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Medical Emergencies Final


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plasma membrane
The outer covering of a cell that contains the cellular cytoplasm; also known as the cell membrane.
lymphatic system
The network of vessels, ducts, nodes, valves, and organs involved in protecting and maintaining the internal fluid environment of the body.
A condition marked by a high concentration of hydrogen ions (i.e., a pH below 7.35).
active transport
A carrier-mediated process that can move substances against a concentration gradient.
Of or pertaining to the oresence of air or oxygen.
A condition marked by a low concentration of hydrogen ions (i.e., a pH above 7.45).
Substances that can produce hypersensitivity reactions in the body.
Of or pertaining to the absence of oxygen.
An ion with a negative charge.
Substances (usually proteins) that cause the formation of an antibody and that react specifically with that antibody.
Decrease in the size (shrinkage) of a cell, which adversely affects cell function.
B lymphocytes
The lymphocytes responsible for antibody-mediated immunity.
An ion with a positive charge.
complement system
A group of proteins that coat bacteria; the proteins then either help kill the bacteria directly, or they assist neutrophils (in the blood) and macrophages (in th tissue) to engulf and destroy the bacteria.
The process by which solid, particulate matter in a fluid moves from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration, resulting in an even distribution of the particles in the fluid.
Abnormal cellular growth.
The accumulation of fluid in the interstitial spaces.
extracellular fluid
The water found outside the cells, including that in the intravascular and interstitial compartments.
facilitated diffusion
A carrier-mediated process that moves substances into or out of cells from a high to a low concentration.
A higher than normal concentration of calcium in the blood.
A higher than normal concentration of potassium in the blood.
A higher than normal concentration of magnesium in the blood.
A term describing a higher than normal concentration of sodium in the blood.
An excessive increase in the number of cells.
hypersensitivity reaction
An altered immunological response to an antigen that results in a pathological immune response upon reexposure.
A term used to describe a solution that causes cells to shrink.
An increase in the size of a cell.
A lower than normal concentration of potassium in the blood.
A lower than normal concentration of magnesium in the blood.
A term describing a lower than normal concentration of sodium in the blood.
Severely inadequate circulation that results in insufficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients necessary for normal tissue and cellular function; also known as shock.
A term used to describe a solution that causes cells to swell.
A state of decreased oxygen content of arterial blood.
immune response
A defense function of the body that produces antibodies to destroy invading antigens and malignancies.
inflammatory response
A tissue reaction to injury or to an antigen; it may include pain, swelling, itching, redness, heat, and loss of function.
interstitial fluid
Fluid that occupies the space outside the blood vessels and/or outside the cells of an organ or tissue.
intracellular fluid
The fluid found in all body cells.
A state of insufficient perfusion of oxygenated blood to a body organ or part.
A term used to describe a solution that causes cells neither to shrink nor to swell.
lactic acidosis
A disorder characterized by an accumulation of lactic acid in the blood, resultin in a lowered pH in muscle and serum.
mediated transport mechanisms
Mechanisms that use carrier molecules to move large, water-soluble molecules or electrically charged molecules across cell membranes.
A change from one cell type to another that is better able to tolerate adverse conditions; o conversion into a form that is not normal for that cell.
multiple organ dysfunction syndrome
The progressive failure of two or more organ systems after a severe illness or injury.
Death of a cell or group of cells as the result of disease or injury.
negative feedback mechanism
Mechanisms that tend to produce a response that balances a change in a system.
New and abnormal development of cells, which may be benign or malignant.
The osmotic pressure of a solution.
The diffusion of solvent (water) through a membrane from a less concentrated solution to a more concentrated solution.
partial pressure
The pressure exerted by a single gas.
peripheral vascular resistance
The total resistance against which blood must be pumped; also known as sfterload.
An inverse logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration.
The amount of blood returning to the ventricle.
semipermeable membrane
A membrane that allows some fluids and substances to pass through them but not others, usually depending on size, shape, electrical charge, or other chemical properties.
