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The content and information provided within this site is for informational and educational purposes only. Consult a doctor before pursuing any form of therapy, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. The Information provided within this site is not to be considered Medical Advice. In Full Support of the F.D.A., Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is considered Investigational, Experimental, or Off Label.

Please consult with your Treating Medical Physician


MEDICAL DIRECTORY

  • A
  • abduction - to move a limb or some other body part away from the midline of the body
  • ABG - arterial blood gas reading
  • acetaminophen - a nonsalicylate analgesic-antipyretic (Tylenol)
  • ACE - angiotension-converting enzyme
  • ACLS - advanced cardiac life support; includes electricity (defibrillator) and drugs for life threatening arrhythmias
  • acidotic - abnormally high acidity of body fluids and tissues
  • acute - sudden, intense flare-up
  • adenosine - a drug used to help a patient with Supraventricular tachycardia convert to normal sinus rhythm
  • agonal - a word used to describe a major negative change in a patient's condition, usually preceding immediate death, such as a complete cessation of breathing or a dire change in the patient's EEG or EKG
  • albuterol - a bronchodilator used on asthma patients and patients having bronchial spasms to dilate the bronchia and improve breathing
  • ALOC - abbreviation for Acute Loss of Consciousness
  • alzheimer's disease - a progressive disease with specific brain abnormalities marked by memory loss and progressive inability to function normally at even the simplest tasks
  • AMA - against medical advice or American Medical Association
  • ambu-bag - handheld squeeze bag attached to a face mask. see also bagging
  • amitriptyline - a tricyclic antidepressant
  • amoxicillin - an antibiotic
  • amp - abbreviation for Ampule, which is a sealed plastic or glass capsule containing a single dose of a drug in a sterile solution for injection.
  • anaphylactic shock - an extreme allergic reaction that usually involves heart failure, circulatory collapse, a severe asthma-like difficulty in breathing and sometimes results in death.
  • ancef - a cephalosporin antibiotic
  • anemia - chronically low hematocrit
  • aneurysm - a balloonlike swelling in the wall of an artery
  • angina pectoris - a severe acute attack of cardiac pain
  • angioplasty - plastic surgery of blood vessels during which a balloon is passed into the artery and inflated to enlarge it and increase blood flow
  • anhidrosis - the abnormal absence of sweat
  • anterior - word used to describe the front surface of an organ, muscle, etc
  • antivert - a drug prescribed for nausea and dizziness
  • aortic calcification - hardening of the aorta, the main artery coming out of the left ventricle of the heart, usually from cholesterol deposits or some other organic substance
  • aortic coarctation - a dangerous narrowing of the aorta
  • aortic dissection - a tear in the aorta
  • aortic rupture - when the aorta bursts
  • arterial stick - insertion of an IV line into an artery
  • arrhythmia - when the beat of the heart is no longer originating from the sinus node, and the rhythm is abnormal
  • ASA - the abbreviation for acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin)
  • astrocytoma - a slowly growing tumor of the glial tissue of the brain and the spinal cord
  • asystole - a condition in which the heart no longer beats and usually cannot be restarted
  • ativan - a minor tranquilizer drug (lorazepam) used for anxiety, tension, agitation, or fatigue
  • atropine - a drug to increase the heart rate
  • atypical angina - a form of angina pectoris that does not manifest the typical angina symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, etc, but which comes on suddenly and occurs without a predisposing cause
  • AZT - an antiviral drug (zidovudine) prescribed for the treatment of AIDS
  • B
  • Babinski's reflex - also known as the plantar reflex; the movement of the big toe upward instead of downward; used to test injury to, or diseases of, the upper motor neurons
  • bactrim - the trade name for cotrimoxazole and sulfamethoxizole, an antibacterial agent particularly useful for urinary infections
  • bagging - manual respiration for a patient having breathing trouble that uses a handheld squeeze bag attached to a face mask
  • Barlow's syndrome - infantile scurvy
  • Betadine - trade name for povidone-iodine, a preparation used as a surgical scrub that is available in liquid and aerosol forms
