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Study Guide Chp.1-42

Brady Prehospital care 8th Edition

QuestionAnswer
abandonment leaving a patient after care has been initiated and before the patient has been transferred to someone with equal or greater medical training
abdominal quadrants four divisions of the abdomen used to pinpoint the location of a pain or injury: the right upper quadrant, the left upper quadrant, the right lower quadrant, and the left lower quadrant
abortion spontaneous (miscarriage) or induced termination of pregnancy.
abrasion a scratch or scrape
abruptio placentae a condition in which the placenta separates from the uterine wall; a cause of prebirth bleeding
absorbed poisons poisons that are taken into the body through unbroken skin
acetabulum the pelvic socket into which the ball at the proximal end of the femur fits to form the hip joint
acromioclavicular joint the joint where the acromion and the clavicle meet
acromion process the highest portion of the shoulder
activated charcoal a powder, usually pre-mixed with water, that will adsorb some poisons and help prevent them from being absorbed by the body
active rewarming application of an external heat source to rewarm the body of a hypothermic patient. See also central rewarming
acute myocardial infarction (AMI) the condition in which a portion of the myocardium dies as a result of oxygen starvation; a heart attack
afterbirth the placenta, membranes of the amniotic sac, part of the umbilical cord, and some tissues from the lining of the uterus that are delivered after the birth of the baby
air embolism gas bubble in the bloodstream. The plural is air emboli. The more accurate term is arterial gas embolism (AGE)
airway the passageway by which air enters or leaves the body. The structures of the airway are the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs
allergen something that causes an allergic reaction
allergic reaction an exaggerated immune response
alveoli the microscopic sacs of the lungs where gas exchange with the bloodstream takes place
amniotic sac the "bag of waters" that surrounds the developing fetus
amputation the surgical removal or traumatic severing of a body part, usually an extremity
anaphylaxis a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction in which the blood vessels dilate, causing a drop in blood pressure, and the tissues lining the respiratory system swell, interfering with the airway. Also called anaphylactic shock
anatomical position the standard reference position for the body in the study of anatomy. The body is standing erect, facing the observer. The arms are down at the sides and the palms of the hands face forward
anatomy the study of body structure
aneurysm the dilation, or ballooning, of a weakened section of the wall of an artery
angina pectoris pain in the chest, occurring when blood supply to the heart is reduced and a portion of the heart muscle is not receiving enough oxygen
anterior the front of the body or body part. Opposite of posterior
antidote a substance that will neutralize a poison or its effects
aorta the largest artery in the body. It transports blood from the left ventricle to begin systemic circulation
apnea absence of breathing
appendix a small tube located near the junction of the small and large intestines in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen, the function of which is not well understood. Its inflammation, called appendicitis, is a common cause of abdominal pain.
arrhythmia a disturbance in heart rate and rhythm
arterial bleeding bleeding from an artery, which is characterized by bright red blood and as rapid, profuse, and difficult to control
arteriole the smallest kind of artery
arteriosclerosis a condition in which artery walls become hard and stiff due to calcium deposits
artery any blood vessel carrying blood away from the heart
artificial ventilation forcing air or oxygen into the lungs when a patient has stopped breathing or has inadequate breathing
asystole when the heart has ceased generating electrical impulses
atherosclerosis a buildup of fatty deposits on the inner walls of arteries
atria the two upper chambers of the heart. There is a right atrium (which receives unoxygenated blood returning from the body) and a left atrium (which receives oxygenated blood returning from the lungs)
auscultation listening. A stethoscope is used to auscultate for characteristic body sounds
auto-injector a syringe pre-loaded with medication that has a spring-loaded device that pushes the needle through the skin when the tip of the device is pressed firmly against the body
automaticity the ability of the heart to generate and conduct electrical impulses on its own
autonomic nervous system the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls involuntary motor functions
AVPU a memory aid for alert, verbal response, painful response, unresponsive as a classification of a patient’s level of responsiveness. See also mental status
avulsion the tearing away or tearing off of a piece or flap of skin or other soft tissue. This term also may be used for an eye pulled from its socket or a tooth dislodged from its socket
bag-valve mask (BVM) a hand-held device with a face mask and self-refilling bag that can be squeezed to provide artificial ventilations to a patient. Can deliver air from the atmosphere or oxygen from a supplemental oxygen supply system
bandage any material used to hold a dressing in place
