˈkästəl/

Adjective

The intercostal muscles are located between the ribs. As they contract, they pull the rib cage up, increasing the size of the thoracic cavity and allowing the lungs to fill with air.

internal bleeding

in·ter·nal bleed·ing

/inˈtərnl ˈblēdiNG/

Noun

Bleeding within the body

internal validity

in·ter·nal va·lid·i·ty

/in·ter·nal vəˈlidətē/

Noun

Regarding how well the researchers did in proving their hypothesis. To have internal validity, the study must use acceptable methods of collecting data.

International Statistical Classifications of Diseases

in·ter·na·tio·nal sta·tis·ti·cal clas·si·fi·ca·tion·s of dis·eas·es

/intərˈnaSHənl stəˈtistikəl klasəfəˈkāSHən of diˈzēz/

Noun

The World Health Organization's classification system for all types of functional diseases. Codes are assigned to each type of disease; health care organizations use these codes to track and bill for the care they provide.

interpersonal skill

in·ter·per·son·al skill

/ˌin(t)ərˈpərs(ə)n(ə)l skil/

Noun

A subset of nontechnical skills including teamwork and communication.

interventional procedure

in·ter·ven·tion·al pro·ce·dure

/ˌin(t)ərˈven(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l prəˈsējər/

Noun

Procedures designed to improve the health of the patient. Examples include using an automated external defibrillator in a sudden cardiac arrest.

intracerebral hematoma

he·ma·to·ma in·tra ce·re·bral

/ˈintrə səˈrēbrəl ˌhēməˈtōmə/

Noun

A solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues

intracranial pressure

in·tra·cra·ni·al pres·sure

/ˌintrəˈkrānēəl ˈpreSHər/

Noun

The pressure of 10 mmHg created inside the skull by the brain, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), and blood

intraperitoneal cavity

int·ra per·i·to·ne·al cav·i·ty

/ˈintrē ˌperitnˈēəm ˈkavədē/

Noun

The space within the peritoneal membranes

intrinsic disease

in·trin·sic dis·ease

/inˈtrinzik dəˈzēz/

Adjective

Systematic illnesses that originate from inside the body

involuntary contraction

in·vol·un·tar·y con·trac·tion

/inˈvälənˌterē kənˈtrakSHən/

Noun

A type of muscle contraction during which movement is automatic, due to the brain signaling the muscle in response to a stimulus.

ipsilateral

ip·si·lat·er·al

/ˌipsəˈlatərəl/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to refer to structures on the same side of the midline.

iris

i·ris

/ˈīris/

Noun

The flat, colored part of the eye that sits directly behind the cornea is called the iris. In the center of the iris is the pupil - an adjustable circular opening that regulates the amount of light that is allowed to pass through to the retina.

iron

i·ron

/ˈī(ə)rn/

Noun

The mineral that helps the oxygen to attach to hemoglobin

ischemia

i·sche·mi·a

/isˈkēmēə/

Noun

When areas of heart muscle are not receiving oxygen and nutrients.

ischemic angina

is·che·mic an·gi·na

/isˈkēmīk anˈjīnə/

Noun

Substernal chest discomfort characterized by squeezing, heavy, tight, or dull chest sensation and associated with nausea, sweating, or dyspnea. It is often precipitated by emotion or exertion and relieved by rest and/or nitroglycerin

ischemic discomfort

is·che·mic dis·com·fort

/isˈkēmīk disˈkəmfərt/

Noun

A discomfort located in the center of the lower chest that's often described as squeezing, heavy, or tight

ischemic stroke

is·che·mi·c stroke

/isˈkēmik strōk/

Noun

The most common type of stroke, caused by an interruption of blood supply due to the occlusion of an artery to a region of the brain. Ischemic strokes rarely lead to death within the first hour

isometric contraction

i·so·met·ric con·trac·tion

/ˌīsəˈmetrik kənˈtrakSHən/

Noun

During an isometric contraction, force is generated without changing the length of the muscle. For example, the leg muscles keep the body upright while standing.

isotonic contraction

i·so·ton·ic con·trac·tion

/ˌīsəˈtänik kənˈtrakSHən/

Noun

During an isotonic contraction, force is generated by changing the length of the muscle. There are two types of isotonic contractions: concentric (muscles shorten while generating force) or eccentric (muscles lengthen while generating force).

jejunum

je·ju·num

/jiˈjo͞onəm/

Noun

The second section of the small intestines

jugular venous distention

jug·u·lar ve·nous dis·ten·tion

/ˈjəgyələr ˈvēnəs di-ˈsten(t)-shən/

Noun

Enlargement of the veins leading from the head back to the heart

kidney

kid·ney

/ˈkidnē/

Noun

Each of the two kidneys is well supplied with blood vessels, which allows them to filter the bloodstream and remove just enough water, salts, and waste to maintain homeostasis. The two kidneys are located in the retroperitoneal space -- one on each side of the spinal column and around the upper lumbar region.

kidney stone

kid·ney stone

/ˈkidnē stōn/

Noun

Crystals or stones caused by excessive calcium in the kidneys that can damage the nephrons and renal tubules and result in chronic kidney disease and even kidney failure

kinematics

kin·e·mat·ics

/ˌkinəˈmatiks/

Noun

Kinematics refers to the relationship of kinetic energy to the injuries sustained by a patient. Simply stated, a person is injured when energy is transferred somehow from an external event into the body. For example, a car crashing into a wall causes the patient to crash into the steering wheel and dashboard.

kinetic energy

ki·net·ic en·er·gy

/kəˈnetik ˈenərjē/

Noun

The energy of motion, which factors in an object's weight and speed. It can be expressed by the equation KE=0.5mv2, where m equals mass, and v equals velocity, or speed.

Korotkoff sounds

Ko·rot·koff sounds

/kə-rŏt'kôf sounds/

Noun

The sounds made when blood streams pass the sphygmomanometer.

Kussmaul respirations

Kuss·maul res·pi·ra·tions

/kəs môl ˌrespəˈrāSH(ə)ns/

Noun

A breathing pattern with a breathing rate that is faster than normal and a longer expiratory phase

labia majora

la·bi·a ma·jo·ra

/ˌlābēə məˈjôrə/

Noun

Folds of skin that pass from the mons pubis to the region behind the vaginal opening

labia minora

la·bi·a mi·no·ra

/ˌlābēə məˈnôrə/

Noun

Two thin folds of skin located just within the labia majora. that merge to form the prepuce of the clitoris

laceration

lac·er·a·tion

/ˌlasəˈrāSH(ə)n/

Noun

A break in the skin. The edges of the break can be smooth (known as linear or as an incision) or irregular (stellate). An irregular laceration may bleed more profusely and may take longer to heal.

lacrimal gland

lac·ri·mal

/ˈlakrəməl/

Noun

The lacrimal gland secretes tears that lubricate the surface of the eyeball. The tears also contain enzymes that reduce the opportunity for infection.

large intestines

large in·tes·tines

/lärj inˈtestəns/

Noun

The hollow organ where electrolytes and water are absorbed into the body and chyme is transformed from a thick, liquid substance to feces. It's comprised of the cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, and rectum.

larynx

lar·ynx

/ˈlariNGks,/

Noun

Composed primarily of cartilage, the larynx is the organ in the upper airway that protects the airway from food, fluid, and secretions during eating, drinking, and swallowing. It also contains the vocal chords and is responsible for the production of sound and speech.

latent error

la·tent er·ror

/ˈlātnt ˈerər/

Noun

A system defect, such as poor design, incorrect installation, faulty maintenance, poor purchasing decisions, and inadequate staffing. These are difficult to measure because they occur over broad ranges of time and space and they may exist for days, months, or even years before they lead to a more apparent error or adverse event directly related to patient care. Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1494808/

lateral

lat·er·al

/ˈlatərəl/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to refer to a part further from the midline than another.

laterally recumbent

lat·er·al·y re·cum·bent

/lat er uhl ee ri kuhm buhnt/

Adjective

The position of lying on the side

law

law

/lô/

Noun

A law is a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority.

law of conservation of energy

law of con·ser·va·tion of en·er·gy

/lô əv ˌkänsərˈvāSHən əv ˈenərjē/

Noun

The law of conservation of energy says that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can be changed from one form to another.

left atrium

left a·tri·um

/leftˈātrēəm/

Noun

The left atrium is one of the two upper chambers of the heart. The left atrium receives blood from the lungs, through the pulmonary vein.

lens

lens

/lenz/

Noun

The doubly convex area of the eye, located behind the iris, that shapes light so it can be received by the retina.

lethargy

leth·ar·gy

/leth er jee/

Noun

Sleepiness caused by shock

leukemia

leu·ke·mi·a

/lo͞oˈkēmēə/

Noun

A cancer of the blood

leukocyte

leu·ko·cyte

/loo kuh sit/

Noun

The white blood cells (WBCs) that defend against infectious cells and microorganisms known as pathogens

libel

li·bel

/ˈlībəl/

Noun

An EMS provider can injure a person’s reputation or standing by stating something untrue about that person. It is considered slander if it is said, and libel if it is written.

ligament

lig·a·ment

/ˈligəmənt/

Noun

Ligaments attach bones together by adhering to the processes. They are very elastic bands that allow for movement in joints like the elbow and knee. However, the movement is limited. Pushing a ligament beyond its capacity to stretch will result in a tear or a sprain injury.

liver

liv·er

/ˈlivər/

Noun

The liver is the largest internal organ. Made of hepatic cells, it is located in the right upper abdominal quadrant, partially protected by the right lower ribs. It is highly vascularized, meaning that it is well-supplied with blood vessels. The liver has many functions: it acts as a filter and detoxifies many of the substances that we put into our bodies, such as medications and ethanol (drinking alcohol); it produces many substances that are needed to create building blocks for the body’s use; it stores a variety of vitamins and glycogen. Additionally, it serves as an aid to digestion, manufacturing bile that is stored in the gallbladder.

low-energy weapon

low en·er·gy weap·on

/lō ˈenərjē ˈwepən/

Noun

These include hand-powered objects such as a knife or ice pick. These objects injure with sharp points or edges, and tend to produce less secondary trauma as with the cavitation of higher-powered weapons.

lower airway

low·er air·way

/ˈlō(ə)r ˈerwā/

Noun

The lower airway begins at the vocal cords and extends to the alveoli, where gases are exchanged.

lucid period

lu·cid pe·ri·od

/ˈlo͞osəd ˈpirēəd/

Noun

When a patient regains consciousness for a short period of time

lumbar vertebrae

lum·bar ver·te·brae

/ˈləmbər ˈvərdəbrə/

Noun

Vertebrae L-1 through L-5 that are in the lower back area. They are the largest and strongest in the vertebral column

lung

lung

/ləNG/

Noun

Located in the thoracic cavity, there is a right and a left lung that lie between the inner wall of the cavity and the surface of the lungs lie two membranes. They are responsible for the exchange of gases, mainly oxygen and carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the body.

luteal cell

lu·te·al cell

/ˈlo͞otēəl sel/

Noun

Specialized cells, which are yellow and rich in lipid, that proliferate in the follicle and replace clotted blood following ovulation.

luteal phase

lu·te·al phase

/ˈlo͞otēəl fāz/

Noun

The stage of postovulation in which the corpus luteum releases progesterone and estrogen to stimulate continued thickening of the endometrium. Also called the secretory or progestational phase.

lymph node

lymph node

/limf nōd/

Noun

Lymph nodes, located in the neck and other parts of the body, manufacture various cells called lymphocytes to help mount an immune defense against bacterial and viral infections.

lymphatic system

lym·phat·ic sys·tem

/limˈfatik ˈsistəm/

Noun

The lymphatic system drains fluid from certain tissue and is involved with transporting anti-infection cells and substances throughout the body.

lymphocyte

lym·pho·cyte

/ˈlimfəˌsīt/

Noun

A type of white blood cell, manufactured by the lymph nodes, that is part of the immune defense against bacterial and viral infections.

majority

ma·jor·i·ty

/məˈjôrədē/

Noun

The legal age at which a person is no longer a minor

malignant hyperemia

ma·lig·nant hy·per·e·mi·a

/məˈliɡnənt ˌhīpəˈrēmēə/

Noun

Dramatic brain swelling in pediatric patients that can occur rapidly following minor head injury and can produce neurologic deficits and death.

malleus

mal·le·us

/ˈmalēəs/

Noun

The middle ear is filled with air and contains several structures, including the malleus - a small bone that transmits vibrations of the eardrum to the incus.

maltreatment

mal·treat·ment

/malˈtrētmənt/

Noun

An interrelated aspect of pediatric trauma that is defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child

mammary glands

mam·ma·ry glands

/ˈmamərē glandz/

Noun

The milk-secreting glands that are located in a female's breast tissue, and are responsible for the production of milk for a newborn infant.

manual spinal immobilization

man·u·al spi·nal im·mo·bi·liza·tion

/ˈmanyə(wə)l ˈspīnl i(m)ˈmōbəˌlīzāSH(ə)n/

Noun

The procedure of placing hands on either side of a patint's head to limiting movement of bony fragments in unstable fractures from causing further cord damage. This is done to maintain an open spinal canal that allows flow of blood and CSF fluid to the spinal cord and to reduce the risk of additional spinal injuries.

marrow

mar·row

/ˈmarō/

Noun

Many bones are hollow - especially the long bones of the arms and legs, and flat bones of the pelvis. Blood cells are formed here in the soft, fatty substance of the marrow region, and salts are also stored for later use.

mast cell

mast cell

/mast sel/

Noun

Specialized cells within the nasal passages that release histamine when an allergen combines with the IgE antibody. The histamine causes vasodilation and increased capillary membrane permeability leading to edema and redness.

