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Medical Terminology

Medical Terminology Must-Know List

TermDefinition
ABRASION Scaping of the skin.
ACUTE Having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course.
ALLERGY Hypersensitivity to a foreign substance.
AMBULATORY Walking or able to walk.
ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK A serious, often life-threatening, allergic reaction.
ANEURISM Dilation of an artery due to blood pressure on a weakened wall.
ANGINA PECTORIS Chest pain caused by decreased blood (oxygen) supply to the heart muscle, e.g. narrowing of coronary arteries.
APNEA Cessation of breathing.
APPENDICITIS Inflammation of the appendix.
ARRHYTHMIA Any variation from normal rhythm of the heartbeat.
ARTERIOSCLEROSIS Hardening of the walls of the arteries.
ASPHYXIA A condition caused by inadequate intake of oxygen.
ASPIRATION 1. Drawing in of vomitus or fluid into the respiratory tract. 2. Withdrawal of fluid by suction.
ASTHMA Disease marked by increased mucous production and chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes resulting in difficulty in breathing.
BENIGN Not malignant - has the ability to grow and be harmful but does not spread to adjacent tissue.
BLOOD PRESSURE Pressure of the blood exerted against vessel walls. (systolic pressure/diastolic pressure)
BRONCHITIS Inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
CARCINOMA A form of cancer.
CARDIAC ARREST Stoppage of effective heart action.
CARDIAC Pertaining to the heart.
CATHETERIZATION The placement of a tube into the body, usually for drainage reasons.
CERVICAL Pertaining to the neck.
CHRONIC Marked by long duration or frequent recurrence: not acute
COMA Unconsciousness from which the patient cannot be aroused - deep and prolonged.
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE (CHF) Heart cannot efficiently pump blood due to previous heart muscle damage.
CONSCIOUS Mentally awake - responds to stimuli.
CONTUSION Injury to tissues without skin breakage (bruise).
CONVULSIONS Involuntary contraction and relaxation of the voluntary muscles.
CORONARY HEART DISEASE Blood supply to the heart is decreased by the narrowing of coronary arteries.
CYANOSIS Blueness of the skin due to oxygen deficiency in the blood and tissues.
DEHYDRATION Inadequate amount of water in the body tissues.
DELIRIUM Usually a temporary mental disturbance noted by illusions, wandering speech and hallucinations.
DEPRESSION Lowered mental and physical activity.
DERMATITIS Inflammation of the skin.
DIABETES Body does not regulate blood sugar level properly - usually due to lack of insulin.
DIAPHORESIS Profuse sweating (diaphoretic).
DIASTOLE Relaxation phase of heartbeat.
DISORIENTATION Mental confusion - loss of recognition of time, place of persons.
DYSPNEA Difficult or labored breathing.
ECTOPIC Not in normal place (e.g. tubal pregnancy)
EDEMA Abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues.
EMBOLUS Foreign substance or air bubble in blood vessel, which partially or completely obstructs the blood flow (Embolism)
EMPHYSEMA A chronic condition of the lung marked by abnormal dilation of its air spaces and distension of its walls.
EPILEPSY Chronic disease marked by attacks of convulsions.
EPISTAXIS Nosebleed.
GASTROINTESTINAL Pertaining to the stomach and intestines (e.g., G.I. Bleed)
GLAUCOMA Condition of excess pressure of fluid in the eye.
HEMATOMA Collection of blood in a muscle or tissue.
HEMATURIA Blood in the urine.
HEMOPHILIA Hereditary blood disease characterized by prolonged coagulation time.
HEMORRHAGE External or internal escape of blood from a vessel.
HEMOTHORAX Collection of blood in the thoracic cavity.
HYPERTENSION Elevation in blood pressure (a.k.a. - High Blood Pressure)
HYPERVENTILATION Increase in rate or depth (or both) of respiration.
HYPOGLYCEMIA Abnormally low amount of sugar in the blood.
HYSTERIA A state of tension or excitement in which there is a temporary loss of control over actions and emotions.
INSULIN Hormone (natural or artificial) to regulate sugar level in the body.
INTUBATION Insertion of a tube, e.g., into trachea to open airway.
ISOLATION Containment of persons having infectious diseases.
LEUKEMIA Abnormal increase of white blood cells in the body.
MALIGNANT Tends to become worse and result in death.
MENINGES Three membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
MENINGITIS Inflammation of the meninges.
MISCARRIAGE Interruption of pregnancy prior to the fifth month.
MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION Damage to the heart muscle resulting from blocked or restricted coronary arteries (a.k.a. - MI)
MYOCARDIUM Heart muscle
ORTHOPNEA Inability to breathe in a supine position.
PALLOR A pale appearance to the skin.
PARALYSIS Loss or impairment of the ability to move body parts.
PARAPLEGIA Paralysis of the lower body and legs.
PHLEBITIS Inflammation of a vein.
PNEUMONIA Infection that occurs when fluid and cells collect in the lungs.
PNEUMOTHORAX Presence of air or gas in the thorax cavity.
PROSTRATION Extreme exhaustion.
QUADRIPLEGIA Paralysis affecting all four limbs.
RIGOR MORTIS Stiffening of the muscles after death.
SCLEROSIS Hardening of a part.
SHOCK A state of collapse resulting from inadequate tissue perfusion.
SIGNS Observed changes in a patient's body.
SPASM Sudden involuntary contraction.
STOMA Artificial opening between body cavity and body opening.
STROKE Sudden decrease or loss of conciousness, sensation, and/or voluntary motion caused by rupture or obstruction (as by a clot) of an artery of the brain (a.k.a. C.V.A. - Cerebral Vascular Accident)
STUPOR A state of reduced responsiveness or partial unconsciousness.
SYMPTOM Complaint or description of something associated to the illness as stated by the patient.
SYSTOLE Contracting phase of the heartbeat.
THROMBUS Blood clot which forms in a blood vessel or in the heart cavity
TRAUMA Wound or injury from an external force.
TRIAGE Sorting, according to initial examination, of casualties in a disaster situation.
TUMOR Abnormal growth of cells.
UMBILICAL CORD Cord-like vessel for the conveyance of nutrients and waste between the unborn child and placenta.
UNCONSCIOUSNESS Lack of environmental awareness - incapability to react to sensory stimuli.
Created by: russcrick