A condition of severely inadequate blood flow to the body's peripheral tissues that is associated with life-threatening cellular dysfunction; also known as hypoperfusion.
Substances dissolved in solution.
Starling hypothesis
The concept that describes the movement of fluid back and forth across the capillary wall (net filtration).
stroke volume
The volume of blood ejected from one ventricle in a single heartbeat.
T lymphocytes
The lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity.
The relative strength of a pathogen.
The act of interpreting symbols and format.
The act of placing a message in an understandable format (either written or verbal).
therapeutic communication
A planned, deliberate, professional act that involves the use of communications techniques to achieve two purposes: (1) a positive relationship with the patient and (2)a shared understanding of information between the patient and the paramedic. These two factors aid in the attainment of the desired patient care goals.
chief complaint
A patient's primary complaint
clinical reasoning
Use of the results of questions to think about associated problems and body system changes related to the patient's complaint.
current health status
A focus on the patient's current state of health, environmental conditions, and personal habits.
family history
Illness or disease in a patient's family or family's background that may be relevant to the patient complaint.
history taking
Information gathered during the patient interview.
present illness
Identification of the chief complaint and a full, clear, chronological account of the symptoms.
significant past medical history
A patient's medical background that may offer insight into the patient's current problem.
physical examination
An assessment of a patient that includes examination techniques, measurement of vital signs, an assessment of height and weight, and the skillful use of examination equipment.
A visual assessment of the patient and surroundings.
A technique in which an examiner uses the hands and fingers to gather information from a patient by touch.
A technique used to evaluate the presence of air or fluid in body tissues.
A technique that requires the use of a stethoscope and is used to assess body sounds produced by the movement of various fluids or gases in organs or tissues.
tidal volume
The volume of air inspired or expired in a single, resting breath.
focused history
A component of patient assessment to ascertain the patient's chief complaint, history of present illness, medical history, and current health status.
general impression
An immediate assessment of the environment and the patient's chief complaint used to determine whether the patient is ill or injured and the nature of the illness or the mechanism of injury.
initial assessment
A component of the patient assessment to recognize and manage all immediate life-threatening conditions.
ongoing assessment
A repeat of the initial assessment that is performed throughout the paramedic-patient encounter.
priority patients
Patients who need immediate care and transport.
scene size-up
An assessment of the scene to ensure scene safety for the paramedic crew, patient(s), and bystanders; a quick assessment to determine the resources needed to manage the scene adequately.
anatomical dead space
The volume of the conducting airways from the external environment down to the terminal bronchioles.
An abnormal condition characterized by the collapse of lung tissue; it prevents the respiratory exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
The ease with which the lungs and thorax expand during pressure changes. The greater the compliance, the easier the expansion.
Fick principle
The principle used to determine cardiac output. It assumes that the amount of oxygen delivered to an organ is equal to the amount of oxygen consumed by that organplus the amount of xygen carrid away from that organ.
gag reflex
A normal neural response triggered by touching the soft palate of posterior pharynx.
A state of diminished carbon dioxide in the blood; also known as hypocapnia.
A state of decreased oxygen content at the tissue level.
intrapulmonic pressure
The pressure of the gas in the alveoli.
intrathoracic pressure
The pressure in the pleural space; also known as intrapleural pressure.
minute volume
The amount of gas inhaled or exhaled in 1 minute. It is found by multiplying the tidal volume by the respiratory rate.
physiological dead space
The sum of the anatomical dead space plus the volume of any nonfunctional alveoli.
pulmonary ventilation
The movement of air into and out of the lungs. This process brings oxygen into the lungs and removes carbon dioxide.
The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between an organism and the environment.
resting membrane potential
The electrical charge difference inside a cell membrane relative to just outside the cell membrane.
threshold potential
The value of the membrane potential at which an action potential is produced as a result of depolarization in response to a stimulus.
refractory period
The period after effective stimulation during which excitable tissue fails to respond to a stimulus of threshold intensity.
hypertensive encephalopathy
A set of symptoms- including headach, convulsions, and coma- that results solely from elevated blood pressure.

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