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Glossary C


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state of being unclear or unable to make a decision easily
present at birth
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
condition in which the heart's reduced stroke volume causes an overload of fluid in the body's other tissues.
congregate care
living arrangement in which the elderly live in, but do not own, individual apartments or rooms and receive select services
mucous membrane that lines the eyelids
connective tissue
the most abundant body tissue; it provides support, connection, and insulation.
Ex: bone, cartilage, fat, blood
the pt.'s granting of permission for treatment
constitutional law
law based on the U.S. Constitution
presence of an agent only on the surface of the host wi/o penetrating it.
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)
a program designed to refine and improve an EMS system, emphasizing customer satisfaction
Counter-Narcotics Tactical Operations;
program that manages the training and certification of EMT-Ts and SWAT-Medics
the ability of muscle cells to contract, or shorten
inward movement of wound edges during helaing that eventually brings the wound edges together
contrecoup injury
occurring on the opposite side;
an injury to the brain opposite the site of impact
closed wound in which the skin is unbroken, although damage has occurred to the tissue immediately beneath
transfer of heat via currents in liquids or gases
conventional reasoning
the stage of moral development during which children desire approval from individuals and society
focusing on only the most important aspect of a critical situation
cor pulmonale
hypertrophy of the right ventricle resulting from disorders of the lung;
CHF secondary to pulmonary hypertension
core temperature
the body temperature of the deep tissues, which usually does not vary more than a degree or so from its normal 37 degree C (98.6 F)
thin, delicate layer covering the pupil and the iris
coronary heart disease (CHD)
a type of CVD; the single largest killer of Americans
the outer tissue of an organ such as the kidney
a steroid hormone released by the adrenal cortex that regulates the metabolism of fats, carbs., Na+, K+, and proteins and also has an anti-inflammatory effect.
coup injury
an injury to the brain occurring on the same side as the site of impact
coupling interval
difference b/w the preceding beat and a (PVC)
hinding the body behind solid and impenetrable objects that protect a person from bullets
light crackling, popping, nonmusical sounds heard usually during inspiration
muscle pain resulting from overactivity, lack of oxygen, and accumulation of waste products
cranial nerves
12 pairs of nerves that extend from the lower surface of the brain
vault-like portion of the skull encasing the brain
a waste product caused by metabolism w/i muscle cells
crepitation (or crepitus)
crunching sounds of unlubricated parts in joints rubbing against each other
wooden slates used to shore up heavy equipment
cricothyroid membrane
membrane b/w the cricoid and thyroid cartilages of the larynx
the introduction of a needle or other tube into the cricothyroid membrane, usually to provide an emergency airway
a surgical incision into the cricothyroid membrane, usually to provide an emergency airway
criminal law
division of the legal system that deals with wrongs committed aganist society or its members
a process used to help rescuers work through their reponses to a critical incident w/i 24-72 hours after the event.
a system of related interventions usually performed by regional, non-partisan, multi-disciplinary teams composed of EMS peers and specifically trained mental health workers
critical incident
an event that has a powerful emotional impact on a rescuer that can cause an acute stress reaction
critical thinking
thought process used to analyze and evaluate
Crohn's disease
idiopathic inflammatory bowel disorder associated w/the small intestine
viral illness characterized by inspiratory and expiratory stridor and a seal-bark -like cough
the bulging of the fetal head past the opening of the vagina during a contraction; indication of an impending delivery
crumple zone
the region of a vehicle designed to absorb the energy of impact
crush injury
mechanism of injury in which tissue is locally compressed by high-pressure forces
crush syndrome
systemic disorder of severe metabolic disturbances resulting from the crush of a limb or other body part.
substances capable of crystallization. In solution, unlike colloids, they can diffuse through a membrane, such as a capillary wall; IV solutions that contain electrolytes but lack the larger proteins asssociated w/colloids
Cullen's sign
discoloration around the umbilicus suggestive of intra-abdominal hemorrhage
cultural imposition
the imposition of one's beliefs, values, and patterns of behavior on people of another culture.
the rate of flow of an electric charge
Cushing's reflex
a collective change in vital signs associated w/increasing intracranial pressure (increased BP and temp.) (decresed pulse and respirations)
Cushing's syndrome
pathological condition resulting from excess adrenocortical hormones. Symptoms may include changed body habitus, hypertension, vulnerability to infection
bluish discoloration of the skin due to reduced hemoglobin in the blood
cystic medial necrosis
a death or degeneration of a part of the wall of an artery
an infection and inflammation of the urinary bladder
cytochrome oxidase
enzyme complex, found in cellular mitochondria, that enables O2 to create the adenosine trephosphate (ATP) required for all muscle energy
proteins, produced by white blood cells that regulate immune responses
the thick fluid, or protoplasm, that fills a cell
toxic, or poisonous to cells
The 3rd step in the clotting process, which involves the formation of a protein called fibrin that forms a network around a wound to stop bleeding, ward off infection, and lay a foundation for healing and repair of the wound.