mature minor

ma·ture mi·nor

/məˈCHo͝or ˈmīnər/

Noun

The mature minor doctrine allows a minor to demonstrate ability and maturity to make their own decisions about health care. Not all states have adopted the mature minor doctrine. In some cases, minors are given the right to refuse treatment just as they are given the right to consent to treatment. The right to refuse treatment may be granted even if the minor’s decision to refuse treatment conflicts with the wishes of the parents.

mean arterial pressure

mean ar·te·ri·al pres·sure

/mēn ˌärˈtirēəl ˈpreSHər/

Noun

The way of measuring blood pressure by using the following formula: [(2 x diastolic BP)+systolic BP] / 3

mechanism of injury

mech·an·ism of in·ju·ry

/ˈmekəˌnizəm əv ˈinjərē/

Noun

Mechanism of injury refers to the way in which a patient was injured. By gaining information about the mechanism of injury, you may be able to predict the potential for and/or degree of injury that has been caused.

medial

me·di·al

/ˈmēdēəl/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to refer to a part closer to the midline than another.

mediastinum

me·di·as·ti·num

ˌmēdēəˈstīnəm

Noun

The space, separated by a membrane, between the lungs where the trachea, main bronchi, the heart and its vessels, and the esophagus is located.

medical direction

med·i·cal di·rec·tion

/ˈmedikəl diˈrekSHən,dī-/

Noun

EMTs and other certified or licensed prehospital care providers work under the delegated authority of the physician EMS medical director. Each EMS system must have a physician serve as medical oversight for its patient care

medical error

med·i·cal er·ror

/ˈmedək(ə)l ˈerər/

Noun

The failure of a planned action to be completed as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim. Source: Kohn LT, Corrigan JM, Donaldson MS, editors. To err is human: building a safer health system. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000.

medical ethics

med·i·cal eth·ics

/ˈmedikəl ˈeTHiks/

Noun

A system that examines questions of moral right and wrong as they apply in the context of medical care.

medical identification

med·i·cal i·den·ti·fi·ca·tion

/ˈmedikəl īˌdentəfiˈkāSHən/

Noun

Medical identification can provide critical details about a patient’s medical history. Types of medical identification vary, from bracelets, to necklaces, to cards found in a wallet or purse.

medication

me·di·ca·tion

/ˌmedəˈkāSHən/

Noun

Any substance that has a physiological effect on the body

medicine

med·i·cine

/ˈmedəsən/

Noun

The art and science of healing people who are ill or injured

medium-energy weapon

me·di·um en·er·gy weap·on

/ˈmēdēəm ˈenərjē ˈwepən/

Noun

Guns are medium-energy weapon.

medulla

me·dul·la

/məˈdələ/

Noun

With the pons, this part of the brain has control over cardiorespiratory centers that regulate respirations, blood pressure, and heart rate

megakaryocyte

mega·kar·yo·cyte

/ˌme-gə-ˈka-rē-ō-ˌsīt/

Noun

Large bone marrow cells

melanin

mel·a·nin

/ˈmelənin/

Noun

Melanin is found in the dermis layer of the skin, and contains the pigment that we see as skin color.

menarche

men·ar·che

/məˈnärkē/

Noun

The female’s first reproductive cycle

meninges

me·nin·ges

/məˈninjēz/

Noun

Three layers of protective lining that completely cover the brain and spinal cord

menopause

men·o·pause

/ˈmenəˌpôz/

Noun

The end of the female cycle that happens as the female ages. It starts wtih the cyle becoming increasingly irregular.

menses

men·ses

/ˈmensēz/

Noun

The bloody discharge that happens after a female's egg is unfertilized. Commonly known as the female’s menstrual period.

menstrual cycle

men·stru·al cy·cle

/ˈmenstrəl ˈsīk(ə)l//

Noun

The female body's monthly preparation for possible pregnancy

menstruation

men·stru·a·tion

/ˌmenstro͞oˈāSH(ə)n/

Noun

The monthly process of sloughing off blood and other materials from the endometrium if from puberty until menopause if pregnancy does not occur.

mental illness

men·tal ill·ness

/ˈmen(t)l ˈilnəs/

Noun

A medical condition that interfere with a person's thinking, mood, feeling, and ability to relate to others, or engage in functions of daily life

mental status

men·tal sta·tus

/ˈmen(t)l ˈstādəs/

Noun

The intellectual, emotional, psychological, and personality degree of competence shown by a person

mesentery

mes·en·ter·y

/ˈmezənˌterē/

Noun

The peritoneum that surrounds the intestines

metabolism

me·tab·o·lism

/məˈtabəˌlizəm/

Noun

The sum of all the physical and chemical processes by which living organized substance is produced and maintained (anabolism), and also the transformation by which energy is made available for the uses of the organism (catabolism). This is the process by which the body creates adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from oxygen and glucose (O2 + glucose = ATP). The waste of this process is CO2 and H2O.

microbe

mi·crobe

/ˈmīˌkrōb/

Noun

Living organisms too small to be seen by the naked eye, such as bacteria and viruses

midaxillary

mid·ax·il·lary

/midˈaksəˌlerē/

Adjective

The line that runs parallel to midline, but on the side of the body, through the armpit (axilla).

midclavicular

mid·cla·vic·u·lar

/midklaˈvikyələr/

Adjective

The imaginary line that runs parallel to the midline, but in the middle of the clavicle.

middle ear

mid·dle ear

/ˈmidl 'i(ə)r/

Noun

The middle ear is filled with air and contains several structures, including the three small bones that transfer vibrations from the tympanic membrane to the inner ear.

midline

mid·line

/ˈmidˌlīn/

Noun

The body can be divided into a left and right half using an imaginary line. This line is appropriately called the midline.

midscapular

mid·scap·u·lar

/midˈskapyələr/

Adjective

Similar to the midclavicular line, this imaginary line runs parallel to the midline, but in the middle of the back of the clavicle.

migraine

mi·graine

/ˈmīˌɡrān/

Noun

A common benign primary headache syndrome

minimum clinically significant difference

min·i·mum clin·i·cal·ly sig·nif·i·cant dif·fer·ence

/ˈminəməm ˈklinək(ə)lē siɡˈnifikəntˈdif(ə)rəns/

Noun

The difference in pain severity score required for the patient to feel any improvement or worsening of pain severity. Often used as the baseline test of efficacy for analgesic interventions.

minor

mi·nor

/ˈmīnər/

Noun

A person who is younger than the age of legal competence

minute volume

mi·nute vol·ume

ˈminit ˈvälyəm,-ˌyo͞om

Noun

The amount of air breathed in over a minute's time.

mitochondria

mi·to·chon·dri·a

/ˌmītəˈkändrēən/

Noun

The structure responsible for generating energy to power the rest of the cell.

mobile data terminal

mo·bile da·ta ter·mi·nal

/ˈmōbəl ˈdatə ˈtərmənl/

Noun

Portable computers that provide important data to field units. Data typically includes incident location, nearest cross street, dispatch information time of dispatch and incident number

mobile radio

mo·bile ra·di·o

/ˈmōbəl ˈrādēˌō/

Noun

A two-way radio that is mounted in a vehicle and is typically powered by the electrical system. It has a push-to-talk (PTT) button to activate the transmitter and an antenna.

modified jaw thrust

mod·i·fied jaw thrust

/ˈmädəˌfīed jô THrəst/

Noun

A technique of opening an unconscious patient's airway if cervical spine trauma is suspected. While the thumbs of both hands are resting on the patient’s zygomatic arches, the index and third fingers of both hands reach behind the mandible at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and push it forward. This allows the cervical spine to remain fixed while opening the airway.

molecule

mo·le·cule

/ˈmäləˌkyo͞ol/

Noun

What's formed when atoms that are either similar or different combine.

monocyte

mon·o·cyte

/ˈmänəˌsīt/

Noun

White blood cells that contain enzymes that destroy pathogens

mons pubis

mons pu·bis

/ˈmänz ˈpyo͞obis/

Noun

A collection of fatty tissue that covers the pubic symphysis and contains many tough receptors that make it a highly sensitive organ

mortality

mor·tal·i·ty

/môrˈtalətē/

Noun

An outcome resulting in death.

morula

mor·u·la

/ˈmôrələ/

Noun

The small ball of cells that forms after the zygote begins to divide rapidly

motivation

mo·ti·va·tion

/ˌmōtəˈvāSHən/

Noun

Feeling the need to achieve a goal. Self-motivation is what will carry you through a call no matter how difficult or upsetting it can be.

mouth

mouth

/mouTH/

Noun

The opening between the lips that contains teeth and the tongue, both of which play a large role in the process of eating food.

mucous plug

mu·cous plug

/ˈmyo͞okəs pləɡ/

Noun

A barrier in the cervix between the uterus and the vaginal canal. It prevents bacteria from entering the uterus during pregnancy. The mucous plug remains in place during the entire pregnancy.

multisystem trauma

multi·sys·tem trau·ma

/ˈməltē ˈsistəm ˈtroumə/

Noun

Trauma occuring to more than one body system.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

mun·chau·sen syn·drome by prox·y

mən(t)SH CHouzen ˈsinˌdrōm bī ˈpräksē/

Noun

A rare form of maltreatment in which the caregiver exaggerates or induce symptoms and/or illness in another person

muscle

mus·cle

/ˈməsəl/

Noun

Muscles are comprised of tissue that is arranged so that, when stimulated will contract or tighten. Muscles are organized into three broad types: skeletal, smooth, and cardiac.

muscular system

mus·cu·lar sys·tem

/ˈməskyələr ˈsistəm/

Noun

The muscular system is the major source of heart production for the body. It is also responsible for movement and position, and provides some protection for organs underneath it. The functional unit of the muscular system is the muscle cell.

myocardial infarction

my·o·car·di·al in·farc·tion

/mīəˈkärdēəl inˈfärkSHən/

Noun

Heart cell death caused by poor or stopped blood flow due to blockage of a coronary artery with an embolus or thrombus. This condition is often accompanied by chest discomfort in the center of the chest that is unrelieved by rest. Pain quality often increases or changes, and may be associated with dyspnea, diaphoresis, nausea, weakness, and palpitations.

myocyte

my·o·cy·te

/mī′ō-sīt/

Noun

A cardiac cell that has the ability to produce an electrical impulse without being stimulated.

myometrium

my·o·me·tri·um

/ˌmīəˈmētrēəm/

Noun

The middle layer of the uterus, which is very muscular

myxedema coma

myx·e·de·ma co·ma

/ˌmiksəˈdēmə ˈkōmə/

Noun

An uncommon but potentially life-threatening complication of hypothyroidism that is most common in the elderly and may be triggered by a stressor

nares

nares

/ˈne(ə)rēz/

Noun

Nostrils

nasal cannula

na·sal can·nu·la

/ney zuh l kan-yuh-luh/

Noun

A single-use device that is a simple tube with an opening on one end that allows it to be connected to an oxygen regulator and two prongs on the other end that rest at the base of the patient’s nares.

nasal cavity

na·sal

/ˈnāzəl/

Noun

The nasal cavity is filled with blood vessels, mucous and little hairs called cilia. Air passing through the nasal cavity begins to warm, humidify, and is partially cleaned as it passes through the pharynx and larynx.

nasopharyngeal airway

na·so·pha·ryn·geal air·way

/nā zō fə ˈrin j(ē-)əlˌfa rən ˈjē-əl ˈeərˌwā/

Noun

A device used on a patient who has an altered mental status but has at least a partial gag reflex that would prohibit the use of an oropharyngeal airway. Made of rubber, NPAs also come in a variety of sizes, and are designed to be placed primarily in the patient’s right nare. Use of a water-soluble lubricant can reduce the chances of causing a nosebleed during insertion.

National Association of EMS Educators

na·tion·al reg·is·try of ems ed·u·ca·tors

/ˈnaSHənəl əˌsōsēˈāSHən,-SHē- of ēms ˈejəˌkātərs/

Noun

A 501 ( c ) non profit educational association that incorporated in 1995 to serve as a professional membership organization for EMS educators.

National Association of EMS Physicians

na·tion·al reg·is·try of ems ed·u·ca·tors phy·si·cians

/naSHənəl əˌsōsēˈāSHən,-SHē- of stāt ems ˈfiˈziSHəns/

Noun

An association formed 1984 by emergency medical service leaders from a cross-section of the U.S. to connect EMS physicians responsible for medical care in the out-of-hospital setting.

National Association of EMTs

na·tion·al as·so·ci·a·tion of emts

/ˈnaSHənəl əˌsōsēˈāSHən,-SHē- of ēmts/

Noun

An association formed in 1975 to represent the professional interests of EMS professionals in the United States.

National Association of State EMS Officers

na·tion·al as·so·ci·a·tion of state ems of·fi·cials

/naSHənəl əˌsōsēˈāSHən,-SHē- of stāt ems ˈəˈfiSHəls/

Noun

A national association formed in 1980 as a nationwide network of coordinated and accountable state, regional and local EMS and emergency care systems.

