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Glossary of Med-Surg Nursing - 25

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adventitious sounds
extra breath sounds that are abnormal, such as crackles, rhonchi, wheezes, and pleural friction rubs
chemoreceptor
a receptor that responds to a change in the chemical composition (PaCO2 and pH) of the fluid around it
compliance
a measure of the elasticity of the lungs and thorax
crackles
short, low-pitched sounds caused by air passing through airway intermittently occluded by mucus, unstable bronchial wall, or fold of mucosa; evident on inspiration and, at times, expiration; similar sound to blowing through a straw under water
dyspnea
shortness of breath; difficulty breathing
elastic recoil
the tendency for the lungs to recoil after being stretched or expanded
fremitus
vibration of the chest wall produced by vocalization
mechanical receptors
receptors located in lungs, upper airways, chest wall, and diaphragm that are stimulated by irritants, muscle stretching, and alveolar wall distortion
pleural friction rub
creaking or grating sound from roughened, inflamed surfaces of the pleura rubbing together, evident during inspiration, expiration, or both and no change with coughing; usually uncomfortable, especially on deep inspiration
rhonchi
continuous rumbling, snoring, or rattling sounds from obstruction of large airways with secretions; most prominent on expiration; change often evident after coughing or suctioning
surfactant
a lipoprotein that lowers the surface tension in the alveoli
tidal volume
volume of air exchanged with each breath
ventilation
inspiration (movement of air into lungs) and expiration (movement of air out of the lungs)
wheeze
continuous high-pitched squeaking sound caused by rapid vibration of bronchial walls

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