Glossary of Vocabulary A-Z, Essentials of Paramedic Care

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Termination of the paramedic-patient relationship without assurance that an equal or greater level of care will continue
Conduction of the electrical impulse through the heart's conduction system in an abnormal fashion
Aberrant Condition
The period of the cardiac cycle wen the myocardial cells have not completely repolarized and stimulation will not produce and depolarization whatever
Absolute Refactory Period
The stimulation of mycardial cells, as evidenced by a change in the membrane electrical charge, that subsequently spreads across the myocardium
Action Potential
Movement of a substance through a cell membrane against the osmotic gradient that is, from an area of lesser concentration to an area of greater concentration, opposite to the normal direction of diffusion; requires the use of energy
Active Transport
Refers to compensable physical, psychologial, or financial harm
Actual Damages
Form of shock associated with adrenocortical insufficiency and characterized by profound hypotension and electrolyte imbalances
Addisonian Crisis
The stage of metabolism requiring the presence of oxygen, in which the breakdown of glucose (in a process called the Krebs or citric acid cycle) yields a high amount of energy
Aerobic Metabolism
The resistance a contraction of the heart must overcome in order to eject blood; in cardiac physiology, defined as the tension of cardiac muscle during systole (contraction)
Drug that binds to a receptor and causes it to initiate the expected response
Drug that binds to a receptor and stimulates some of its effects but blocks others; also called partial agonist
Agonist Antagonist
Hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex that increases sodium reabsorption by the kidneys; it plays a part in regulation of blood volume, blood pressure, and blood levels of potassium, chloride and bicarbonate
A substance capable of inducing allergy of specific hpersensitivity
Microscopic air sacs where most oxygen and carbon dioxide gas exchange take place
Joint that permits a limited amount of independent motion
The constructive phase of metabolism in which cells convert nonliving substances into living cytoplasm
A substance produced by B lymphoscytes in response to the presence of a foreign antigen that will combine with and control or destroy the antigen, thus preventing infection
A drug used to treat and prevent abnormal cardiac rhythms
Protein on the surface of a donor's red blood cell that the patient's body recognizes as "self" or "not self"
Absence or impairment of the ability to communicate through speaking, writing, or signing as a result of brain dysfunction; occurs when the individual suffers brain damage due to stroke or head injury
response in which an injured cell releases enzymes that engulf and destroy itself; one way the body rids itself of damaged and dead cells
Bulges in the flanks and across the abdomen; indicating edema caused by congestive heart failure
An act that unlawfully places a person in apprehension of immediate bodily harm without his consent
Single cell organisms with a cell membrane and cytoplasm but no organized nucleus
A competent adult patient's right to determine what happens to his own body
Extension of a neuron that serves as a pathway for transmission of signals to and from the brain; major component of white matter
White blood cells that, in response to the presence of an antigen, produce antibodies that attack the antigen, develop a memory for the antigen, and confer long-term immunity to the antigen
B lymphocyte
Sensory nerve ending, found in the walls of the atria of the heart, vena cava, aortic arch and carotid sinus, that is stimulated by changes in pressure
The unlawful touching of another individual without his consent
One-sided facial paralysis with an unknown cause characterized by the inability to close the eye, pain, tearing of the eyes, drooling, hypersensitivity to sound, and impairment to taste
Bell's Palsy
Phenomen in which a decrease in pCO2/acidity causes an increase in the quantity of oxygen that binds with the hemoglobin and, conversely, an increase in pCO2/acidity causes the hemoglobin to give up a greater quantity of oxygen
Bohr Effect
Chroninc dilation of a bronchus or bronchi, with a secondary infection typically involving the lower portion of the lung
Condition caused by partial cutting of one side of the spinal cord resulting in sensory and motor loss to that side of the body
Brown-Sequard's Syndrom
One of the minute vessels that connect the ends of the arterioles with the beginning of the venules; where oxygen is diffused to the body tissue and products of metabolism enter the bloodstream
A reversal of charges at a cell membrane so that the inside of the cell becomes positive in relation to the outside; the opposite of the cell's resting state in which the inside of the cell is negative in relation to the outside
Cardiac Depolarization
The destructive pahse of metabolism in which cells break down complex substances into simpler substances with the release of energy
The process by which an agency or association grabts recognition to an individual who has met its qualifications