National Registry of EMTs

na·tion·al reg·is·try of emts

/ˈnaSHənəl ˈrejəstrē of ēmts/

Noun

A national agency formed in 1970 to administer a consistent, standards-based competency examination for the levels of EMS certifications.

neck

neck

/nek/

Noun

The structure that connects the head and trunk. It contains the cervical spine, carotid arteries, jugular veins, esophagus, larynx, and thyroid cartilage.

neglect

ne·glect

/nəˈɡlekt/

Noun

Failure to provide for the child’s basic needs. Neglect can be physical, emotional, or educational.

nephron

neph·ron

/ˈnefrän/

Noun

Sophisticated filters that release and retainremove and control excess water, urea, salts and other soluble waste from the blood plasma

nervous system

nerv·ous sys·tem

/ˈnərvəs ˈsistəm/

Noun

The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and sensory organs. It uses electrochemical signals to rapidly transmit information back and forth from all areas of the body. Some signals carry information from sense organs; others carry directions to tissues that execute an action - like a muscle contraction of gland secretion.

neurogenic shock

neu·ro·gen·ic shock

/noor uh jen ik shok/

Noun

A condition in which an injury to the spinal cord results in the loss of signals being transmitted from the brain to the arteries, causing the arteries to relax and dilate.

neuron

neu·ron

/ˈn(y)o͝orän/

Noun

The functional unit of the nervous system

nitroglycerin

ni·tro·glyc·er·in

/ˌnītrōˈɡlisərən/

Noun

A medication that decreases the heart’s workload by dilating the arteries, including the coronary arteries, bringing more blood to the heart muscle

non-rebreather mask

non·re·breath·er mask

/non′′rēbrēth′ər mask, mahsk/

Noun

An oxygen-delivery device that is fitted to the patient’s face. The mask has a nose and chin section, with a moldable metal tab on the nose section. The tab can be shaped to make the NRB snug against the patient’s nose. An elastic band goes behind the patient’s head to hold the mask on the face. The mask has two exhaust ports on its sides, each with a thin flap that act as a valve to allow air to escape the mask but not enter it. Near the chin section of the mask is a port, where an oxygen reservoir is attached. A tube extends from the reservoir that allows it to be attached to the oxygen regulator. The reservoir is filled with oxygen before the NRB is placed onto the patient’s face. The standard oxygen flow rate for the NRB is 10 to 15 lpm. Properly fitted, the NRB can deliver in excess of 90% inspired oxygen. As the patient exhales, a flap closes over the reservoir port, allowing carbon dioxide to exit the mask through side ports.

non-technical skills

non·tech·ni·cal skill

/nänˈteknikəl skil/

Noun

Sometimes referred to as human skills, non-technical skills are distinct from technical or clinical skills in that they encompass the cognitive, social, and personal resource skills needed to safely and efficiently perform a task. Source: Flin R, Patey R, Glavin R, Maran N. Anaesthetists’ non-technical skills. Br J Anaesth. 2010 Jul;105(1):38-44. doi: 10.1093/bja/aeq134. Epub 2010 Jun 3

noninvasive blood pressure device

non·in·va·sive blood pres·sure de·vice

/ˌnäninˈvāsiv bləd ˈpreSHər diˈvīs/

Noun

A device that uses a mechanical pump to measure for the patient blood pressure

nonphysical disease

non·phy·si·cal dis·eas·e

/nänˈfizikəl diˈzēz/

Noun

An emotional or behavioral condition that affects the overall function of the body. Examples include depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders.

nonverbal communication

non·ver·bal com·mu·ni·ca·tion

/nänˈvərbəl kəˌmyo͞onəˈkāSHən/

Noun

Conveying how we feel through body language.

norepinephrine

nor·ep·i·neph·rine

/nawr-ep-uh-nef-rin, -reen/

Noun

The hormone secreted by the adrenal gland that has the main effect of causing the peripheral arteries to constrict

normotensive

nor·mo·ten·sion

/ˌnȯr-mō-ˈten-chən/

Adjective

nose

nose

/nōz/

Noun

The facial structure located above the mouth that contains the nasal cavity, which warms, humidifies, and filters the air that we breathe

objective finding

ob·jec·tive find·ing

/əbˈjektiv ˈfīndiNG/

Noun

The secondary assessment of the human body focuses on the clinical findings that you can see, touch, hear and smell.

obstructive shock

ob·struc·tive shock

/əbˈstrəktiv, SHäk

Noun

A shock that results from an inadequate circulating volume due to an obstruction in or compression on the great veins, aorta, pulmonary arteries or the heart. It may occur from conditions such as pericardial tamponade and tension pneumothorax

occipital lobe

oc·cip·i·tal lobe

/ok sip i tl lōb/

Noun

The part of the brain that is responsible for vision

occlusion

oc·clu·sion

/əˈklo͞oZHən/

Noun

Blockage of the arteries that occurs due to hardening of arterial walls

occult

oc·cult

/əˈkəlt/

Adjective

Difficult to locate or concealed

odontoid process

o·don·toid proc·ess

/ˌōˈdän(t)oid ˈpräˌses/

Noun

The perpendicular projection from the axis

olfactory receptor

ol·fac·to·ry re·cep·tor

/älˈfakt(ə)rē riˈseptər/

Noun

Olfactory receptors are located high in the nasal cavity and detect different airborne molecules that are interpreted in the brain as odor.

oocyte

o·o·cyte

/ˈōəˌsīt/

Noun

An immature egg, which grows in the follicle

open chest wound

o·pen chest wound

/ˈōpən CHest wo͞ond/

Noun

A wound created by some type of penetrating mechanism, such as a stabbing or gunshot. An opening is created, which may not be self-sealing by the skin and muscles after the object passes through. As a result, air may leak into the chest cavity or in between the visceral and parietal pleura, creating a situation explained earlier. If an artery or vein is damaged by the mechanism, blood can also enter the cavity.

open injury

o·pen in·ju·ry

/ˈōpən ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

An injury that breaks the integrity of the skin

open pneumothorax

o·pen pneu·mo·tho·rax

/ˈōpən ˌn(y)o͞omōˈTHôˌraks/

Noun

A pneumothorax resulting specifically from an open wound secondary to a penetrating mechanism. A large opening can result in a sucking chest wound and can collapse a lung quickly.

open question

o·pen ques·tion

/ˈōpən ˈkwesCHən/

Noun

One that generally requires a longer answer. This question type will generate a more detailed response from the patient, although it will take longer and may not be as direct as with a closed question.

optic nerve

op·tic nerve

/ˈäptik nərv/

Noun

The retina sends information through the optic nerve to the brain, where the information is interpreted into an image.

orbital blow out

or·bit·al blow out

/ˈôrbitl blō out/

Noun

A rapid increase in intraocular pressure that causes the eye to protrude beyond the orbital ridge. It's often caused by blast, crush injuries, and high-impact blunt trauma

organ

or·gan

/ˈôrgən/

Noun

A very complex structure formed of different tissues with specialized functions.

organ system

or·gan sys·tem

/ˈôrgən ˈsistəm/

Noun

Groups of organs

organelle

or·gan·elle

/ˌôrgəˈnel/

Noun

A cell may contain organelles that are designed to serve specific functions. Each organelle is constructed of a variety of large molecules such as lipids, proteins and carbohydrates.

organic disorder

or·gan·ic dis·or·der

/ôrˈɡanik ˌdisˈôrdər/

Noun

A temporary or permanent condition with a change in the normal structure or physiology of the brain

organism

or·gan·is·m

/ˈôrgəˌnizəm/

Noun

Organ systems interact with each other to form an organism.

orientation

o·ri·en·ta·tion

/ˌôrēənˈtāSHən/

Noun

The patient's ability to know what is happening around him.

oropharyngeal airway

oro·pha·ryn·geal air·way

/ˌȯr ə ˌfa rən ˈjē əl, fə ˈrin-j(ē-)əl ˈeərˌwā/

Noun

A device used to maintain the airway of an unconscious patient who does not have a gag reflex and is unable to maintain their own airway. Generally made of plastic, OPAs come in a variety of sizes, designed to fit a variety of patients from pediatric to adult. Once inserted, the OPA will depress the tongue to the floor of the mouth, thereby keeping a passage open. However, the OPA does not reach all of the way to the posterior tongue. A manual airway maneuver will still be required to fully maintain airway patency.

orthostatic vital sign

or·tho·stat·ic vi·tal sign

/ˌôrTHəˈstatik ˈvīdl sīn/

Noun

A series of blood pressures and pulses taken when the patient is lying down and standing.

ossification

os·si·fi·ca·tion

/ˌä-sə-fə-ˈkā-shən/

Noun

Bone formation

outer ear

out·er ear

/ˈoutər 'i(ə)r/

Noun

The outer ear is the visible portion of the ear that collects sound waves, which are directed through the auricle into the external auditory canal.

ovarian cyst

o·var·i·an cyst

/ˌōˈverēən sist/

Noun

A collection of fluid within an ovary

ovary

o·va·ry

/ˈōv(ə)rē/

Noun

The two ovaries are solid organs that are located in the posterior area of the female pelvic cavity. Ovaries contain all of the potential egg cells at birth, but do not begin to release them for possible fertilization until puberty.

over-the-counter medication

o·ver the coun·ter me·di·ca·tion

/ˈōvər T͟Hē ˈkountər/ medəˈkāSHən/

Noun

Medication that is sold in supermarkets and retail drug stores without a prescription

overdose

o·ver·dose

/ˈōvərˌdōs/

Noun

The term used to describe the accidental or intentional use of a drug or medication in a manner that is unintended or in an amount that is not recommended.

ovulation

ovu·la·tion

/ˌäv yə ˈlā shən/

Noun

When an ovary releases an egg, which is swept into the fallopian tube and eventually into the uterus

ovum

o·vum

/ˈōvəm/

Noun

A mature egg, which develops in the follicle

oxygen cylinder

ox·y·gen cyl·in·der

/ˈäksəjən ˈsiləndər/

Noun

Oxygen is stored under pressure in cylinders that vary in size and capacity. D cylinders store up to 350 liters. E cylinders store up to 625 liters. M cylinders store up to 3,000 liters. G cylinders store up to 5,300 liters. H cylinders store up to 6,900 liters

oxygen humidifier

ox·y·gen hu·mid·i·fi·er

/ˈäksəjən (h)yo͞oˈmidəˌfī(ə)r/

Noun

A device that attaches to oxygen delivery devices and allows for humidification of administered oxygen by bubbling the oxygen through sterile water or saline. This prevents drying of the mucosa and can help thin respiratory secretions.

oxygen regulator

ox·y·gen reg·u·la·tor

/ok si juhn reg yuh ley ter/

Noun

A valve that can be controlled by the user. Generally made of brass or other nonreactive metal, the regulator is attached to an oxygen cylinder by lining up the regulator inlet valve to the outlet valve of the cylinder

pacemakers

pace mak·ers

/ˈpāsˌmākər/

Noun

Specialized sets of electrical cells, which are found in the upper portion of the right atrium. These cells can spontaneously generate an electrical impulse that moves across both atria, causing them to contract.

pain

pain

/pān/

Noun

Pain is a physical sensation in the body that is interpreted through the brain. Pain is what is perceived not simply a transmission from a nerve.

palmar method

pal·mar meth·od

/pä(l)m är ˈmeTHəd

Noun

A method for estimating the percentage of body surface area in a burned patient that uses the patient’s hand palm to estimate 1% BSA. This method may be useful in estimating burn areas smaller than a full extremity.

palpate

pal·pate

/ˈpalˌpāt/

Verb

Using your hands to feel or palpate for a variety of conditions by applying mild to moderate pressure to specific areas of the body can detect abnormalities such as tenderness (pain upon palpation), deformity or swelling. Your hands will also detect skin temperature and condition, such as diaphoresis.

pancreas

pan·cre·as

/ˈpaNGkrēəs/

Noun

The pancreas is part of the endocrine system, located behind the stomach. It secretes digestive enzymes into the intestines, and is also responsible for producing insulin.

pancreatic juice

pan·cre·at·ic juice

/ˌpaNGkrēˈatik,ˌpan-/

Noun

A mixture of enzymes secreted by the pancreas that is designed to digest carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and nucleic acids.

paralysis

pa·ral·y·sis

/pəˈraləsəs/

Noun

Loss of movement and occurs when descending pathways are damaged.

paramedic

par·a·med·ic

/ˌparəˈmedik/

Noun

A person who is trained to provide all of the skills of the EMT and AEMT in addition to the full extent of advanced life support skills. Paramedics must be certified as an EMTs to begin paramedic training. The general length of training is at least 1,100 hours. It incluces classroom, skills and training time spent performing clinical observations.

paraplegia

par·a·ple·gi·a

/ˌparəˈplēj(ē)ə/

Noun

Paraplegia is a condition caused by damage to the spinal cord, that results in paralysis of the legs and lower body.

parasympathetic nervous system

par·a·sym·pa·thet·ic nerv·ous sys·tem

ˌ/parəˌsimpəˈTHetik ˈnərvəs ˈsistəm/

Noun

The parasympathetic nervous system can be thought of as a “brake” to the sympathetic system “accelerator”. Another term for the parasympathetic system is the “feed and breed” response system, which helps to describe its function. When activated, the body slows down, focusing its attention to building reserves by encouraging digestion and rest. The body also uses the parasympathetic response system to initiate the sexual responses necessary for intercourse and ultimately, reproduction.

parathyroid

par·a·thy·roid

/ˌparəˈTHīˌroid/

Noun

The parathyroid is part of the endocrine system, located next to the thyroid in the neck. It secretes hormones that regulate calcium levels.

parenteral

pa·ren·te·ral

/pəˈrentərəl/

Adjective

A medications that is absorbed by a route other than the gastrointestinal tract, such as by injection or inhalation.

paresthesia

par·es·the·si·a

/ˌparəsˈTHēZH(ē)ə/

Noun

Paresthesia is a condition caused by damage to the spinal cord, that can result in loss of sensation or a tingling/pricking feeling. Colloquially called "pins and needles."

