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Glossary of Med-Surg Nursing - 19

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atelectasis
collapsed, airless alveoli
bronchospasm
narrowing and obstruction of the lumen of the bronchi due to spasm of the peribronchial smooth muscle; may occur postoperatively as a result of endotracheal intubation or in patients with chronic bronchitis and asthma
delayed awakening
longer than normal recovery from anesthesia that is usually related to prolonged drug action
emergence delirium
a neurologic alteration in recovery from anesthesia that can include behaviors such as restlessness, agitation, disorientation, thrashing, and shouting
epidural analgesia
the infusion of pain-relieving medications through a catheter placed into the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord
fast tracking
a system of routing patients through the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) depending on the type of anesthesia and surgery experienced and expected discharge from the unit
hiccoughs
intermittent spasms of the diaphragm caused by irritation of the phrenic nerve, which innervates the diaphragm
hypothermia
a body temperature of less than 96.8° Fahrenheit
hypoventilation
decreased respiratory function characterized by decreased respiratory rate or effort, hypoxemia, and an increasing PaCO2 (hypercapnia)
hypoxemia
low oxygen tension in the blood (PaO2 < 60 mm Hg) characterized by a variety of nonspecific clinical signs and symptoms, ranging from agitation to somnolence, hypertension to hypotension, and tachycardia to bradycardia
patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)
an analgesic delivery system that allows the patient to receive a bolus infusion of an analgesic on demand within the parameters programmed into the delivery system
syncope
fainting that may occur with decreased cardiac output, fluid deficits, or defects in cerebral perfusion
wound dehiscence
separation and disruption of previously joined wound edges

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