A breathing pattern characterized be a period of apnea lasting 10-60 seconds, followed by gradually increasing depth and frquency of respirations; respiratory pattern of alternating periods of apnea and tachypnea
Pertaining to heart rate
Substances, such as proteins or starches, consisting of large molecules or molecule aggregates that disperse evenly within a liquid without forming a true solution; intravenous solutions containing large proteins that cannot pass through capillary membra
Able to make an informed decision about medical care
The stiffness or flexibility of the lung tissue
Occurring on the opposite side; an injury to the brain opposite the side of impact
Contrecoup Injury
Hypertrophy of the right ventricle resulting from disorders of the lung; congestive heart failure secondary to pulmonary hypertension
Cor Pulmonale
An injury to the brain ocurring on the same side as the site of injury
Coup Injury
Crunching sounds of unlubricated parts in joints rubbing against each other
Viral illness characterized by inspiratory and expiratory stridor and a seal-bark-like cough
A collective change in vital signs (increased blood pressure and temperature and decreased pulse and respirations) associated with increasing intracranial pressure
Cushing's Reflex
Pathological condition resulting from excess adrenocortical hormones. Symptoms may include changed body habitus, hypertension, vulnerability to infection
Cushing's Syndrome
Sustained contraction of extensor muscles of the extremities resulting from a lesion in the brainstem. The patient presents with stiff extended extremities and retracted head
Decerebrate Posture
Advanced stages of shock when the body's compensatory mechanisms are no longer able to maintain normal perfusion; also called progressive shock
Characteristic posture associated with a lesion at or above the brainstem. The patient presents with the arms flexed, fists clenched, and legs extended
Decorticate Posture
The movement of molecules through a membrane from an area of greater concentration to an area of lesser concentration
The amount of grug available in a solution
Dosage On Hand
A change in cell size, shape, or appearance caused by an external stressor
Any deviation from the normal electrical rhythm of the heart
The thinning of the cervix during labor
The triangle around the heart formed by the bipolar limb leads
Einthoven's Triangle
Ratio of blood pumped from the ventricle to the amount remaining at the end of systole
Ejection Fraction
Toxic products released when bacteria die and decompose
General reddening of the skin due to dilation of the superficial capillaries
The rules or standards that govern the conduct of members of a particular group or profession
A soluable poisonous substance secreted during growth of a bacterium
Verbal, nonverbal, or written comunication by a patient that he wishes to receive medical care
Expressed Consent
Common side effects of antipsychotic medications, include muscle tremors and parkinsonism-like effects
Extrapyramidal Symptoms
Diffusion of a substance such as glucose through a cell membrane that requires the assisstance of a "helper," or carrier protein
Facilitated Diffusion
Protein fibers that trap red blood cells; the end product of the coagulation cascade that forms an intertwined "net" that traps blood elements and thickens blood
Bending motion that reduces the angle between articulating elements
process by which an increase in cardiac output occurs in proportin to the diastolic stretch of the heart muscle fibers
Frank-Starling Mechanism
Lip-like opening between the vocal cords
Conversion of protein and fat to from glucose
The first stage of the process in which the cell breaks apart an energy source, commonly glucose, and releases a small amount of energy
Endocrine disorder characterized by excess thyroid hormones resulting in body changes associated with increased metabolism; primary cause of thyrotoxicosis
Grave's Disease
Acute viral infection that triggers the production of autoantibodies, which damage the myelin sheath cobering the peripheral nerves; causes rapid, progressive, loss of motor function, ranging from muscle weakness to full-body paralysis
Guillian-Barre Syndrome
Molecules that do not trigger an immune response on their own but can become immunogenic when combined with larger molecules
Passage of stool containing blood
The percentage of the blood consisting of the red blood cells, or erythrocytes
An iron-based compound found in red blood cells that binds with oxygen and transports it to body cells
Substance released during the degranulation of mast celss and basophils that increases blood flow to the injury site due to vasodilation and increased permeability of capillary walls
Mechanism that increases respiratory stimulation when PaO2 falls and inhibits respiratory stimulation when PaO2 climbs
Hypoxic Drive
Tendancy of an object to stay at rest or remain in motion unless acted upon by an external force
Consent for treatment that is given based on full disclosure oninformation
Informed Consent
Prehospital process designed to identify and correct life-threatening airway, breathing and circulation problems
Initial Assessment
Pertaining to cardiac contractile force
The fluid inside the body cells
Intracellular Fluid
The fluid within the circulatory system; blood plasma
