This site is 100% ad supported. Please add an exception to adblock for this site.

General Medical Terms


undefined, object
copy deck
Arterial blood gases. A test where blood is drawn and measured for oxygen content. The ABG tells the physician whether or not the patient is getting enough oxygen into the bloodstream. An ABG is frequently used for cases of asthma, COPD, or chest trauma.
Ablation is defined as the removal of material from the surface of an object by vaporization, chipping, or other erosive processes. Often used in the context of laser ablation, a process by which the molecular bonds of a material are dissolved by a laser.
A drug used to treat certain heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) by helping to stabilize heart rhythm. (see IV push)
Angina pectoris (Latin for "chest constriction") is the result of a lack of oxygen supply to the heart muscle, due to a reduced blood flow around the heart's blood vessels. This lack of oxygen to the heart is known as myocardial ischemia.
A surgical procedure in which a small catheter with a balloon tip is threaded into the coronary artery. The balloon is then blown up to re-expand the clotted artery.
The action of certain medications that inhibit the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses and thereby reduce spasms of smooth muscle (such as that, for example, in the bladder).
Aphasia is a loss or impairment of the ability to produce or comprehend language, due to brain damage.
Apothecary (from the Latin apothecarius, a keeper of an otheca, a store) is a historical name for a medical practitioner who formulates and dispenses materia medica to physicians, surgeons and patients -- a role now served by a pharmacist.
occurs when the beat of the heart is no longer originating from the sinus node, and the rhythm is abnormal.
Arthroplasty is surgical replacement of damaged or diseased joint or joint components with a prosthetic joint or joint components.
A drug used to speed up the heart rate.
an antiviral drug prescribed for the treatment of AIDS.
Babinski Reflex
A reflex where stroking the bottom of the foot will cause the toes to go down in a normal person and up in an infant or in an adult with a spinal cord injury.
a procedure in which a bag is attached outside the mouth so that breathing can be done mechanically for the patient.
Blood culture
A test where blood is drawn and cultured for bacteria. It is usually ordered when someone has a high fever, particularly a young child, to identify the organism causing the disease and treat it with the proper antibiotic.
Blood gases
A test that determines the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood, as well as the pH.
Brady Cardia
very slow heart rate.
Bradying Down
Heart rate is dropping.
Cardiac enzymes
A damaged heart muscle releases enzymes over a period of time and, by drawing cardiac enzymes, it is possible to confirm that a heart attack has taken place. (see coag panel)
Cath lab
Short for catheterization laboratory, where a cardiologist performs angioplasty.
abbreviation for Complete Blood Count.
abbreviation forChief complaint.
Chem 7
A blood test that measures the basic electolytes in blood: sodium, chloride, potassium, carbon dioxide, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and glucose. A chem 7 is useful in the assessment of many diseases, as derangement of these elements can be fatal. (see coag panel)
abbreviation for Congestive Heart Failure.
Circle of Willis
The circular distribution of arteries at the base of the brain formed by the union of the internal carotid arteries, anterior and posterior arteries, and the anterior and posterior communicating arteries.
Coag panel
An assessment of how well the blood is coagulating.
Code brown
term used when a patient doesn't make it to the bathroom in time and has a bowel movement.
In medicine, a contraindication is a condition or factor that increases the risk involved in using a particular drug, carrying out a medical procedure or engaging in a particular activity.
abbreviation for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
A component of urine, and the final breakdown product of creatine, which is an important molecule for building energy reserves, for example, in muscle cells.
when the throat is cut to insert a direct tube for breathing when a intubation is not possible due to blockage of the throat.
Crit (hematocrit)
A test to measure the number of red blood cells in the blood - the level of which typically decreases when a person has been bleeding or has anemia. (see platelets)
Cystic fibrosis
a lung disease that causes the production of thick mucus in the lungs, hampering breathing.
Sweaty skin associated with an MI.
Diverticulitis is a common disease of the bowel, in particular the large intestine. Diverticulitis develops from diverticulosis, which involves the formation of pouches (diverticula) on the outside of the colon. Diverticulitis results if one of these diverticulum becomes inflamed. In complicated diverticulitis, bacteria may subsequently infect the outside of the colon if an inflamed diverticulum bursts open.
abbreviation for Do not resuscitate; often requested or ordered for terminally ill patients.
abbreviation for dead on arrival.