  • bilateral hemothorax - blood in both sides of the pleura, the membrane covering the lung
  • blood culture - incubating a blood sample so that suspected infectious bacteria can multiply and thus be identified
  • blood gas - a test to determine the gas-phase components of blood, including oxygen, carbon dioxide, pH balance, etc
  • blood pressure - a measure of how well blood circulates through your arteries, listen in the format of the systolic pressure over the diastolic pressure. Normal blood pressure is about 120/80
  • blood swab - a blood sample taken with a cotton-tipped stick
  • BLS - abbreviation for basic life support; includes CPR and removal of foreign body airway obstruction
  • body packer - a drug courier who swallows condoms filled with cocaine or heroin in order to smuggle them into a country and then passes them rectally after he's safe
  • bolus - a large dose of a drug that is given (usually intravenously) at the beginning of treatment to raise blood-level concentrations to a therapeutic level
  • bounceback - a patient who returns to the ER with the same complaint shortly after being released
  • bowel disimpaction - manual removal of impacted fecal matter from a patient's rectum
  • BP - abbreviation for blood pressure
  • bradycardic - a slowing of the heart rate to less than 50 beats per minute
  • breath sounds - the sounds heard through a stethoscope placed on the chest over the lungs
  • bronchoscopy - the use of an endoscope to examine and take biopsies from the interior of the bronchia
  • BUN - abbreviation for blood urea nitrogen
  • C
  • c-section - shorthand for cesarean section, which is surgical delivery of a baby through the abdominal wall
  • c-spine - shorthand for cervical spine, or the neck
  • calcium oxalate stone - a kidney stone
  • Calot's triangle - the cystic duct, the common duct, and the liver
  • calyx - a cup-shaped part of the kidneys
  • capillary refill - when a fingernail is pressed, the nail bed turns white. Capillary refill refers to the return of the nail bed to pink color. Good cap refill is two seconds or less
  • capoten - see captopril captopril - an antihypertensive and ACE inhibitor prescribed for high blood failure and congestive heart failure. It is also sold under the trade name capoten (captopril is the drug's generic name)
  • carboxyhemoglobin - a substance formed when the poisonous gas carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin in the blood. Carboxyhemoglobin is incapable of transporting oxygen to the body's organs. Large amounts of this compound are found in carbon monoxide poisoning
  • cardiac effusion - see pericardial effusion
  • cardiac enzymes - creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and aspartate transaminase
  • cardiomyopathy - a disorder of the heart muscle that can often be fatal
  • cardiac tamponade - compression of the heart from fluid such as an effusion or blood
  • CAT scan - Computerized axial tomography
  • catcher's mask - a device used for a patient with bleeding varices in the throat that allows a tube with two balloons attached to be positioned securely in the throat and inflated. The balloons then put pressure on the enlarged veins in order to stop the bleeding
  • CBC - abbreviation for complete blood count, which is an all-purpose blood test; combining diagnostic evaluations of red blood cell count, white cell count, erythrocyte indices, hematocrit, and a differential blood count
  • cc - abbreviation for cubic centimeters
  • cecum - a pouch at the junction of the large and small intestine. The lower end bears the vermiform appendix
  • ceftriaxone - a cephalosporin antibiotic
  • cellulitis - a skin infection
  • central line - the central location in the circulation of the vein used, usually in the internal jugular and subclavian veins in the neck, or the femoral veins in the groin. This has the benefit of being able to send more fluid into the body
  • cephalosporin - an antibiotic
  • cesarean section - surgical delivery of a baby through the abdominal wall
  • champagne tap - a successful lumbar puncture with no red blood cells found, which means it is as clean as possible. So-called because the supervising resident has to, by custom, buy the student a bottle champagne
  • Chem 7 - a battery of blood chemistry tests; the seven parts of a Chem 7; sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, and glucose
  • chest film - a chest X-ray
  • CHF - abbreviation for congestive heart failure, see pulmonary edema
  • claudication - limping caused by impaired blood supply to the legs
  • coag panel - a blood test used to determine the clotting factors of a patient's blood