Intravascular Fluid
A blockage in the delivery of oxygenated blood to the cells
Defelction found at the junction of the QRS complex and ST segment. It is associated with hypothermia and seen at core temperatures below 32 degrees C, most commonly in leads II and V6; also called an Osborne wave
J Wave
Principle identifying that the rate of prodution of heat by a constant direct current is directly proportional to the resistance of the circuit and the square of the current
Joules Law
Inability to fully extend the knee with hips flexed
Kernig's Sign
The presence of significant quantities of ketone bodies in the blood
Sounds of blood hitting arterial walls
Korotkoff Sounds
Process of aerobic metabolism that uses carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to release energy for the body; also known as the citric acid cycle
Kreb's Cycle
Rapid, deep respirations caused by severe metabolic and CNS problems
Kussmaul's Respiratoins
Compound produced from pyruvic acid during anerobic glycolysis
Lactic Acid
Classification system for fractures involving the maxilla
Le Forte Criteria
The act of injuring a person's charater, name, or reputation by false statements made in writing or through the mass media with malicious intent or reckless disregard for the falsity of those statements
The process by which a governmental agency grants permission to engage in a given occupation to an applicant who has attained the degree of competency required to ensure the public's protection
Secondary circulatory system the collects overflow fluid from the tissue spaces and filters it before returning it to the circulatory system
Lymphatic System
A breach of duty by performance of a wrongful or unlawful act
Specialized cell of the immune system which contains chemicals that assist in the immune response
Mast Cell
Common site of pain from appendicitis, one or two inches above the anterior iliac crest in a direct line with the umbilicus
Mcburney's Point
Lower portion of the brainstem, connecting the pons and the spinal cord. It contains major centers for control of respiratory, cardiac and vasomotor activity
Medulla Oblongata
A disease on the inner ear characterized by vertigo, nerve deafness, and a roar or buzzing in the ear
Meniere's Disease
Replacement of one type of cell by another type of cell that is not normal for that tissue
A breach of duty by performance of a legal act in a manner that is harmful or injurious
Occurring when a newborn is startled, arms are thrown wide, fingers spread, and a grabbing motion follows. Also called startle refelx
Moro Reflex
Pain caused when an inflammed gallbladder is palpated by pressing under the right costal margin
Murphy's Sign
An incident of potentially fatal submersion in liquid which did not result in death or in which death occurred more than 24 hours after submersion
Deviation from accepted standards of care recognized by law for the protection of others against the unreasonable risk of harm
Specialized synapse between a nerve cell and the organ or tissue it innervates
Neuroeffector Junction
Antipsychotic (literally, affecting the nerves)
The most common phagocytic white blood cell
A breach of duty by failure to peform a required act or duty
Organisms that live inside our bodies without ordinarily causing disease
Normal Flora
Organism that can grow and reproduce only within a host cell
Obligate Intracellular Parasite
Shock resulting from interference with the blood flowing through the cardiovascular system
Obstructive Shock
Basic unit for measuring the strength of electrical resistance
Pairing of muscles that permits extension and flexion of limbs
Structures that perform specific functions within a cell
Difficulty in breathing while lying supine
The concentration of solute per kilogram of water
The concentration of solute per liter of water
The passage of a solvent such as water through a membrane; movement of solvent in a solution from an area of lower solute concentration to an area of higher solute concentration
Specialized cell of the immune system which contains chemicals that assist in the immune respone
Mast Cell
Lower protion of the brainstem, connecting the pons and the spinal cord. It contains major centers for control of respiratory, cardiac, and vasomotor activity
Medulla Oblongata
A disease of the inner ear characterized by vertigo, nerve deafness and a roar of buzzing in the ear
Meniere's Disease
Replacement of one type of cell by another type of cell that is not normal for the tissue
Occuring when a newborn is startled, arms are thrown wide, fingers spread, and a grabbing motion follows. Also called startle refelx
Moro Refelx
Pain caused when an inflamed gallbladder is palpated by pressing over the right costal margin
Murphy's Sign
An incident of potentially fatal submersion in liquid which did not result in a death or in which death occurred more than 24 hours after submersion
A breach of duty by failure to perfomr a required act or duty
Organisms that live inside our bodies withour ordinarily causing disease
Normal Flora
Paring of muscles that permits extension and flexion of limbs
The passage of a solvent such as water through a membrane; movement of a solvent in a solution from an area of lower solute concentration to an area of higher solute concentration