parethesia

par·es·the·si·a

/ˌperəsˈTHēZH(ē)ə/

Noun

Abnormal or lost sensation that occurs when the sensory tracts are disrupted

parietal discomfort

pa·ri·e·tal dis·com·fort

/pəˈrīəd(ə)l disˈkəmfərtl/

Noun

Pain caused by irritation of the lining of the abdominal cavity. Most parietal discomfort is described as sharp, constant and can be increased by movement due to deep breathing, coughing or stretching.

parietal lobe

pa·ri·e·tal lobe

/pəˈrīəd(ə)l lōb/

Noun

The part of the brain responsible for spatial orientation and sensory functions

parietal peritoneum

pa·ri·e·tal per·i·to·ne·um

/pəˈrīəd(ə)l ˌperitnˈēəm/

Noun

The outer membrane that adheres to the abdominal cavity walls

parietal pleura

pa·ri·e·tal pleu·ra

/pəˈrīəd(ə)l ˈplo͝orə/

Noun

The pleural membrane that lines the inner surface of the thoracic cavity.

parital seizure

par·tial sei·zure

/pahr shuh l ˈsēZHər/

Noun

Seizure caused by electrical discharges that are limited to a portion of the brain. They are often secondary seizures that result from a lesion in the brain

partial rebreather mask

par·tial re·breath·er mask

/pahr shuhl rēbrēth′ər mask, mahsk/

Noun

An oxygen delivery device in which a flap valve is removed from one of the side ports, which allows atmospheric air to pass into the mask in case oxygen abruptly stops flowing. It delivers less oxygen than an NRB mask, approximately 60%, inspired oxygen at a liter flow of 10 to 15 lpm.

partial thickness burn

par·tial thick·ness burn

/ˈpärSHəl ˈTHiknəs bərn/

Noun

A burn that involves the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin. Often presents with bllisters, which can form as fluid collects from the damaged dermal layer. Partial thickness burns can be superficial or deep, depending on the thickness of the dermis involved.

patency

pa·ten·cy

/ˈpatn-sē,ˈpātn-/

Noun

How well air passes from the outside environment into the lower airways. Under normal conditions, there should be no obstructions impeding airflow; therefore little or no sounds should be heard with normal ventilations.

pathogen

path·o·gen

/path uh juhn, jen/

Noun

Infectious cells and microorganisms

patient advocacy

pa·tient ad·vo·ca·cy

/ˈpāSHənt ˈadvəkəsē/

Noun

Working for the benefit of the patient. This might include speaking up for the patient when transferring care, to make sure he is moved to the appropriate bed or is promptly seen by a nurse or physician.

pediatric assessment triangle

pe·di·at·ric as·sess·ment tri·an·gle

/ˌpi diˈæ trɪks, əˈsesmənt ˈtrīˌaNGɡəl/

Noun

A tool that helps identify physiologic instability, direct resuscitation priorities, and determine transport decisions, from "across the room" without threatening an anxious child. The three components of the PAT include: 1) appearance; 2) work of breathing; and 3) circulation to skin.

peer review

peer re·view

/pi(ə)r riˈvyo͞o/

Noun

The process in which manuscripts that are submitted to scholarly journals by researchers are sent to other experts for evaluationa nd consideration.

pelvic cavity

pel·vic cav·i·ty

/ˈpelvik ˈkavitē/

Noun

The space bounded by the bones of the pelvis, which contains the urinary bladder, the last portion of the large intestines, and internal reproductive organs.

pelvic inflammatory disease

pel·vic in·flam·ma·to·ry dis·ease

/ˈpelvik inˈflaməˌtôrē dis·ease/

Noun

An infection of the uterine tubes, uterus, peritoneal lining, occasionally the ovaries, that is a major cause of abdominal pain.

penetrating trauma

pen·e·trat·ing trau·ma

/ˈpeniˌtrātiNG ˈtroumə/

Noun

Penetrating injuries tend to be very localized on the body. The force associated with a penetrating object is great enough to break through the skin and cause injury, sometimes deep inside the body.

perfusion

per·fu·sion

/pər'fyo̅o̅′zhən/

Noun

Perfusion is how the body supplies the tissues with nutrients and oxygen and removes toxins and wastes. Venous blood containing various products returns from the cells and passes through various organs such as the kidney and lungs. Waste products as well as excess amounts of water and carbon dioxide are removed from the blood stream. The blood eventually returns to the heart where it is sent to the lungs to pick up a new load of oxygen for transport back to the cells. This continuous loop of pickup and drop off is known as perfusion. Adequate tissue perfusion occurs as a result of an adequately pumping heart, a vascular system that is intact, and enough blood volume within the blood vessels.

pericardial sac

per·i·car·di·al sac

/per i kahr dee uhl sac/

Noun

The membrane surrounding the heart

pericardial tamponade

per·i·car·di·al tam·pon·ade

/per i kahr dee uhl tam puh neyd/

Noun

When fluid from infection or blood from trauma builds up in the pericardial sac surrounding the heart, creating a pressure against the heart’s chambers that keeps them from refilling correctly.

pericardium

per i car di um

/ˌperiˈkärdēəm/

Noun

A thin membrane that surrounds the heart. The pericardium allows the heart to be anchored in the chest, yet allows it to move around slightly, based on the body’s position.

perimetrium

pe·ri·me·tri·um

/ˈpirēˈmētrēəm/

Noun

The outer layer of the uterus characterized with a thin cover surrounding the body and most of the cervix.

periorbital ecchymosis

per·i·or·bit·al ec·chy·mo·sis

/pr-ôrb-tl ˌekəˈmōsis/

Noun

Commonly called "black eye," this is caused by bleeding under the tissue surrounding the eye.

peripheral nerve

pe·riph·er·al nerve

/pəˈrifərəl nərv/

Noun

As the spinal nerves leave the spinal column, they branch out and connect to a web of peripheral nerves that send and receive information throughout the remainder of the body.

peripheral nervous system

pe·riph·er·al nerv·ous sys·tem

/pəˈrifərəl ˈnərvəs ˈsistəm/

Noun

The peripheral nervous system is the division of the nervous system that contains the nerves that leave the brain/spinal cord and connect to the rest of the body.

peripheral occlusion

pe·riph·er·al em·bo·lism

/pəˈrif(ə)rəl ˈembəˌlizəm/

Noun

When a vein or artery in the extremities becomes blocked

peripheral pulses

pe·riph·er·al puls·es

/puh-rif-er-uh l puhls es/

Noun

These are found in the extremities. They include the radial, brachial, and dorsalis pedis pulses

peripheral vision

pe·riph·er·al vi·sion

/pəˈrifərəl ˈviZHən/

Noun

A part of vision that occurs outside the very center of gaze.

peristalsis

per·i·stal·sis

/ˌperəˈstôlsis/

Noun

The involuntary contraction that moves chyme out of the stomach and into the duodenum

peritoneum

per·i·to·ne·um

/ˌperitnˈēəm/

Noun

The two membranes that line the walls of the abdominal cavity; the outer, parietal peritoneum adheres to the cavity walls, while the inner, visceral peritoneum covers and supports the organs.

peritonitis

per·i·to·ni·tis

/ˌperətnˈīdəs/

Noun

A bacterial infection of the peritoneum

PERRL

PERRL

/pərl/

Noun

An approved abbreviation for written documentation that describes your findings when evaluating a patient's eyes. PERRL stands for "Pupils that are Equal, Round and Reactive to Light." An alternative acronym is PEARL, which stands for "Pupils that are Equal And Reactive to Light."

personal protective equipment

per·son·al pro·tec·tive e·quip·ment

/ˈpərsənəl prəˈtektiv iˈkwipmənt/

Noun

An essential component of scene safety, PPE acts as a barrier to a variety of potential hazards. PPE includes uniform, gloves and eye protective devices.

personality

per·son·al·i·ty

/ˌpərsəˈnalədē/

Noun

The characteristics of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that makes a person unique

personality disorder

per·son·al·i·ty dis·or·der

/ˌpərsəˈnalədē ˌdisˈôrdər/

Noun

Long-term patterns of behavior and thought that result in problems with relationships and functioning

pertinent negative

per·ti·nent neg·a·tive

/ˈpərtn-ənt ˈnegətiv/

Noun

While not always obvious, pertinent negatives are significant to record. These are really “nonfindings”, meaning that things that should have been found, were not. An example would be that of a patient who looks like he is in breathing rapidly (an objective finding) but does not complain of trouble breathing (a subjective nonfinding). In this case, an EMT can document this pertinent negative as, “Patient denies shortness of breath.”

pertussis

per·tus·sis

/pərˈtəsis/

Noun

A highly contagious disease transmitted human-to-human through airborne droplets containing the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. It is commonly referred to as “whooping cough” due to the typical whooping sound that occurs during inspiration of air after the cough

pH buffer system

pH buff·er sys·tem

/ˌpēˈāCH ˈbəfər ˈsistəm/

Noun

The body system that helps to maintain a balance of acids and bases in the bloodstream

phagocyte

phag·o·cyte

/ˈfaɡəˌsīt/

Noun

Specialized cells that digest microorganisms, other cells and foreign particles

pharmacodynamics

phar·ma·co·dy·na·mics

/ˌfärməkōdīˈnamiks/

Noun

The study of how a medication acts on the body, including the magnitude and duration of the response

pharmacokinetics

phar·ma·co·ki·ne·tics

/ˌfärməkōkiˈnetiks/

Noun

The process by which a medication is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and eliminated from the body

pharmacology

phar·ma·col·o·gy

/ˌfärməˈkäləjē/

Noun

The study of medications, including their preparation, uses, and activity on the body

pharynx

phar·ynx

/ˈfariNGks/

Noun

The cavity located behind the nose and mouth that connects them to the esophagus.

phonation

pho·na·tion

/fōˈnāSHən/

Noun

Ability to speak

physical abuse

phys·i·cal a·buse

/ˈfizik(ə)l əˈbyo͞os/

Noun

The deliberate infliction of physical injury on another being

physiology

phys·i·ol·o·gy

/ˌfizēˈäləjē/

Noun

The function of the different parts of the body.

pia mater

pi·a ma·ter

/ˈpīə ˈmātər/

Noun

The pia mater is the innermost and most delicate of the three layers of membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

pituitary gland

pi·tu·i·tar·y gland

/pəˈt(y)o͞oəˌterē gland/

Noun

The major part of the endocrine system, the pituitary gland is located in the brain. It controls growth and development, as well as the function of the other endocrine glands.

placenta

pla·cen·ta

/pləˈsen(t)ə/

Noun

A vascular structure formed from some of the cells of the blastocyte and endometrium that allows the diffusion of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients and waste between the mother and embryo

plasma

plas·ma

/plaz muh/

Noun

The colorless, fluid portion of blood that carries corpuscles or fat globules. It is comprised of albumin, globulin, fibrinogen, electrolytes, amino acids, simple sugars and lipids.

platelet

plate·let

/ˈplāt-lit/

Noun

A specialized cell in the blood that triggers a series of actions that causes the blood to form a clot. Platelets are found in large numbers in the blood, and initiate the clotting process when the body needs to heal damaged tissue.

pleura

pleu·ra

/ˈplo͝orə/

Noun

A double-layered membrane that surrounds the lungs. The parietal pleura lines the inside chest wall; the visceral pleura covers the organs such as the lungs. Under normal conditions there is no space between the two membranes; a watery liquid called serous fluid causes the pleura to “stick” together, yet slide around without effort.

pneumonia

pneu·mo·nia

/n(y)o͞oˈmōnyə/

Noun

A lower respiratory infection caused by a viral, bacterial, parasitic, or fungal organism

pneumothorax

pneu·mo·tho·rax

/ˌn(y)o͞omōˈTHôˌraks/

Noun

Free air inside the chest cavity. A pneumothorax can reduce the amount of negative pressure needed by the patient to ventilate. Varieties include simple pneumothorax, open pneumothorax, and tension pneumothorax.

pocket mask

pock·et mask

/pok it mask, mahsk/

Noun

A mask that allows the provider to administer mouth-to-barrier ventilation. The pocket mask contains a one-way valve that reduces the chances of being exposed to the patient’s secretions and communicable diseases. In addition, some masks have oxygen ports that can increase the amount of oxygen being delivered to the patient.

polydipsia

pol·y·dip·si·a

/ˌpälēˈdipsēə/

Noun

Abnormal thirst

polyphagia

poly·pha·gia

/-ˈfā-j(ē-)ə/

Noun

A condition in which the patient eats more than normal. It is often a sign of diabetes, in which the brain thinks that it is hungry due to insufficient insulin causing increased glucose levels in the bloodstream with cells that are starved of an energy source.

polyuria

poly·uria

/-ˈyu̇r-ē-ə/

Noun

Abnormally high urine output

pons

pons

/pänz/

Noun

With the medulla, this part of the brain has control over cardiorespiratory centers that regulate respirations, blood pressure, and heart rate

portable radio

port·a·ble ra·di·o

/ˈpôrtəbəl ˈrādēˌō/

Noun

A device carried by EMS personnel to provide constant communication between the crew and the dispatch center. Portable radios have a battery and an antenna built in to the radio and a PTT button to activate the transmitter.

portal vein

por·tal vein

/ˈpôrdl vān/

Noun

The vein in the liver that receives blood from the lower portion of the esophagus

post-event phase

post e·vent phase

/post iˈvent fāz/

Noun

The time frame in which the patient’s state of general health, EMS care, and access to a trauma care hospital or trauma center will play a factor in the patient’s ultimate outcome. This includes recognizing serious trauma potential, managing injuries quickly yet effectively, and transporting safely to a trauma center.

post-resuscitation care

post re·sus·ci·tate care

/pōst ri suhs i teyt ker/

Noun

This involves keeping the patient’s airway patent, maintaining artificial ventilation if necessary and closely monitoring the patient’s pulse and blood pressure.