  • code brown - term used when a patient doesn't make it to the bathroom in time
  • compazine - a drug (prochlorperazine) prescribed for severe nausea and vomiting and also for treatment of psychotic disorders and anxiety
  • cordotomy - surgical severing of the nerves in the spinal cord to relieve intractable pain in the pelvis and lower limbs
  • crasher - a person who passes out in the ER, often not a patient but a family member who is upset over what's going on with a loved one
  • cricothyroidotomy - a procedure used to surgically establish an airway in the patient's throat when intubation isn't possibly because of swelling or bleeding
  • cricothyrotomy - see cricothyroidotomy
  • crispy critter - irreverent ER slang for a seriously burned patient
  • crit - short for hematocrit
  • CPK - creatine phosphokinase, an enzyme that elevates in the blood when a heart attack occurs, used as a confirmation of a heart attack and as a gauge of damage
  • CT scan - See CAT scan
  • CVA - abbreviation for cerebrovascular accident, ie stroke
  • cyanotic - when a patient's skin and mucous membranes are bluish in color from an inadequate supply of oxygen in the blood
  • cystic fibrosis - a lung disease that causes the production of thick mucus in the lungs, hampering breathing
  • D
  • D5 - the abbreviation for dextrose (glucose) given in a 5 percent normal saline solution
  • Darvocet - a drug (propoxyphene hydrochloride) prescribed for pain
  • DB - ER abbreviation for a dead body
  • dead shovel - ER slang for a fat man who dies while shoveling snow
  • debridement - cleaning an open wound by removing foreign material and dead tissue. Debridement of burns is extremely painful
  • decerebration - the progressive loss of cerebral function; advanced decerebration (and the resultant deep unconsciousness) occurs with severe damage to the cerebrum, the largest part of the brain
  • deep vein thrombosis - a blood clot in a deep vein
  • defibrillation - the cessation of fibrillation of the cardiac muscle and restoration of a normal rhythm
  • delusional - having an irrational belief that cannot be changed by a rational argument, often found in schizophrenia and manic-depressive psychosis
  • demerol - trade name for meperidine, a synthetic analgesic often used as a substitute for morphine
  • diabetic ketoacidosis - depletion of the body's alkali reserves due to diabetes, causing a major disruption in the body's acid-base balance. The breath smells fruity and the patient is usually comatose.
  • diagnosis - determining what's wrong with a patient by using the patient's symptoms, signs, test results, medical background, and other factors
  • dialysis - the procedure to filter blood for patients with kidney failure, also used to remove absorbed toxins from overdosing and poisoning
  • diaphoresis - sweating
  • diastolic - pressure during the relaxing of the heart
  • DIC - abbreviation for disseminated intravascular coagulation (no blood clotting). (In many hospitals, ER personnel also interpret DIC to mean "death is coming" since disseminated intravascular coagulation usually means death is imminent) differential diagnosis - diagnosis made by ruling out many disorders. The patient usually presents with symptoms that can be shared by many conditions. For example, chest pain can be caused by many diseases or conditions, and each one must be ruled out to arrive at the correct diagnosis
  • digitalis - a drug prescribed for congestive heart failure
  • dilantin - an anticonvulsant drug used to prevent seizures
  • diplopia - double vision
  • disaster protocol color coding - the following color tags are used to immediately triage patients during a mass casualty event: Green is walking wounded; yellow is urgent; red is critical; black is DOA
  • distal pulse - the pulse farthest from the heart
  • diuresis - the increased production of urine
  • diuretic - drug used to increased diuresis, ie lasix
  • diverticulitis - inflammation of the colon
  • DNR - the abbreviation for do not resuscitate, which is requested or ordered for terminally ill patients
  • DOA - abbreviation for dead on arrival
  • dopamine - a catecholamine neurotransmitter, similar to adrenaline. It is used during surgery to increase cardiac output and renal blood flow
  • DTP - a diphtheria tetanus pertussis toxoid injection
  • dyspnea - shortness of breath
  • dystocia - difficult labor due to some fetal problem, such as dislocation of the shoulders
  • E
  • ECG - electrocardiogram. measures heart activity
  • EEG - electroencephalogram. measures brain activity
  • EKG - see ECG