A drug that makes the heart pump more strongly.
In medicine, specifically urology, dysuria refers to any difficulty in urination. It is sometimes accompanied by pain.
a severe form of pregnancy-induced hypertension resulting in seizures.
Ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is one in which the fertilized ovum is implanted in any tissue other than the uterine wall. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tube (so-called tubal pregnancies), but implantation can also occur in the cervix, ovaries, and abdomen.
excessive accumulation of fluid.
Discharge of fluid into a body cavity, such as the middle ear, as a result of inflammation.
abbreviation for electrocardiogram; measures heart activity.
Endotracheal tube
an instrument inserted into the trachea through the mouth to facilitate breathing.
The sinking of the eye into the socket. Causes include development problems in utero, trauma and inflammation.
Epstein Bar
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), also called Human herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4), is a virus of the herpes family (which includes Herpes simplex virus and Cytomegalovirus), and one of the most common viruses in humans. Most people become infected at one point with EBV, which is often harmless. It is named after M.A. Epstein and Y.M. Barr, who, along with B.G. Achong, discovered the virus in 1964.
Fascia is a specialized connective tissue layer which surrounds muscles, bones, and joints, providing support and protection and giving structure to the body. It consists of two layers: the superficial fascia and the deep fascia.
Gastric Lavage
Method used to pump stomachs after drug overdose.
A conventional butyrophenone antipsychotic drug.
Hematochezia is the passage of bright red blood from the rectum, with or without feces. It is commonly associated with lower gastrointestinal bleeding, most often due to either hemorrhoids or diverticulosis; however, it can be related to colon cancer
a dramatic and sudden loss of blood.
Stopping of bleeding through natural (clot formation, constriction of blood vessels), artificial (compression, ligation), or surgical means.
Blood or bloody fluid in the pleural cavity caused by rupture of blood vessels resulting from trauma or inflammation of the lungs from pneumonia.
('water-head', term derived from Greek) is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain. This increase in intracranial volume results in elevated intracranial pressure.
When percussing (thumping) a patient's back and listening for breath sounds, the doctor will hear hyperresonant, or increased, vibrations that are indicative of a pneumothorax. (see tension pneumo)
High blood pressure.
Insufficient cell proliferation, resulting in a deficiency of tissue mass and ultimately undergrowth of an organ or morphologic feature.
Low blood pressure.
Hypoxia is a pathological condition in which the body as a whole (generalized hypoxia) or region of the body (tissue hypoxia) is deprived of adequate oxygen supply.
the procedure of inserting a tube into the trachea of a patient who is not breathing.
Intubation tray
A tray that contains various instruments used to intubate a patient who is not breathing: a laryngoscope, which is an instrument for opening the larynx; and an endotracheal tube, which is inserted into the trachea through the mouth to facilitate breathing. A bag is attached outside the mouth so that breathing can be done mechanically for the patient - in a procedure known as bagging.
IV push
When a drug is put directly into the IV all at once.
Kyphoplasty is a medical procedure where the original height and angle of kyphosis of a fractured vertebra (of certain types) are restored, followed by its stabilization using injected bone filler material. The procedure is commonly done percutaneously.
Laminaria a rod made of kelp (seaweed) that when placed in the cervical canal absorbs moisture, swells, and gradually dilates the cervix. Used to help induce labor.
A laparotomy is a surgical maneuver involving an incision through the abdominal wall to gain access into the abdominal cavity. It is also known as coeliotomy.
Large-bore IV
An IV with a large needle used to transfuse fluids - either saline or blood - very quickly, particularly in trauma cases, where a patient may have lost a lot of blood.
an instrument for opening the larynx.
Washing out. A gastric lavage, for example, involves removing the bad drugs from an overdose by washing out the stomach, giving charcoal afterward, and managing the adverse side effects. A peritoneal lavage is a test for abdominal bleeding wherein blood is washed out of the abdominal cavity.
An Anti-Arrythmic drug used to help stop an arrythmia.
abbreviation for Level of consciousness or loss of consciousness.