post-traumatic stress disorder

post trau·mat·ic stress dis·or·der

/pōst trəˈmadik stres ˌdisˈôrdər/

Noun

An anxiety disorder that may develop after exposure to a critical incident or crisis in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened

posterior

pos·te·ri·or

/päˈsti(ə)rēər/

Adjective

Also known as the dorsal side, this anatomy term is used to refer to the back of the body.

postictal period

post·ic·tal pe·ri·od

/pōst-ik´tal ˈpirēəd/

Noun

The period of up to an hour after a seizure during which the patient appears confused and fatigued

postpartum

post·par·tum

/pōstˈpärdəm/

Noun

The recovery phase female body enters after delivery of a newborn. The initial fluid that the newborn ingests is known as colostrum and is filled with nutrient, fats and antibiotics. Colostrum is replaced with milk that is produced by the mother. This can go on for upwards of a year or more, although many women supplement or replace their milk with external sources of formula and eventually solid food.

postpartum depression

post·par·tum de·pres·sion

/pōstˈpärdəm dəˈpreSH(ə)n/

Noun

Periods of emotional instability in the weeks following delivery

posturing

pos·tur·ing

/ˈpäsCHər iNG/

Noun

An abnormal response of the body when it detects pain

potential space

po·ten·tial spacwe

/pəˈten(t)SHəl spās/

Noun

The space in the pleural cavity that contains a small amount of fluid to minimize friction. It has the potential to expand be filled with air, fluid, or blood.

potentiation

po·ten·ti·a·tion

/pəˌten(t)SHēˈāSH(ə)n/

Noun

When the interaction of one medication or drug increases the potency of another medication or drug

practice

prac·tice

/praktəs/

Noun

Effort to constantly perform and repeat procedures and make clinical decisions that will make you a better health care provider

pre-crisis education

pre cri·sis ed·u·ca·tion

/pri ˈkrīsis ˌejəˈkāSHən/

Noun

Education that can provide a foundation for critical incident stress management services. It includes incident awareness, crisis response strategies and develops stress management coping skills that can prevent major problems should an incident occur. It can take the form of an employee handbook, e-book and/or workshops and training seminars.

pre-event phase

pre e·vent phase

/pri iˈvent fāz/

Noun

The time frame in which actions can be taken to reduce the risk of trauma. This includes keeping people healthy from injury by advocating strongly for injury prevention programs such as child-proofing homes, checking smoke alarms, installing child safety seats in cars, and reducing trip hazards inside homes.

preeclampsia

pre·e·clamp·si·a

/ˌprēəˈklampsēə/

Noun

Hypertension that develops during pregnancy

prefix

pre·fix

/ˈprēˌfiks/

Noun

Prefixes precede the root word to modify its meaning without changing the meaning of the root word. Prefixes qualify the root word by providing additional information. For example, peri/card/itis, where peri- refers to surrounding something. In this case, it refers to the tissue surrounding the heart.

prejudice

prej·u·dice

/ˈprejədəs/

Noun

When a stereotype is negative in value or even hostile

preload

pre·load

prēˈlōd

Noun

The stretching of the right ventricle to its capacity that happens prior to contraction

prescription medication

pre·scrip·tion me·di·ca·tion

/priˈskripSHən medəˈkāSHən/

Noun

This type of medication requires a physician's order and is dispensed by pharmacists.

prevention

pre·ven·tion

/prəˈven(t)SH(ə)n/

Noun

Actions taken to avoid illness entirely or reduce the effect of a disease in its early stages

primary assessment

pri·ma·ry as·sess·ment

/prīˌmerē əˈsesmənt/

Noun

Evaluation of the airway, breathing and circulation of a patient.

primary injury

pri·ma·ry in·ju·ry

/ˈprīˌmerē ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

Injury relating from direct trauma

process

proc·ess

/ˈpräˌses/

Noun

1. Movement toward a particular end or result. 2. The protruding areas of bones that allow muscles to attach to them with ligaments

progesterone

pro·ges·ter·one

/prōˈjestəˌrōn/

Noun

The hormone used by the body to modify the uterine wall during the female reproductive cycle and further develop the mammary glands during pregnancy.

prolapsed cord

pro·lapsed cord

/prōˈlapst kôrd/

Noun

A condition in which the umbilical cord appears first. Estimated to occur in less than 1/3 of 1% of live births

protocol

pro·to·col

/ˈprōtəˌkäl/

Noun

A clinical protocol is a written document describing the steps in the care of patients in an emergency, such as cardiopulmonary arrest. For example, a patient in respiratory distress can be given oxygen without contacting medical control.

proximal

prox·i·mal

/ˈpräksəməl/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to refer to a part closer to a specific area than another.

puberty

pu·ber·ty

/ˈpyo͞obərdē/

Noun

A period in adolescence when humans reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction initiated by hormonal signals from the brain to the gonads. The hormone estrocgen causes the glands to enlarge and additional fat to deposit within the breast in females, and the hormone testosterone causes enlargement of the testes in males. Other physical changes also occur.

public access defibrillation

pub·lic ac·cess de·fib·ril·la·tion

/ˈpəblik ˈakˌses dēˌfibrəˈlāSHən/

Noun

Programs that have trained lay providers in public areas where sudden cardiac arrest is likely to occur

public safety answering point

pub·lic safe·ty an·swer·ing point

/ˈpəblik ˈsāftē ˈansər iNG point/

Noun

A call center where 9-1-1 calls are routed.

pulmonary capillary

pul·mo·nar·y cap·il·lar·y

/ˈpəlməˌnerē ˈkapəˌlerē/

Noun

Capillaries in the lungs that allow gases to easily enter and leave the bloodstream.

pulmonary circulation

pul·mo·nar·y cir·cu·la·tion

/ˈpo͝olməˌnerē ˌsərkyəˈlāSHən/

Noun

The part of the cardiovascular system that carries deoxygenated blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs, and returns oxygenated blood to the left side of the heart.

pulmonary surfactant

pul·mo·nar·y sur·fac·tant

/ˈpəlməˌnerē sərˈfaktənt/

Noun

A fluid that acts as a lubricant, preventing friction in the alveoli and in turn prevents the air sacs from sticking together and collapsing.

pulse

pulse

/puhls/

Noun

When the heart contracts, a “wave” or bolus of blood is sent out of the left ventricle and into the arterial system. As that bolus passes through a specific area of an artery, it momentarily expands to accommodate the wave. The artery then “snaps” back into its original size, propelling the wave into the next section, where the process repeats itself. You can feel this wave of blood by slightly compressing an artery in several places in the body against a hard surface like a bone.

puncture wound

punc·ture wound

/ˈpəNGk(t)SHər wo͞ond/

Noun

An opening in the skin is created when a sharp object is pushed through it. Depending on the location of the injury, bleeding may not be significant. The puncture may be the sign that points to a more significant injury underneath, and puncture wounds can easily become infected, especially if the wound is deep.

pupil

pu·pil

/ˈpyo͞opəl/

Noun

The pupil is located in the center of the iris, and is the adjustable circular opening that regulates the amount of light allowed to pass through to the retina.

quaternary injury

quat·er·nar·y in·ju·ry

/ˈkwätərˌnerē ˈinjərē/

Noun

An injury caused by heat, smoke, or fumes created by the explosion, which can result in burns, inhalation injury, or asphyxiation.

quinary injury

qui·na·ry in·ju·ry

/ˈkwīˌnerē ˈinjərē/

Noun

An injury that includes a range of health effects produced by materials added to bombs to maximize its harm, such as chemical, radioactive, or biological materials.

radiation burn

ra·di·a·tion burn

/ˌrādēˈāSH(ə)n bərn/

Noun

Burns from radiation look like other types of burns, although they may not appear until 12 - 20 days after exposure. The level and amount of burn is dependent on the type of radiation and the duration of contact. Radiation burns are managed much like thermal injuries.

radio report

ra·di·o re·port

/ˈrādēˌō riˈpôrt/

Noun

A verbal transmission of information to the receiving hospital that includes the name of receiving facility, the EMS unit number, the mode of transport, patient age and gender, chief complaint, your findings and vital signs, the treatment rendered and estimated time of arrival at the facility. Radio reports should be as clear and concise as possible.

reactive airway disorder

re·ac·tive air·way dis·or·der

/rēˈaktiv ˈerwā ˌdisˈôrdər/

Noun

A disorder caused by a complex interaction of environmental factors such as airborne allergens, viral respiratory infections, and genetics

reagent strip

re·a·gent strip

/rēˈājənt strip/

Noun

A material in a glucometer that contains certain chemicals that react with glucose

rear-impact collision

rear im·pact col·li·sion

/ri(ə)r ˈimˌpakt kəˈliZHən/

Noun

A rear-impact collision occurs when a stationary or slow-moving object is struck by a vehicle that is traveling faster. Much of the forward impact is cushioned by the seat and the frame of a vehicle, and less likely to produce injury.

reassessment

re·as·sess·ment

/rē əˈsesmənt/

Noun

Evaluation of a patient after completion of the primary and secondary assessments

receptor

re·cep·tor

/riˈseptər/

Noun

A receptor senses what is happening in the environment and sends information through some type of pathway to a control center. For example, skin receptors sense stimuli like temperature and pressure, and respond by sending signals to the brain.

recertification

re·cer·ti·fi·ca·tion

/ˈrē sûr t -f -k sh n/

Noun

In all states, EMS providers must renew their certificate on an ongoing basis.

reciprocity

rec·i·proc·i·ty

/ˌresəˈpräsətē/

Noun

Achieving certification in more than one state.

red blood cell

red blood cell

/red bləd sel/

Noun

Red blood cells contain the pigment hemoglobin, which gives blood its red color, and is designed to carry oxygen. Each cell is shaped in a biconcave disc, and does not have a nucleus.

reliability

re·li·abil·i·ty

/ri-ˌlī-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē/

Noun

How well the study was designed. In other words, could another group of researchers recreate the study by reviewing the research design, and come up with the same or similar results.

repeater

re·peat·er

/riˈpētər/

Noun

A device that receives transmissions from radios and data transmission devices and re-transmits them at a higher power so that the transmission can go greater distances or reach beyond obstacles such as such as mountains, or multiple large buildings.

reproductive system

re·pro·duc·tive sys·tem

/ˌrēprəˈdəktiv ˈsistəm/

Noun

The body’s reproductive system is responsible for producing offspring, so that there is continuity of itself. At the basic functional level, the coding for the body is found in specialized proteins called genes, assembled together to make the genetic code. Humans do not reproduce by themselves; there must be a method of intermingling the genetic code of one male and one female human.

resource management

re·source man·age·ment

/ˈrēˌsôrs ˈmanijmənt/

Noun

A way to account for available resources, such as the number of ambulances, trauma centers and EMS personnel. This allows for a coordinated response of resources throughout the state, ensuring equal access to basic emergency care

respect

re·spect

/riˈspekt/

Noun

The act of appreciating people for who they are.

respiratory center

res·pi·ra·to·ry cen·ter

/ˈrespərəˌtôrē, ˈsentər/

Noun

An area with specialized cells that control the rate, depth and duration of ventilations

respiratory distress

res·pi·ra·to·ry dis·tress

/ˈrespərəˌtôrē,riˈspīrə- disˈtres/

Noun

When a patient cannot maintain an adequate concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. The patient will increase breathing rate and depth.

respiratory failure

res·pi·ra·to·ry fail·ure

/ˈrespərəˌtôrē,riˈspīrə- ˈfālyər/

Noun

The condition when the body can no longer compensate for abnormal oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the bloodstream. As a result, the contraction of the diaphragm and accessory muscles fatigue and slow down.

respiratory system

res·pi·ra·to·ry sys·tem

/ˈrespərəˌtôrē ˈsistəm/

Noun

The respiratory system is involved in the process of respiration in the body. It consists of the organs and structures necessary for the intake and exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

resting potential

rest·ing po·ten·tial

/rest ing pəˈziSHən/

Noun

An electrical charge, or polarity, across the cell membrane

reticular activating system

re·tic·u·lar ac·ti·vat·ing sys·tem

/ri ˈti kyə lər ˈaktəˌvāt ING ˈsistəm/

Noun

The system in the midbrain and pons that is responsible for vital reflexes such as respiration, cardiovascular function, and consciousness

retina

ret·i·na

/ˈretn-ə/

Noun

The retina is the layer at the back of the eyeball that receives light (through the pupil). The retina sends information through the optic nerve to the brain, where it is interpreted into an image.

retroperitoneal cavity

ret·ro per·i·to·ne·al cav·i·ty

/ˈretrō ˌperitnˈēəm ˈkavədē/

Noun

The space outside of the peritoneum

retroperitoneal space

ret·ro·per·i·to·ne·al cav·i·ty

/ˌretrōˌperətnˈēəl ˈkavitē/

Noun

The area behind the abdominal cavity, which contains the kidneys and part of the pancreas.

return of spontaneous circulation

re·turn of spon·ta·ne·ous cir·cu·la·tion

/rəˈtərn of spänˈtānēəs ˌsərkyəˈlāSH(ə)n/

Noun

Sustained cardiac perfusion obtained after cardiac arrest (with or without ventilatory effort).

revised trauma score

re·vised trau·ma

/riˈvīzid ˈtroumə skôr/

Noun

The revised trauma score (RTS) is a rating tool used to predict survival from blunt trauma. The RTS is comprised of scores for the GCS, the systolic blood pressure, and the ventilatory rate. Each component is rated from 4 (best) to 0 (worst), for a range of 12 to 0.

rhinorrhea

rhi·nor·rhe·a

/ˌraɪ nəˈri ə/

Noun

Excessive drainage of mucus from the nose

ribs

ribs

/ribz/

Noun

Curved bones that make up the external structure of the chest. There are 12 pairs of ribs, The first 10 attach to the spinal column posteriorly. Ribs 1 through 7, called the true ribs, curve around to the anterior side of the chest and attach directly to the sternum. The remaining 5 are known as false ribs, as they do not attach directly to the sternum. Ribs 8 - 10 attach to the rib above them. Ribs 11 and 12 are only attached to the spinal column, and are also known as floating ribs. Cartilage is found between the true ribs and the sternum. Covering the anterior top two sets of ribs are the clavicles; posteriorly the scapulae cover much of the rib cage.