  • eclampsia - a serious condition affecting pregnant women in which the entire body is affected by convulsions and the patient eventually passes into a coma
  • ectopic pregnancy - the development of the fetus in the fallopian tube instead of in the womb
  • edema - excessive accumulation of fluid
  • elavil - trade name for amitriptyline
  • electrolyte analysis - tests the basic chemicals in the body; sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate
  • embolectomy - surgical removal of an embolus
  • embolus - a blood clot
  • EMS - abbreviation for emergency medical services. The term EMS is used in the American Heart Association protocols for BLS and ACLS
  • EMT - abbreviation for emergency medical technician
  • endocarditis - inflammation of cardiac tissue, usually caused by bacterial infection
  • endoscope - a long flexible tube with its own special lighting
  • epi - adrenaline, used to make heart beat faster and raise blood pressure
  • epidermis - the outer layer of the skin
  • epidural - an epidural block; an injection through a catheter of a local anesthetic to relieve pain during labor, usually done at the lumbar level of the spine
  • epiglottitis - inflammation of the epiglottis
  • epinephrine - adrenaline
  • esmolol - a beta-blocking drug
  • ETA - abbreviation for Estimated Time of Arrival
  • Feldene - a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (piroxicam) prescribed for arthritis and other forms of joint and bone inflammation
  • fentanyl - a short-acting morphine like narcotic analgesic of high poitency, often used in conjunction with other drugs. Fentanyl can enhance the effect of certain narcotics (including morphine)
  • fetal distress - a term used to describe a number of critical conditions threatening the live delivery of a fetus
  • FHT - abbreviation for fetal heart tones
  • fibrillation - an uncoordinated, quivering of the heart muscle resulting in a completely irregular pulse
  • first-degree burn - a burn affecting only the epidermis. The color of the burn is red, capillary refill is present, the skin texture is normal, and the burn heals in five to ten days with no scarring
  • flexeril - a potent muscle relaxant
  • fluconazole - an antifungal drug used for infections of the mouth, blood, and throat. Fluconazole is often used by AIDS patients to combat oral thrush and other infections
  • fluoroscope - an X-ray machine
  • Focused H and P - a history and physical examination. H and P is the term used to describe an examination that results in a patient history and makes an assessment of his or her condition. The patient is physically examined and then talked to regarding his or her complaint and the doctor then makes a probably diagnosis. Focused means do not examine a patient's feet or do a rectal if they're complaining of a headache and double vision
  • foley - a foley (indwelling) catheter. This is a thin flexible tube inserted into the urethra in order to drain the bladder
  • gastric lavage - irrigation of the stomach when poisoning or bleeding is suspected, or to remove ingested toxins before they enter the blood stream
  • GCS - see Glasgow coma scale
  • gentamicin - an antibiotic
  • GGF1 - an abbreviation for grandpa's got a fever, which is shorthand for a battery of tests performed when an elderly male presents with a fever of unknown origin. The tests included in a GGF1 are a CBC, Chem 7, chest film, U/A, and blood cultures times two
  • GI cocktail - a commonly used mixture of liquid donnatal (which stops gastrointestinal spasms), viscous lidocaine and mylanta (which counteracts the stomach acid and soothes the stomach). This concoction is often given to patients presenting with severe heartburn, signs of an ulcer, or indications of an excess production of stomach acid
  • giardiasis - intestinal infection with the giardia bacteria
  • Glasgow coma scale - this scale is used to quickly determine the status and degree of injury of a trauma victim to the head
  • "Glove up and dig in" - see bowel disimpaction
  • golden hour - also known as the golden window. When treating a patient who has had a myocardial infarction, emergency personnel must be extremely careful during the first hour. The ventricles are very sensitive during this period and life threatening arrythmias can occur
  • gomer - ER slang for "Get Out of My Emergency Room" and is a derogatory term for geriatric patients with multiple complicated medical problems
  • gorked - ER slang for unconscious (as in "gorked patient"). Also used as a noun, as in "I've got a gork in 2"
  • Gram's stain - a stain test that identifies various forms of bacterial microorganisms
  • granuloma - a tumor