McBurney's point
McBurney's point is the name given to the point over the human abdomen that is one-third the distance from the ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine) to the umbilicus. Patients with acute appendicitis usually have tenderness at this point.
abbreviation for Myocardial infarction (heart attack). (see ST wave)
Abnormally small cranium marked by premature fusion of the skull sutures and also underdeveloped brain.
abbreviation for Motor Vehicle Accident.
In medicine, a myopathy is a neuromuscular disease in which the muscle fibers dysfunction for any one of many reasons, resulting in muscular weakness. Muscle cramps, stiffness, and spasm can also be associated with myopathy.
Neuropathic means pain which comes from injury to the nerves themselves and not from injured body parts.
Normal saline
Saline solution that has the same balance as the fluids in the body. Saline is administered when the patient requires fluids due to dehydration or when nothing may be taken by mouth because of the possibility of impending surgery.
An osteotome is a wedge-like instrument used for cutting or marking bone often called a chisel; used with a mallet.
A procedure where they insert a syringe into the chest and drain the fluid from the pericardium.(which is the sack around your heart.
Around the eyes.
The periosteum is an envelope of fibrous connective tissue that is wrapped around the bone in all places except at joints (which are protected by cartilage). As opposed to bone itself, it has nociceptive nerve endings, making it very sensitive to manipulation. It also provides nourishment in the form of blood supply to the bone
Peritoneal Lavage
A procedure done to check for internal bleeding in the abdomen following a trauma.
Philadelphia chromosome
Philadelphia chromosome or Philadelphia translocation is a specific genetic, chromosomal abnormality that is associated with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). 95% of patients with CML show this abnormality; a remaining 2-3% harbor a very similar abnormality.
The factors in the blood that cause clotting.
Producing many effects.
Prednisone is particularly effective as an immunosuppressant and affects virtually all of the immune system. It can therefore be used in autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases (such as asthma and Crohn's disease), various kidney diseases including nephrotic syndrome, and to prevent and treat rejection in organ transplantation.
Pulmonary edema
fluid in the lungs.
Pulse Oximetry (pulse ox)
a non-invasive and painless way to measure the oxygen saturation of arterial blood. Also an indicator of how well someone's breathing; healthy range is between about 96 and 100.
PVC (Premature Ventricular Contraction)
one of the most common arrhythmias
pyloric stenosis
Abnormal narrowing of the opening between the stomach and small intestine
Up and down, as opposed to transverse.
Saline solution
a blood volume substitute made of salt and water, a temporary substitute for lost blood.
Sick sinus syndrome
Sick sinus syndrome, also called Bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome is a group of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias) presumably caused by a malfunction of the sinus node, the heart's "natural" pacemaker.
Sinus rhythm
Normal heartbeat.
ST wave
On a heart monitor, one heartbeat is reflected as a PQRST wave. A segment of the wave is the ST.
Supra Ventricular Tachycardia - A cardiac arrythmia.
Tachycardia (Tachy)
rapid heart rate.
Tension pneumo
Short for tension pneumothorax. It is a collapsed lung where air escapes into the chest every time the patient breathes, as if through a one-way valve. A tension pneumo can cause pressure on the heart and is a serious emergency.
A procedure done by opening the chest usuing a rib spreader to have direct access to the heart if the patient is in asytole, (flat line on the monitor). Then they will do internal cardiac massage, which is rubbing the heart. Because you never defibrillate Asytole.
Throat swab
A throat swab is the same as a throat culture and is used to test for Streptococcus.
Thrombosis is the formation of a clot or thrombus inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. Thromboembolism is a general term describing both thrombosis and its main complication: dislodgement of a clot and embolisation.
tilt table test
A tilt table test can be used to diagnose patients with unexplained fainting spells or syncope. During the test, heart rate, blood pressure or other measurements can be made while the patient lies on a table, which is tilted so he or she can be monitored in different positions from lying down to standing upright.
Tox Screen/RUDS
Blood test to determine what drugs are in a patient's system. RUDS is short for Random Urine Drug Screen.
A powerful drug used to dissolve a blood clot in the coronary artery that is causeding a heart attack. (see angioplasty)
Ventricular Fibrillation, one of the dangerous cardiac arrythmias.
When the heart is beating at an abnormally high rate.
White count
A test to measure the number of white blood cells in the blood. The white cells are the blood cells that fight infection, and an increased count usually indicates the presence of an infection. (see platelets)

Deck Info