RICE

rice

/rīs/

Noun

A mneumonic to treat extremity injuries where r stands for rest, i for ice, c for compression, and e for elevation.

right atrium

right a·tri·um

/rīt ˈātrēəm/

Noun

The right atrium is one of the two upper chambers of the heart. The right atrium receives blood from the body through large veins called the inferior and superior vena cava.

rollover

roll·o·ver

/ˈrōlˌōvər/

Noun

A rollover subjects a vehicle and its occupants to several impacts. The occupants and their internal organs can experience multiple impact points, particularly if unrestrained.

root word

root word

/ro͞ot wərd/

Noun

The root word is the base of all medical terms. It describes the medical condition, body part, or body system to which prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms are attached. Root words can be singular, as in peri/card/itis, where /card/ refers to the heart, or there can be more than one root word.

rotational-impact collision

ro·ta·tion·al im·pact col·li·sion

/rōˈtāSHən kəl imˌpakt kəˈliZHən/

Noun

A rotational-impact collision occurs when a corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or a stationary object. The injuries that result are a combination of those in front-impact and side-impact collisions.

rule of nines

rule of nines

/ro͞ol əv nīnz/

Noun

A method for estimating the percentage of body surface area in a burned patient that divides the adult body into parts that equal roughly 9% each and the pediatric body into 9% and 14%.

sacral vertebrae

sa·cral ver·te·brae

/ˈsakrəl ˈvərdəbrə/

Noun

Vertebra S-1 through S-5, which are fused together to form the sacrum in the adult and the final 4 coccygeal vertebrae are fused to form the coccyx

sagittal

sag·it·tal

/ˈsajitl/

Adjective

This imaginary plane travels vertically through the body, cutting it into the right and left sides. Specifically, the midsagittal plane divides the body into two equal halves. A sagittal plane is also known as a lateral plane.

SAMPLE

sam·ple

/ˈsampəl

Noun

The SAMPLE history includes Signs and symptoms Allergies, particularly to medications that may be used in treatment Medications (prescription and non-prescription drugs) Past medical and surgical history, specifically significant medical or surgical issues Last meal, because the risk of aspiration during intubation or surgery are greater if the patient has recently eaten Events leading up to the injury

scalp

scalp

/skalp/

Noun

The skin that covers the skull. It consists of five layers of tissue that protect the skull and absorb some of the energy during a traumatic event. The tissue of the scalp is filled with blood vessels and may bleed profusely even when it receives a superficial laceration.

scapula

scap·u·lae

/ˈskapyələ/

Noun

A flat, roughly triangular bone that posteriorly covers much of the rib cage.

schizophrenia

schiz·o·phre·ni·a

/ˌskitsəˈfrēnēə/

Noun

A group of disorders that interfere with a person's ability to think, distinguish reality from fantasy, manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others.

scientific method

sci·en·ti·fic me·thod

/sīənˈtifik meTHəd/

Noun

A precise, logical approach to discovering the relationship between cause and effect, resulted in a more scientific understanding of the body, disease and treatment

sclera

scle·ra

/ˈskli(ə)rə/

Noun

The white area of the visible part of the eye is called the sclera.

scope of practice

scope of prac·tice

/skōp əv ˈpraktəs/

Noun

Government, usually at the state level, defines the EMT’s scope of practice. What an EMT can and cannot perform is spelled out through regulation and statutes. For example, in most states the EMT is authorized to obtain a full set of vital signs, but not permitted to administer medications through an intravenous (IV) line.

scrotum

scro·tum

/ˈskrōdəm/

Noun

The sack that extends outside of the pelvic cavity in males that carries the testicles

seat belt

seat belt

/sēt belt/

Noun

A device designed to absorb the energy of the occupant in a moving vehicle that has stopped suddenly, and dissipate the energy over a large area of the torso.

secondary assessment

se·con·da·ry as·sess·ment

/sekənˌderē əˈsesmənt/

Noun

Evaluation of a patient, including history taking, vital signs and physical examination

secondary injury

sec·ond·ar·y in·ju·ry

/ˈsekənˌderē ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

Injury caused by complications from the direct trauma

seizure

sei·zure

/ˈsēZHər/

Noun

An episode of neurological dysfunction caused by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain

semen

se·men

/ˈsēmən/

Noun

Sperm is mixed with a milky fluid containing nutrients that combine to make semen, which is deposited into the female’s vagina during intercourse.

senescence

se·nes·cence

/səˈnesəns/

Noun

The process of general degradation of nearly all body systems with advancement in age.

septic shock

sep·tic shock

/sep tik shok/

Noun

A condition in which serious bacterial infection releases toxins throughout the body, which can also cause the arteries to leak fluid.

sexual abuse

sex·u·al a·buse

/ˈsekSH(əw)əl əˈbyo͞os/

Noun

The engaging of a person in unwanted sexual activities

sexual assault

sex·u·al as·sault

/ˈsekSH(əw)əl əˈsôlt/

Noun

The definition of sexual assault varies from state to state. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), “sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person's body in a sexual way, even through clothes, without that person's consent”

sheer force

sheer force

/SHi(ə)r fôrs/

Noun

A lateral force that stretches tissues as one structure changes speed at a different rate than an adjacent structure.

shock

shock

/shok/

Noun

When blood pressure falls, the tissues no longer receive adequate amounts of nutrients and oxygen, and build up of waste and carbon dioxide occurs.

shock position

shock po·si·tion

/SHäk pəˈziSHən/

Noun

A position of lying the patient supine or in a lateral recumbent position, and raising the legs 12 inches or more above the level of the heart

sickle cell

sick·le cell

/ˈsik(ə)l sel/

Noun

An inherited blood disease that results in the malformation of red blood cells

side effect

side ef·fect

/sīd iˈfekt/

Noun

The side effect of a medication is any action other than the intended therapeutic result. Not all side effects are harmful.

side-impact collision

side im·pact col·li·sion

/sīd ˈimˌpakt kəˈliZHən/

Noun

A side-impact collision, also known as lateral impact, occurs when a vehicle is hit from the side at an intersection, known as a T-bone, or when a vehicle leaves the road and strikes a tree, telephone pole, or some other roadside object. The lateral forces of side impacts tend to result in a pattern of multiple injury involving the head, neck chest, abdomen and pelvis.

sign

sign

/sīn/

Noun

During the history taking process, signs are gathered by performing a physical exam. They are objective findings that you can determine through sight, touch, sound, or smell.

simple pneumothorax

sim·ple pneu·mo·tho·rax

/ˈsimpəl ˌn(y)o͞omōˈTHôˌraks/

Noun

A pneumothorax where the volume of free air inside the chest cavity is small, so only a small amount of lung tissue will be affected. The patient may complain only of being short of breath, and may be tachypneic as she compensates for the small loss of lung tissue. Lung sounds may be equal and normal. A simple pneumothorax is usually not treated surgically; in fact small, simple pneumothoraces tend to heal on their own (Feliciano et al., 2008).However, a simple pneumothorax may grow in size over time, if damage to the lung does not heal. The result greater loss of alveolar surface area will cause to patient to experience moderate to severe respiratory distress, tachycardia and other signs of hypoxia. Breath sounds become faint over the affected side.

sinoartial node

si·no·ar·ti·al·node

/ˌsīnōˈātrēəl/

Noun

Also called the SA node, this is the heart’s primary pacemaker and sets the rate for most of the heart’s function.

sinus arrhythmia

si·nus ar·rhyth·mi·a

/ˈsīnəs āˈriT͟Hmēə/

Noun

A heart rhythm that slows down with each inspiration, then returns to normal

situational awareness

sit·u·a·tion·al a·ware·ness

/ˌsiCHəˈwāSH(ə)n əˈwernəs/

Noun

The perception of the elements in the environment within a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status in the near future.

skeletal muscle

skel·e·tal mus·cle

/ˈskelətl ˈməsəl/

Noun

The striated skeletal muscles are directly connected to the skeleton, and make up the majority of the body's muscle tissue. Under normal circumstances, they are controlled voluntarily as they move the limbs and other parts of the body.

skeletal system

skel·e·tal sys·tem

/ˈskelətl ˈsistəm/

Noun

The skeletal system consists of bones, cartilage, and ligaments. It provides a supportive framework for the body’s organs and other tissues. Certain sections of the skeleton, such as the rib cage, also provide protection from forces that can cause injury.

skin

skin

/skin/

Noun

The skin is the largest and heaviest organ of the body, covering every square inch of its surface. While it appears to be one single coat of tissue, it is actually organized into several layers: epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous (hypodermis). The skin has several functions. It protects against physical trauma and infection. It helps us to retain moisture in our body. It contains many of our sensing abilities, such as pain, heat, cold and vibration. It retains heat. It’s even part of our communication system; the skin changes shape when we smile or frown, and reddens when we are embarrassed or ashamed.

skull

skull

/skəl/

Noun

The structure formed by the cranial bones that protects the brain

slander

slan·der

/ˈslandər/

Noun

An EMS provider can injure a person’s reputation or standing by stating something untrue about that person. It is considered slander if it is said, and libel if it is written.

smell

smell

/smel/

Noun

A sense used during the assessment. A patient may emit certain odors that can you can smell. For example, a diabetic patient with very high blood sugar levels may have a sweet, acetone-like smell on his breath. Blood mixed in feces has an unmistakable odor

smooth muscle

smooth mus·cle

/smo͞oT͟H ˈməsəl/

Noun

Smooth muscles surround various organs and the vasculature to help with automatic functions, such as peristalsis (the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract) or blood flow through the arteries.

sniffing position

snif·fing po·si·tion

/snifiNG pəˈziSH(ə)n/

Noun

A position of patient placement that provides neutral alignment of the cervical spine by placing padding under the child’s shoulders to bring the shoulders into horizontal alignment with the external auditory meatus

snore

snore

/snôr/

Noun

An abnormal breath sound caused by diminished airway patency that can be heard without a stethoscope during inspiration.

soft tissue injury

soft tis·sue in·ju·ry

/sôft ˈtiSHo͞o ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

Damage of muscles, ligaments and tendons

solid organ

sol·id or·gan

/ˈsäləd ˈôrɡən/

Noun

A highly vascularized organ made of dense tissue that generally secretes or filters. Examples are the liver, spleen, pancreas, ovaries, and kidneys.

sperm

sperm

/spərm/

Noun

A male germ cell found in semen, which penetrates the female egg in order to fertilize it. Sperm consist of an egg-shaped head containing a nucleus, a long mid-section, and a tail used for movement.

sphincter

sphinc·ter

/ˈsfiNGktər/

Noun

A sphincter is a ring of muscle that surrounds and, through constriction, controls an opening in the body. One example is the urethral sphincter that retains urine in the bladder. As the bladder approaches its maximum size, receptors deliver signals to the brain, indicating that it needs to be relieved. This is interpreted as the need to urinate. The sphincter then relaxes, causing micturition (urination) to occur.

sphygmomanometer

sphyg·mo·ma·nom·e·ter

/ˌsfigmōməˈnämitər/

Noun

A tool for measuring blood pressure, also called a blood pressure cuff

spinal cord

spi·nal cord

/ˈspīnl kôrd/

Noun

The spinal cord originates at the brainstem. It is protected by a series of vertebrae. Nearly each vertebrae has a space located in its center. Like a series of donuts, the vertebrae are stacked one atop another, creating a spinal column that houses and protects the spinal cord.

spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality

spi·nal cord in·ju·ry with·out ra·di·o·graph·ic ab·nor·mal·i·ty

/ˈspīnl kôrd ˈinj(ə)rē wəˈT͟Hao͝ot ˈrādēˌōˈɡrafik ˌabnôrˈmalədē/

Noun

A pediatric clinical condition in which a spinal cord injury occurs, but the X-rays show no vertebral column fracture. This is believed to occur because of the relative elasticity of a child’s spine and supporting ligaments.

splint

splint

/splint/

Noun

A device made of rigid material that's applied to an extremity and help reduce or minimize the incidence of bleeding by immobilizing it

standard

stand·ard

/ˈstandərd/

Noun

A standard is something that is established by authority, custom or general consent as a model or example. Standards in medicine are set by a variety of methods and groups. For example, the American Heart Association sets guidelines for performing basic life support for cardiac arrest patients.

standard of care

stand·ard of care

/ˈstandərd əv ke(ə)r/

Noun

As an EMS provider, your actions are held to a standard of care. This means that, at a minimum, your care must be at the standard, not below it. Providing less than the standard may mean that you are negligent in your care, a serious error that you may be held liable.

standard precautions

stand·ard pre·cau·tions

/ˈstandərd priˈkôSHəns/

Noun

According to the Centers for Disease Precautions, the minimum infection prevention measures that apply to all patient care, regardless of suspected or confirmed infection status of the patient, in any setting where healthcare is delivered. Standard Precautions include: 1) hand hygiene, 2) use of personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, gowns, facemasks), depending on the anticipated exposure, 3) respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, 4) safe injection practices, and 5) safe handling of potentially contaminated equipment or surfaces in the patient environment.

standing order

stand·ing or·der

/ˈstandiNG ˈôrdər/

Noun

A standing order is a written instruction that describes the care of patients in specific situations, including the dosage and route of administration of medications given during care. For example, your agency may have standing orders for treating an anaphylactic reaction in an emergency with epinephrine.

stapes

sta·pes

/ˈstāpēz/

Noun

The middle ear is filled with air and contains several structures, including the incus - a small stirrup-shaped bone that transmits vibrations from the incus to the inner ear.