Acute pain associated w/cramping or spasms in the abdominal organs.
central venous access
surgical puncture of the internal jugular,subclavian, or femoral vein
portion of the brain located dorsally to the pons and medulla oblongata. It plays an important role in the fine motor movement, posture, equilibrium, and muscle tone.
sense organ or sensory nerve ending located outside the CNS that is stimulated by and reacts to chemical stimuli
Cold Zone
Location at a hazmat incident outside the warm zone; area where incident operations take place
Chemotactic factors
chemicals released by white blood cells that attract more white blood cells to an area of inflammation
pertaining to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine
chronic gastroenteritis
non-acute inflammation of the gastric mucosa
movement at a synovial joint where the distal end of a bone describes a circle but the shaft does not rotate
degenerative liver disease
clonal diversity
the development, by B lymphocyte precursors in the bone marrow, of receptors for every possible type of antigen
clonal selection
the process by which a specific antigen reacts with the appropriate receptors on the surface of immature B lymphocytes, thereby activating them and prompting them to proliferate, differentiate, and produce antibodies to the activating antigen
The basic structural unit of all plants and animals; a membrane enclosing a thick fluid and a nucleus. Cells are specialized to carry out all of the body's basic functions.
Cell-mediated immunity
The short term immunity to an antigen provided by T lymphocytes, which directly attack the antigen but do not produce antibodies or memory for the antigen.
cerebral perfusion pressure
the pressure moving blood through the brain
cerebrospinal fluid
fluid surrounding and bathing the brain and spinal cord
the movement of white blood cells in response to chemical signals
Chemical Telephone, Incorporated
24 hour toll free hotline
chemical transportation emergency center;
24 hour toll free hotline
a disease characterized by a decreased ability of the lungs to perform the function of ventilation
chronic renal failure
permanently inadequate renal function due to nephron loss
civil law
division of the legal system that deals with noncriminal issues and conflicts b/w two or more parties
sever pain in the calf muscle due to inadequate blood supply. It typically occurs with exertion and subsides with rest
clonic phase
phase of a seizure characterized by alternating contraction and relaxation of muscles
closed fracture
a broken bone in which the bone ends or the forces that caused it do not penetrate the skin
Cellular telephone system
telephone system divided into regions, or cells, that are served by radio base stations.
cellular swelling
swelling of a cell caused by injury to or change in permeablility of the cell membrane with resulting inability to maintain stable intra and extracellular fluid and electrolyte levels.
the individual or group responsible for coordinating all activites and who makes final decisions on the emergency scene; often referred to as the Incident Commander (IC) or Officer in Charge (OIC.
common law
law that is derived from society's acceptance of customs and norms over time
capable of being transmitted to another host
community-acquired infection
an infection occurring in a non hospitalized pt. who is not undergoing regular medical procedures, including the use of instruments such as catheters
compartment syndrome
condition that occurs when circulation to a portion of the body is cut off; muscle ischemia that is caused by rising pressures w/i an anatomic fascial space
comminuted fracture
fracture in which a bone is broken into several peices
communicable period
time when a host can transmit an infectious agent to someone else
the exchange of common symbols written, spoken, or other kinds such as signing and body language; the process of exchanging info. b/w individuals
having more than one disease at a time
compensated shock
early stages of shock during which the body's compensatory mechanisms are able to maintain normal perfusion
colloid osmotic pressure
a form of osmotic pressure exerted by the large protein particles, or colloids, present in blood plasma. In the capillaries, the plasma colloids tend to pull water from the interstitial space across the capillary membrane into the capillary.
Substances, such as proteins or starches, consisting of large molecules or molecule aggregates that desperse evenly w/i a liquid w/o forming a true solution;
IV solutions containing large proteins that cannot pass through capillary membranes.
A surgical diversion of the large intestine through an opening in the skin where the fecal matter is collected in a pouch;
may be temporary or permanent.
A state of unconsciousness from which the pt. cannot be aroused
Command Post
Place where command officers from various agencies can meet with each other and select a management staff
Closed-ended questions
ask for specific info. and require only very short or yes-no answers
Closed Stance
a posture or body position that is tense and suggests negativity, discomfort, fear, disgust, or anger
the body's three-step response to stop the loss of blood
Coagulation Necrosis
the process in which an acid, while destroying tissue, forms an insoluble layer that limits further damage.