Drug or other substance that blocks or inhibits the actions of the parasympathetic nervous system. Also called anticholinergic
Drug or other substance that causes effects like those of the parasympathetic nervous system. Also called cholinergic
Delivery of a medication outside of the gastrointestinal tract, typically using needles to inject medications into the circulatory systme or tissues
Parenteral Route
Chronic and progressive motor system disorder characterized by tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability
Parkinson's Disease
The study of how diseases alter normal physiology
Unusaully small jaw, combined with a cleft palate, downward displacement of the tongue, and absent gag reflex
Pierre Robin Syndrome
A law of physiology stating the blood flow through a vessel is directly proportional to the radius of the vessel to the fourth power
Poiseuille's Law
Variant of angina pectoris caused by vasospasm of the coronary arteries; not blockage per se. Also called vasospastic angina or atypical angina
Prinzmetal's Angina
A program designed to maintain continuous monitoring and measurement of the quality of clinical care deliverd to patients
Quality Assurance
An evaluation program that emphasizes service and uses customer satidfaction as the ultimate indicator of system performance
Quality Improvement
The movement of a substance from nephron tubule back into the blood
The process by which an agency grants automatic certification or licensure to an individual who has comparable certification or licensure from another agency
An enzyme produced byt he kidney cells that plays a key role in controlling arterial blood pessure
A legal doctrine invoked by plaintiffs to support a claim or negligence, it is a Latin term that menas "the thing speaks for itself"
Res Ipsa Loquitur
Acute disease that invloves the destruction of skeletal muscle
Continuous sounds with a lower pitch and snoring quality
Federal law that outlines the rights and responsiblities of agencies and health care workers when an infectious disease exposure occurs
Ryan White Act
Common disorder invlving significant change in bevahior often including hallucinations, delusions and depression
Range of duties and skills paramedics are allowed and expected to peform
Scope of Practice
Pressure applied in a posterior direction to the anterior cricoid cartilage, occludes the esophagus
Sellick's Maneuver
A substance released by platelets that, through constriction and dilation of blood vessels, affects blood flow to an injured or affected site
Chroninc orthostatic Hypotension caused by a primary autonomic nervous system deficiency
Shy-Drager Syndrome
Law of physiology stating that the more the myocardium is stretched, up to a certain point, the more forceful the subsequent contraction will be
Starling's Law of The Heart
A series of symptoms resulting from heart block, most commonly syncope
Stokes-Adams Syndrome
A standard pharmalogical principle in which two substances or drugs work together to produce an effect that neither of them cn produce on its own
White Blood cells that do not produce antibodies but,instead, attacks antigens directly
T Lymphocytes
Inflammation of a tendon and/or its protective sheath
Acute bacterial infection of the central nervous system
Clot formation in coronary arteries or cerebral vasulature
Average volume of gas inhaled or exhaled in one respiratory cycle
Tidal Volume
Drop in the systolic blood pressure of 20 mmHg or an increase in the pulse rate of 20 bpm when a patient is moved from a supine to a sitting postion; a finding suggestive of a relative hypovolemia
Tilt Test
The need to progressively increase increase the dose of a drug to reproduce the effect originally achieved by smaller doses
A civil wrong committed by one individula against another
Any chemical (drug, poison, or other) that causes adverse effecs on an organism that is exposed to it; any poisonious chemical secreted by bacteria or released following destruction of the bacteria
Bony outgrowth of the vertebral pedicle that serves as a site for muscle attachement and articulation with the ribs
Transverse Process
A physical injury or wound caused by external force or violence
The raised areas, or wheals, that occur on the skin, associated with vasodilation due to histamine release; commonly called hives
The sensation of faintness or dizziness; may cause a loss of balance
Dull, poorly localized pain that originates in the walls of hollow organs
Visceral Pain
The available amount of solution containing a medication
Volume on Hand
Release of accumulated lactic acid, carbon dioxide (carboonic acid), potassium, and rouleaux in the venous circulation
Condition characterized by the loss of memory and disorientation associated with chronic alcohol intake and a diet deficient in thiamine
Wernicke's Syndrome
Continuous, high-pitched musical sounds similar to a whistle
Time between exposure to a disease and seroconversion
Window Phase
Union between ziphoid process and the body of the sternum
Xiphisternal Joint
Swing or wobble around the axis of a projectile's travel
Condition that causes the stomach to secrete excess aounts of hydrochloric acid and pepsin
Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

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