Star of Life

star of life

/stär of līf/

Noun

The universal sign of EMS. Designed by NHTSA in 1973, its six branches represent the major elements of an EMS incident: 1) detection, 2) reporting, 3) response, 4) on-scene care, 5) care during transport, and 6) transfer to definitive care.

status epilepticus

sta·tus ep·i·lep·ti·cus

/ˈstādəs ˌep-ə-ˈlep-ti-kəs

Noun

A prolonged seizure or an episode of several seizures that occur, without the patient regaining consciousness

statutory report

stat·u·to·ry re·port

/ˈstaCHəˌtôrē riˈpôrt/

Noun

There are several situations in which you are compelled by law to report a situation where a person’s health may be at risk. These statutory reporting laws make allowances for EMTs to simply have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, rather than hard physical evidence.

stereotype

ster·e·o·type

/ˈsterēəˌtīp/

Noun

Applying a bias across an entire group of people

sternocleidomastoid

ster·no·clei·do·mas·toid

/ˌstərnōˌklīdəˈmastoid/

Noun

Neck muscles that are used for breathing when a patient is in respiratory distress or failure.

stoma

sto·ma

/ˈstōmə/

Noun

A surgical opening in the neck

stomach

stom·ach

/ˈstəmək/

Noun

A hollow organ with a tough lining that receives food and liquid from the esophagus. Gastric juices break down the solid foods into a soft substance called chyme

stridor

stri·dor

/ˈstrīdər/

Noun

An abnormal breath sound that is harsh and high-pitched sound that can be heard without a stethoscope during inspiration. It is caused by diminished airway patency.

stroke

stroke

/strōk/

Noun

The rapid and unexpected neurologic impairment that follows an interruption of blood supply or a rupture of a blood vessel to a specific area of the brain. Also called a cerebrovascular accident

subarachnoid hematoma

sub·a·rach·noid he·ma·to·ma

/ˌsəbəˈraknoid ˌhēməˈtōmə/

Noun

A solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues that occurs beneath the arachnoid membrane, usually caused by ruptured cerebral aneurysms that burst after traumatic events.

subcutaneous emphysema

sub·cu·ta·ne·ous em·phy·se·ma

/ˌsəbkyo͞oˈtānēəs ˌemfəˈsēmə/

Noun

Air leaking into the tissue creates this palpable sensation, which feels like popping small bubble wrap under your fingers.

subcutaneous layer

sub·cu·ta·ne·ous lay·er

/ˌsəbkyo͞oˈtānēəs ˈlāər/

Noun

Beneath the dermis, this layer of skin is made of mostly fat cells. In addition to providing addition protection against blunt forces, this layer helps to insulate the body against heat loss as well as control water loss through evaporation.

subdural space

sub·du·ral space

/ˌsəbˈd(y)o͝orəl spās/

Noun

The area below the dura mater

subjective finding

sub·jec·tive find·ing

/səbˈjektiv ˈfīndiNG/

Noun

A complete picture of the patient’s condition provided by the focused history

subluxation

sub·lux·a·tion

/ˌsəbˌləkˈsāSH(ə)n/

Noun

A partial dislocation

substernal

sub·ster·nal

/ˌsəb-ˈstər-nəl/

Noun

The lower chest

sucking chest wound

suck·ing chest wound

/səkiNG CHest wo͞ond/

Noun

An open chest wound ehre the opening is big enough for air passing through to create a sucking sound. The pressure of the air through the opening may cause blood leaking into the site to spray out on exhalation; PPE that includes eye and face protection is warranted.

sudden cardiac arrest

sud·den car·di·ac ar·rest

/ˈsədn ˈkärdēˌak əˈrest/

Noun

Death from a cardiac event that occurs very quickly and within one hour from the onset of symptoms.

sudden infant death syndrome

sud·den in·fant death syn·drome

/ˈsədn ˈinfənt deTH ˈsinˌdrōm/

Noun

The sudden death of an infant younger than 1 year of age that remains unexplained after a complete postmortem exam and death scene investigation

suffix

suf·fix

/ˈsəfiks/

Noun

Suffixes attach to the end of root words to give additional meaning, or to change the tense of medical terms. For example, peri/card/itis, -itis referring to inflammation of something, in this case, inflammation of the pericardium.

superficial

su·per·fi·cial

/ˌso͞opərˈfiSHəl/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to indicate that a part is toward the surface of the body.

superficial burn

su·per·fi·cial burn

/ˌso͞opərˈfiSHəl bərn/

Noun

A burn that involves only the epidermal layer of the skin. It presents as reddened skin and may feel warm to the touch.

superior

su·pe·ri·or

/səˈpi(ə)rēər/

Adjective

An anatomy term used to indicate a part above another, or moving toward the head.

superior vena cava

su·pe·ri·or ve·na ca·va

/səˈpi(ə)rēər ˈvēnə ˈkävə/

Noun

The vein that returns blood to the heart from the head, chest and upper body. It empties into the right atrium.

supine

su·pine

/soo pahyn/

Adjective

The position of lying flat on the back

susceptible host

sus·cep·ti·ble host

/səˈseptəbəl hōst/

Noun

The victim of trauma. Susceptibility to injury can vary depending on such factors as age, reaction time, intoxication, and fatigue.

suture

su·ture

/ˈso͞oCHər/

Noun

Stitches placed on a large wound that will hold the skin together while the skin heals itself, helping the natural healing process or avoiding a large scar.

swelling

swell·ing

/ˈsweliNG/

Adjective

An enlargement due to accumulation of body fluid

sympathetic nervous system

sym·pa·thet·ic nerv·ous sys·tem

/ˌsimpəˈTHetik ˈnərvəs ˈsistəm/

Noun

The sympathetic nervous system causes the commonly-called “fight or flight” response - where heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, and blood is channeled away from nonessential organs and into the deep skeletal muscles; all in preparation to respond to some form of stress.

symptom

symp·tom

/ˈsim(p)təm/

Noun

During the history taking process, symptoms are communicated by a patient describing how they feel. They are subjective findings that you may not be able to determine on your own.

syncope

syn·co·pe

/ˈsiNGkəpē/

Noun

A temporary loss of consciousness caused by fallen blood pressure, also called a fainting spell

syphillis

syph·i·lis

/ˈsif(ə)ləs/

Noun

A sexually transmitted disease caused by a slender, corckscrew-shaped spirochete, treponema pallidum, and is contracted almost exclusively by direct sexual contact. Signs and symptoms include a primary chancre (painless ulcer), rash, and generalized weakness.

systole

sys to le

/ˈsistəlē/

Noun

The contraction of the heart that pushes blood through the heart's chambers

systolic pressure

sys·tol·ic pres·sure

/si stol ik presh er/

Noun

The top number of a blood pressure reading, which represents the end of the ventricles’ contracting

tachycardia

tach·y·car·di·a

/ˌtakiˈkärdēə/

Noun

A heart rate above normal

tachypnea

tach·yp·ne·a

/ˌtakə(p)ˈnēə/

Noun

A ventilatory rate of greater than 20 respirations per minute in adults.

task management

task man·age·ment

/task ˈmanijmənt/

Noun

The effective distribution of tasks to others. Source: Andersen PO, Jensen MK, Lippert A, Østergaard D. Identifying non-technical skills and barriers for improvement of teamwork in cardiac arrest teams. Resuscitation. 2010 Jun;81(6):695-702. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2010.01.024. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

taste bud

taste bud

/tāst bəd/

Noun

Taste buds are the nerve endings located on the tongue, inner walls of the mouth, and the pharynx that provide the sense of taste.

teamwork

team·work

/ˈtēmˌwərk

Noun

The cooperation of members in a group in an effort to achieve a common goal. Source: https://www.iaff.org/06news/NearMissKit/6.%20Crew%20Resource%20Management/CRM.pdf

tears

tears

/te(ə)rz/

Noun

Secreted by the lacrimal gland, tears are the lubricant for the surface of the eyeball. They also contain enzymes which reduce the opportunity for infection.

teeth

teeth

/tēTH/

Noun

The set of enamel-coated bony structures rooted in the jaws, that are used for biting and chewing. As food enters the mouth, the teeth close and open repeatedly to physically break down the food.

temporal lobe

tem·po·ral lobe

/ˈtemp(ə)rəl lōb/

Noun

The part of the brain that controls speech, auditory, and memory functions

tenderness

ten·der·ness

/ˈtendərnəs/

Adjective

A sensitivity to pain

tendon

ten·don

/ˈtendən/

Noun

Muscles attach to bone with tissue known as tendons. This allows groups of muscles to move bones when they contract. Like ligaments, tendons can be overstretched or torn if pushed too far.

tension headache

ten·sion head·ache

/ˈtenSHən ˈhedˌāk/

Noun

A nonpulsating pain usually located on both sides of the head. Unlike migraine headaches, tension headaches are not associated with nausea and vomiting and are not worsened by physical exertion

tension pneumothorax

ten·sion pneu·mo·tho·rax

/ˈtenSHən ˌn(y)o͞omōˈTHôˌraks/

Noun

A pneumothorax where a large amount of air becomes trapped inside the chest cavity. Positive pressure is created, much a like balloon as it fills with air. This occurs when air drawn into the space from an open wound or damaged lung cannot escape. As the pocket of air grows, pressure rises inside the cavity.

tertiary injury

ter·ti·ar·y in·ju·ry

/ˈtərSHēˌerē ˈinjərē/

Noun

An injury that occurs when the victim is thrown against an object, struck by a large object thrown by the blast, or crushed beneath collapsed structural material. Injuries of the tertiary phase are similar to a victim ejected during a vehicular crash or who fell from a height.

testes

tes·tes

/ˈtestēz/

Noun

The male reproductive organs are centered around the two testes (or testicles). The testicles are located externally, in the scrotum. Sperm is produced in the testes and stored there until ejaculation occurs.

testicular torsion

tes·tic·u·lar tor·sion

/te stik yuh ler ˈtôrSHən/

Noun

The twisting of the spermatic cord that impinges blood flow to the testicle

therapeutic hypothermia

ther·a·peu·tic hy·po·ther·mi·a

/ˌTHerəˈpyo͞odik ˌhīpəˈTHərmēə/

Noun

A treatment that lowers the patient’s body temperature to 89.6°F (32°C) within 15 minutes of resuscitation. Lowering the body temperature reduces cerebral swelling and the metabolic demands of the brain

thermal burns

ther·mal burn

/ˈTHərməl bərn/

Noun

A burn that happens after skin comes in contact with high heat. This is the most common type of burn.

thoracic cavity

tho·rac·ic cav·i·ty

/THəˈrasik ˈkavitē/

Noun

The space in the chest, which contains the heart, lungs, and large blood vessels.

thoracic vertebrae

tho·rac·ic ver·te·brae

/THəˈrasik ˈvərdəbrə/

Noun

Vertebrae T-1 through T-12, which are attached to the ribs

thrombocyte

throm·bo·cyte

/ˈTHrämbəˌsīt/

Noun

Fragments of megakaryocytes that break away and float into the blood plasma

thromboembolism

throm·bo·em·bo·lism

/ˌTHrämbōˈembəˌlizəm/

Noun

When a blood clot forms and occludes a vessel or when a clot from another vessel travels and causes an occlusion

thrombolysis

throm·bo·ly·sis

/ˌthräm-bə-ˈli sis/

Noun

A time-sensitive therapy used to dissolve clots in the brain

thrombophila

throm·bo·phil·ia

\ˌTHrämbōˈ-ˈfil-ē-ə\

Noun

A coagulation disorder characterized by blood that clots too quickly. Also called hypercoagulability

thrombus

throm·bus

/ˈTHrämbəs/

Noun

Blockage that is a result of a developing plaque in the artery

thyroid

thy·roid

/ˈTHīˌroid/

Noun

Also called the thyroid cartilage or Adam's apple, the thyroid is part of the endocrine system, located in the neck. It secretes hormones that control the rate of metabolism.

thyrotoxic crisis

thy·ro·tox·ic cri·sis

/thi″ro ˈtäksik ˈkrīsis/

Noun

An acute episode of hyperthyroidism, also known as thyroid storm. It is an uncommon but potentially life-threatening condition

tidal volume

ti·dal vol·ume

/tahyd l vol yoom, -yuhm/

Noun

The average amount of air, approximately 500 mL, an average person moves with each breath

tinnitus

tin·ni·tus

/ˈtinitəs/

Noun

Hearing loss or ringing in the ear caused by significant blunt trauma mechanism to the ear area that injured the structures located in the inner ear

tissue density

tis·sue den·si·ty

/ˈtiSHo͞o ˈdensitē/

Noun

The body has three basic types of tissue density: air-filled (the lungs and portions of the digestive tract), water- filled (muscle, liver, spleen and other solid organs), and solid density tissues (bone). Because of their different mass and density, the tissues are affected differently by the force of energy.

tongue

tongue

/təNG/

Noun

The tongue is the movable, muscular organ in the mouth that aids in chewing, swallowing, and speech.

tonic-clonic seizure

ton·ic clon·ic sei·zure

/ˈtänik clänik ˈsēZHər/

Noun

Seizures that typically last between 60 and 90 seconds characterized with uncontrollable contraction of the patient’s muscles, which causes them to stiffen and often causes the patient to fall to the ground, follwed by involuntary contractions and relaxation of the skeletal muscles, causing the patient to jerk.