Chain of evidence
legally retaining items of evidence and accounting for their whereabouts at all times to prevent loss or tampering
Central Pain Syndrome
condition resulting from damage or injury to the brain, brainstem, or spinal cord characterized by intense, steady pain described as burning, aching, tingling, or a "pins and needles" sensation
Central neurogenic hyperventilation
hyperventilation caused by a lesion in the CNS, often characterized by rapid, deep, noisy respirations
cardio-inhibit-ory center
a parasympathetic center in the medulla oblongata, controlling the vagus nerve
carrier mediated diffusion
process in which carrier proteins transport large molecules across the cell membrane;
also called facilitated difusion
connective tissue providing the articular surfaces of the skeletal system
central IV line
IV line placed into the superior vena cava for the administration of long-term fluid therapy
the brain and the spinal cord
ear wax
mnemonic for the main funcitonal areas w/i the IMS
chief complaint
the pain, discomfort, or dysfunction that caused your pt. to request help
child abuse
physical or emotional violence or neglect towards a person from infancy to 18 yrs.
Circadian rhythms
physiological phenomena that occur at approximately 24 hour intervals
circulation assessment
evaluation of the pulse and skin and controlling hemorrhage
cleft lip
congenital vertical fissure in the upper lip
cleft palate
congenital fissure in the roof of the mouth, forming a passageway b/w oral and nasal cavities
a tube passed into or through the body
an ion with a positive charge attracted to a cathode or negative pole
the outward motion of tissue due to a projectile's passage, resulting in a temporary cavity and vacuum
circulatory overload
overload that occurs if too much medication is administered for the pt.'s condition
the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis
clinical judgment
the use of knowledge and experience to diagnose pt.s and plan their tx.
highly innervated and vascular erectile tissue anterior to the labia minora
highly contagious sexually transmitted ulcer
group of intracellular parasites that cause sexually transmitted diseases
choanal atresia
congenital closure of the passage b/w the nose and the pharynx by a bony or membranous structure
largest part of the brain consisting of two hemispheres.
Seat of consciousness
Center of high mental functions:
memory, learning reasoning, judgement, intelligence, adn emotions
the process by which an agency or association grants recognition to an individual who has met its qualifications
Cheyne-Stokes respirations
a breathing pattern characterized by a period of apnea lasting 10-60 seconds, followed by gradually increasing depth and frequency of respirations; respiratory pattern of alternation periods of apnea and tachypnea
pertaining to the heart rate
semifluid mix of ingested food and digestive secretions found in the stomach and small intestine
bone that holds the scapula and shoulder joint at a fixed distance from the sternum
washing an object with cleaners such as soap and water
closed incident
an incident that is not likely to generate any further pt.s;
also known as a contained incident or a stable incident
closed pneumothorax
air enters the pleural space through an opening in the pleura that covers the lung
inflammation of cellular or connective tissue
central cord syndrome
condition usually related to hyperflexion of the c-spine that results in motor weakness, usually in the upper extremities and possible bladder dysfunction
the destructive phase of metabolism in which cells breakdown complex substances into simpler substances with release of energy
condition characterized by immobility and stupor, often a sign of schizophrenia
a hormone, such as epinephrine or norepinephrine, that strongly affects the nervous and cardiovascular systems, metabolic rate, temperature,and smooth muscle
catheter inserted through the needle
Teflon catheter inserted through a large metal stylet;
also called intracatheter
Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations;
website developed by the EPA and NOAA as a source of info., skills, and links related to hzardous substances
hollow needle used to puncture a vein
cardiac tamponade
accumulation of excess fluid inside the pericardium
cardiac monitor
machine that displays and records the electrical activity of the heart
cardiac cycle
the period of time from the end of one cardiac contraction to the end of the next
cardiac arrest
the absence of ventricular contraction
one of the minute blood vessels that connect the ends of arteriole w/the beginnings of venules;
where O2 is diffused to body tissue and products of metabolism enter the blood stream
IV access
having a lattice work structure, as in a spongy tissue in a bone
the point at which the trachea bifurcates into the right and left mainstem bronchi
the diameter of a bullet expressed in hundredths of an inch;
the inside diameter of the barrel of a handgun, shotgun, or rifle.
EX: .22caliber= 0.22"
CAGE Questionnaire
a questionnaire designed to determine the presence of alcoholism
medial condition in which the lens of the eye loses its clearness
carpal bones
bones of the wrist
cardiovascular disease
disease effecting the heart, peripheral blood vessels, or both
cardiogenic shock
shock caused by insufficient cardiac output;
the inability of the heart to pump enough blood to perfuse all parts of the body
waste product of the body's metabolism
the measurement of exhaled CO2 concentrations
thickened area that forms at the site of a fx. as part of the repair process
the largest bone of the foot;
the heel
cardio-accelera-tory center
a sympathetic nervous system center in the medulla oblongata controlling the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine
cardiac output
the amount of blood pumped by the heart in one minute:
stroke volume multiplied by heart rate
cardiac depolarization
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 contractile force
the strength of a contraction of the heart

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