  • GSW - abbreviation for gunshot wound
  • guiac - a test of stool with a gloved finger inserted looking for blood
  • H
  • H and P - see also Focused H and P, history and physical: the initial evaluation and examination of a patient
  • haldol - a drug (haloperidol) used for psychotic disorders, Tourette's syndrome, and hyperactivity in children
  • heart/lung bypass - using a machine to breathe and circulate blood for a patient for any number of clinical or surgical reasons, like to also used to rewarm the blood of severely hypothermic patient
  • heimlich maneuver - a first-aid measure used to dislodge something caught in a person's throat that is obstructing breathing
  • Hematochezia - maroon stools, usually from a lower GI bleed
  • hematocrit - the proportion, by volume, of red blood cells in a CBC
  • hemiparesis - paralysis or weakness on one side of the body
  • hemorrhage - the dramatic and sudden loss of blood
  • hemoperfusion - dialysis of the blood to remove foreign substances such as poisons or drugs
  • hemopneumothorax - blood and air in the pleura. Also often referred to as a collapsed lung
  • heparin - a blood anticoagulant
  • hepatolenticular degeneration - excessive accumulation of copper in the kidney, liver, and brain, which if untreated, is invariably fatal
  • holosystolic murmur - a heart murmur that begins with the heart sound S1 and occupying all of the systole, then reaching S2. S1 and S2 refer to heart sounds noted during palpation
  • Horner's syndrome - the term used to describe the clinical profile of myosis, ptosis, and anhidrosis, which usually follows paralysis of the cervical sympathetic nerves on one side of the body
  • hydralazine - a synthetic compound that lowers blood pressure
  • hyperaldosteronism - overproduction of the adrenal hormone aldosterone, causing abnormalities in the sodium, water, and potassium levels in the body
  • hypercalcemia - an abnormally high concentration of calcium in the blood
  • hyperglycemia - high values of glucose in the blood
  • hyperlipidemia - excessive fat in the blood
  • hypoglycemia - low values of glucose in the blood
  • hypohemia - a lack of blood in the body
  • hypotension - abnormally low blood pressure
  • hypothermia - when the body temperature reaches significantly below normal body temperatures (usually below 95 degrees)
  • hypothyroidism - subnormal activity of the thyroid gland
  • hypovolemia - a decrease in the volume of circulating blood; also referred to as being in shock
  • hypoxia - a severe deficiency of oxygen in the blood and tissues
  • I
  • ileectomy - surgical removal of the small intestine
  • IM - abbreviation for intramuscular (pertaining to injections)
  • infarction - an area of tissue dead due to a local lack of oxygen
  • infiltrate - an abnormal substance (eg. a cancer cell) in a tissue or organ
  • intracerebral - inside the brain
  • intubation - insertion of an endotracheal tube to help an unconscious patient breathe
  • irritable bowel syndrome - a chronic and unpleasant gastrointestinal condition marked by abdominal cramping, and diarrhea or constipation
  • ischemia - when the heart is starving for oxygen
  • Isordil - an antianginal agent
  • IV - abbreviation for intravenous, meaning through the vein
  • IV push - injecting medication rapidly into a vein to hit the blood system all at once
  • K
  • K-Y - K-Y jelly. A widely used water-soluble lubricant
  • KCl - (pronounced kay se-el) a potassium supplement, used to replace lost potassium in a patient
  • KUB - shorthand for kidney, ureter, and bladder tests
  • L
  • lac - abbreviation for laceration (pronounced "lack")
  • laparotomy - any surgery involving an incision in the abdominal wall
  • laryngoscope - an instrument for examining the larynx, also to properly visualize the vocal cords for endotracheal intubation
  • larynx - the "voice box"
  • lasix - a drug for diuresis, gets its name in that it usually lasts six hours
  • LFT - abbreviation for liver function test
  • LOL - abbreviation for "Little Old Lady"
  • lidocaine - a local anesthetic, also used to reduce cardiac muscle automaticity, given intravenously
  • lithium - a drug commonly used to treat manic-depressive illness
  • lithotripsy - breaking up the renal calculi (kidney stones) with sound waves so they can be passed in the urine
  • lumbar puncture - the withdrawal of cerebrospinal fluid through a hollow needle inserted into the lumbar region between the L4 and L5 vertebrae. Also referred to as a spinal tap
  • lytes - abbreviation for an electrolyte analysis (pronounced "lights")

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