tooth avulsion

tooth a·vul·sion

/to͞oTH əˈvəlSHən/

Noun

When the periodontal ligament is severed and the tooth is completely displaced out of the tooth socket by trauma

tort

tort

/tôrt/

Noun

A tort is simply a wrongful act committed by one party against another, that results in an injury. The injury may be physical, emotional or otherwise harms the other party in some significant way.

tourniquet

tour·ni·quet

/ˈtərnəkət/

Noun

A device applied proximal to a wound in which bleeding can't be stopped with direct pressure.

trachea

tra·che·a

/ˈtrākēə/

Noun

A structure 4 - 5 inches long that is composed of a number of C-shaped rings made of cartilage, joined together by a membrane that prevents the trachea from collapsing. The posterior portion of the trachea is “open”, allowing the trachea to expand or contract.

tracheostomy mask

tra·che·os·to·my mask

/treykee os tuh mee mahsk/

Noun

An oxygen delivery device that is designed to be placed over a tracheostomy tube that is surgically placed through the patient’s anterior neck.

traction splint

trac·tion splint

/ˈtrakSH(ə)n splint/

Noun

A rigid immobilization device applied to a femur fracture to pull the bones back in alignment and reduce the bleeding

trade name

trade name

/trād nām/

Noun

The brand name of a drug that is given to a medication by its manufacturer,

transient ischemic attack

tran·sient is·che·mic at·tack

/ˈtranSHənt isˈkēmik əˈtak/

Noun

A stroke that is relatively short in duration. Also called a "mini stroke"

transmission

trans·mis·sion

/transˈmiSHən,tranz/

Noun

How a communicable disease is passed directly from person to person. The two types include direct contact, which is defined as being transmitted through close contact, such as touching, kissing, biting, and sexual intercourse. The second type is indirect contact, which involves a vector, such as mosquito, or a vehicle, such as water, blood or blood products, food, and such materials as soiled clothing, surgical instruments, toys, cooking or eating utensils and other inanimate objects. Microorganisms can also be carried on liquid droplets or dust suspended in the air, and inhaled into the airway.

transverse

trans·verse

/transˈvərs,tranz-/

Adjective

This imaginary plane travels horizontally through the body, cutting it into the top and bottom sections. A transverse plane is also known as an axial plane.

trauma

trau·ma

/ˈtroumə/

Noun

Physical damage produced by energy that exceeds the body's limits of resilience

trauma center

trau·ma cen·ter

/ˈtroumə ˈsentər/

Noun

Specialized facilities equipped to provide comprehensive emergency services to severely injured victims. In the U.S., a hospital can receive trauma center verification by meeting criteria established by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) or designation by state or local authorities. Trauma centers are categorized from Level I to Level IV and pediatric trauma care, according to the level of care that is provided. Level I trauma center provides the highest level of care to injured patients.

traumatic brain injury

trau·mat·ic brain in·ju·ry

/trəˈmadik, brān ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

Injuries of the brain and spinal cord that can be caused by blunt and penetrating traumas.

trending

trend·ing

/trend ING/

Noun

Tracking changes in vital signs and comparing one set of findings against another to interpret the results.

tributary

trib·u·tar·y

/trib yuh ter ee/

Noun

The smallest type of vein.

trimester

tri·mes·ter

/trīˈmestər/

Noun

Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. Before the end of the first trimester the embryo has developed to the point where it is recognizable as being human.

tripod position

tri·pod po·si·tion

/ˈtrīpäd pəˈziSHən/

Noun

A position of leaning forward and supporting weight on the hands and arms. This position allows the weight of the chest to be distributed off the diaphragm and is a sign of respiratory distress.

tunnel vision

tun·nel vi·sion

/ˈtənl ˈviZHən/

Noun

A condition of narrowed attention involving the “focus of attention on a particular problem without regard for possible consequences or alternative actions." Source: http://www.emsworld.com/article/10321596/what-not-to-do-in-ems

tympanic membrane

tym·pan·ic mem·brane

/timˈpanik ˈmemˌbrān/

Noun

Also known as the eardrum, the tympanic membrane is located between the outer and middle ear. It vibrates in response to sound waves and transmits the resulting mechanical vibrations to the structures of the middle ear.

Type 1 reaction

type one re·ac·tion

/tīp wən rēˈakSHən/

Noun

Known as immediate anaphylactic reactions, these are often caused by foods, drugs or beestings.

Type 2 reaction

type two re·ac·tion

/tīp to͞o rēˈakSHən/

Noun

Known as a cytotoxic or tissue-specific reaction, these are most often caused by reactions to medications.

Type 3 reaction

type three re·ac·tion

/tīp THrē rēˈakSHən/

Noun

Known as immune-complex inflammation, these can often take days to weeks after exposure for symptoms to appear. Systemic lupus erythematosus is an example of this type of reaction.

Type 4 reaction

type four re·ac·tion

/tīp fôr rēˈakSHən/

Noun

Known as a delayed or cell-mediated reaction, these can be confirmed using a purified protein derivative test.

umbilical cord

um·bil·i·cal cord

/ˌəmˈbilək(ə)l kôrd/

Noun

The structure that connects the fetus to the placenta, allowing fetal blood to circulate and contact the maternal blood flow in the placenta

unstable angina

un·sta·ble an·gi·na

/ˌənˈstābəl anˈjīnə/

Noun

Acute pain that is characterized by an unpredictable or increasingly worse nature. These prolonged symptoms may occur at rest or with minimal exertion and may be a sign of impending occlusion of a coronary artery.

upper airway

up per air way

/ˈəpər ˈeərˌwā/

Noun

Extends from the nose and mouth (or stoma) to the level of the vocal cords. This section of the airway is responsible for the intake of air and its initial warming, filtering, and humidifying. It includes the tongue, oropharynx, nasopharynx, and the epiglottis

ureter

u·re·ter

/ˈyo͝orədər/

Noun

The hollow tubes that drain the urine from the kidneys into the bladder

urethra

u·re·thra

/yo͝oˈrēTHrə/

Noun

The tube through which urine travels from the bladder to exit the body. In males, semen is also discharged through the urethra.

urinary system

u·ri·nar·y sys·tem

/ˈyo͝orəˌnerē ˈsistəm/

Noun

The urinary system filters specific wastes out of the bloodstream by removing water and excreting it as urine.

urinary tract infection

u·ri·nar·y tract in·fec·tion

/ˈyo͝orəˌnerē trakt inˈfekSH(ə)n/

Noun

An infection of the urinary system

urine

u·rine

/ˈyo͝orən/

Noun

Urine is the liquid waste matter that is produced as the kidneys work; the urine leaves the kidneys through tubes called ureters, and is collected in the urinary bladder before leaving the body through the urethra.

urticaria

ur·ti·car·i·a

/ˌərdəˈkerēə/

Noun

Small, pale, slightly elevated areas of swelling caused by allergies. These are also called hives.

uterine fibroid

u·ter·ine fi·broid

/ˈyo͞odəˌrīn, ˈfīˌbroid/

Noun

A benign tumor that can develop in the uterus during a woman’s lifetime. Patients may experience painful and heavy periods, back pain, and constipation

uterus

u·ter·us

/ˈyo͞otərəs/

Noun

The hollow, expandable organ in the female reproductive system in which the fertilized egg implants, and the embryo develops.

vagal response

va·gal re·sponse

/vey guhl ri-spons/

Noun

When the heart rate slows and blood pressure falls

vagina

va·gi·na

/vəˈjīnə/

Noun

The muscular tube of the female reproductive system leading from the external genitals to the cervix of the uterus that serves as the lower birth canal during delivery. It also serves as the sexual organ that receives the penis during sexual intercourse and as an exit through which the discarded endometrium is discharged during menstruation

vas deferens

vas de·fe·rens

/ˌvas ˈdefərənz,-ˌrenz/

Noun

The duct through which sperm travel from the testicles to the urethra.

vasculature

vas·cu·la·ture

/ˈvaskyələˌCHo͝or/

Noun

The heart pumps blood through the body using a complex series of arteries, veins and capillaries, known as vasculature.

vasculature

vas·cu·la·ture

/ˈvaskyələˌCHo͝or/

Noun

Arteries, veins, and capillaries comprise the vascular system.

vasoconstrict

vas·o·con·stric·tion

/ˌvāzōkənˈstrikSHən/

Verb

The tighteining of the arteries

vasodilation

vas·o·di·la·tion

/ˌvāzōdīˈlāSHən/

Noun

The widening of blood vessels due to smooth muscle relaxation surrounding the vessels

vector

vec tor

/vektər/

Noun

A carrier of disease, such as saliva, airborne droplets or feces

vein

vein

/vān/

Noun

Any of the tubes in the vascular system that carry, in most cases, deoxygenated blood from the body to the heart. Additionally, valves inside the veins direct the blood flow in one direction, even when standing.

venous bleed

ve·nous bleed

/ˈvēnəs blēd/

Noun

Blood tends to flow steadily from a damaged vein. The color of the blood tends to be darker red, since there is very little oxygen attached to the red blood cells. Venous bleeding can be more difficult to control, especially if larger veins are involved.

ventilation

ven·ti·la·tion

/ˌventəˈlāSHən/

Noun

The process of breathing effort and its rate. A person at rest will primarily use the diaphragm to breath, moving an average of 500 mL of tidal volume into the lungs with each breath.

ventilatory rate

ven·ti·la·to·ry rate

/ˈventələˌtôrē rāt/

Noun

The normal ventilatory rate for an adult is approximately 12 to 20 times per minute. The normal ventilatory rate for pediatric patients varies with age.

ventricle

ven·tri·cle

/ˈventrəkəl/

Noun

Each of the two lower chambers of the heart that receive blood from the atria.

ventricular fibrillation

ven·tric·u·lar fi·bril·la·tion

/ven ˈtri kyə lər ˌfi brə ˈlā shən/

Noun

A type of dysrhythmia that produces a very rapid, disorganized firing of the myocardial cells

ventricular tachycardia

ven·tric·u·lar tachy·car·dia

/ven ˈtri kyə lər ˌta ki ˈkär dē ə/

Noun

A rapid and regular dysrhythmia that can result in poor cardiac output

Venturi mask

Ven·tu·ri mask

/ven toor ee mask, mahsk/

Noun

This type of mask is useful when the patient requires a precise amount of oxygen. A special fitting or port on the mask mixes atmospheric air with supplemental oxygen through a venturi effect. A venturi mask is typically used with patients with chronic respiratory illnesses such as emphysema.

vertebral arch

ver·te·bral arch

/ˈvərdəbral ärCH/

Noun

A circle of bone around the canal through which the spinal cord passes

vertebral cavity

ver·te·bral cav·i·ty

/ˈvərtəbrəl ˈkavitē/

Noun

The space in the vertebrae, which contains the spinal cord.

vertebral disc

ver·te·bral disc

/ˈvərtəbrəl disk/

Noun

Elastic tissue called vertebral discs separate one vertebrae from another, and act as shock absorbers for when we walk, run or jump.

vertebral foramen

ver·te·bral fo·ra·men

/ˈvərdəbral fəˈrāmən/

Noun

The enclosure formed by the vertebral arch and the body that encircles and protects the spinal cord

visceral pain receptor

vis·cer·al pain re·cep·tor

/ˈvis(ə)rəl pān riˈseptər/

Noun

Visceral pain receptors are located deep in the body, and are not as precise as the pain receptors in the skin. Visceral pain sometimes appears to actually involve a location not related to the actual source - for example, pain originating from the heart may appear to travel to an arm, jaw, or back.

visceral peritoneum

vis·cer·al per·i·to·ne·um

/ˈvis(ə)rəl ˌperitnˈēəm/

Noun

The inner membrane that covers and supports the abdominal organs

visceral pleura

vis·cer·al pleu·ra

/ˈvis(ə)rəl ˈplo͝orə/

Noun

The inner pleural membrane that covers the lungs.

vision

vi·sion

/ˈviZHən/

Noun

The faculty of processing information received by the eyes. There are two main types of vision: central and peripheral.

vital signs

vi·tal signs

/ˈvīdl sīn/

Noun

A set of biological markers that includes the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.

voluntary contraction

vol·un·tar·y con·trac·tion

/ˈvälənˌterē kənˈtrakSHən/

Noun

A type of muscle contraction during which movement is consciously controlled.

vulva

vul·va

/ˈvəlvə/

Noun

The external female genital structures, which include the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, and vestibule of the vagina

western medicine

wes·tern me·di·cine

/'westərn 'medisən/

Noun

A branch of medicine that uses the scientific method to discover the relationship between cause and effect, resulted in a scientific understanding of the body, disease and treatment

white blood cell

white blood cell

/(h)wīt bləd sel/

Noun

White blood cells are colorless, and bring infection-fighting chemicals to sites of foreign substance and disease. There are several types of white blood cells, all ameboid with a nucleus, including lymphocytes, granulocytes, monocytes, and macrophages.

wound

wound

/wo͞ond/

Noun

A soft tissue injury resulting from a force mechanism

xerostomia

xe·ro·sto·mi·a

/ˌzir-ə-ˈstō-mē-ə/

Noun

Dry mouth resulting from inadequate function of the salivary glands, such as the parotid glands

youth

youth

/yo͞oTH/

Noun

The time between childhood and maturity

zygoma

zy·go·ma

/zīˈɡōmə/

Noun

The bony arch of the cheek formed by connection of the zygomatic and temporal bones

zygote

zy·gote

/ˈzīˌɡōt/

Noun

A fertilized ovum