base station a two-way radio at a fixed site such as a hospital or dispatch center
behavior the manner in which a person acts
behavioral emergency when a patient’s behavior is not typical for the situation; when the patient’s behavior is unacceptable or intolerable to the patient, his family, or the community, or when the patient may harm himself or others
bilateral on both sides
blood pressure the force of blood against the walls of the blood vessels. Usually arterial blood pressure (the pressure in an artery) is measured. See also diastolic blood pressure; systolic blood pressure
blunt-force trauma injury caused by a blow that does not penetrate through the skin or other body tissues
body mechanics the proper use of the body to facilitate lifting and moving and prevent injury
body substance isolation (BSI) a form of infection control based on the presumption that all body fluids are infectious. BSI calls for always using appropriate barriers to infection at the emergency scene, such as gloves, masks, gowns, and protective eyewear
bones hard but flexible living structures that provide support for the body and protection to vital organs
brachial artery artery of the upper arm
brachial pulse the pulse felt in the upper arm; the pulse checked during infant CPR
bradycardia a slow heart rate; any pulse rate below 60 beats per minute
breech presentation when the baby appears buttocks or both legs first during birth
bronchi the two large sets of branches that come off the trachea and enter the lungs. There are right and left bronchi. The singular is bronchus
bronchoconstriction constriction, or blockage, of the bronchi that lead from the trachea to the lungs
calcaneus the heel bone
capillary a thin-walled, microscopic blood vessel where oxygen/carbon dioxide and nutrient/waste exchange with the body’s cells takes place
capillary bleeding bleeding from capillaries, which is characterized by a slow, oozing flow of blood
cardiac compromise a blanket term for any heart problem
cardiac conduction system a system of specialized muscle tissues that conduct electrical impulses that stimulate the heart to beat
cardiac muscle specialized involuntary muscle found only in the heart
cardiogenic shock shock, or lack of perfusion, brought on not by blood loss but by inadequate pumping action of the heart. It is often the result of a heart attack or congestive heart failure
cardiovascular system the heart and the blood vessels; the circulatory system
carina the fork at the lower end of the trachea where the two mainstem bronchi branch
carotid arteries the large neck arteries, one on each side of the neck, that carry blood from the heart to the head
carotid pulse the pulse felt along the large carotid artery on either side of the neck
carpals the wrist bones
cartilage tough tissue that covers the joint ends of bones and helps to form certain body parts such as the ear
cellular phone a phone that transmits through the air instead of over wires so that the phone can be transported and used over a wide area.
central nervous system (CNS) the brain and spinal cord
central pulses the carotid and femoral pulses, which can be felt in the central part of the body
central rewarming application of heat to the lateral chest, neck, armpits, and groin of a hypothermic patient
cephalic presentation when the baby appears head first during birth. This is the normal presentation
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord
cerebrovascular accident (CVA) See stroke
cervix the neck of the uterus at the entrance to the birth canal
chief complaint in emergency medicine, the reason EMS was called, usually in the patient’s own words
circulatory system see cardiovascular system
clavicle the collarbone
closed extremity injury an injury to an extremity with no associated opening in the skin
closed wound an internal injury with no open pathway from the outside
cold zone area where the command post and support functions that are necessary to control a hazardous material incident are located
colostomy like an ileostomy, a surgical opening in the wall of the abdomen with a bag in place to collect excretions from the digestive system
compensated shock when the patient is developing shock but the body is still able to maintain perfusion. See decompensated shock; shock
concussion mild closed head injury without detectable damage to the brain. Complete recovery is usually expected
conduction the direct transfer of heat from one material to another through direct contact
confidentiality the obligation not to reveal information obtained about a patient except to other health-care professionals involved in the patient's care, or under subpoena, or in a court of law, or when the patient has signed a release of confidentiality.
congestive heart failure (CHF) the failure of the heart to pump efficiently, leading to excessive blood or fluids in the lungs, the body, or both
consent permission from the patient for care or other action by the EMT-B. See also expressed consent; implied consent
constrict get smaller
contamination the introduction of dangerous chemicals, disease, or infectious materials. See also decontamination
contraindications specific signs or circumstances under which it is not appropriate and may be harmful to administer a particular drug to a patient
contusion a bruise; in brain injuries, a bruised brain caused when the force of a blow to the head is great enough to rupture blood vessels
convection carrying away of heat by currents of air or water or other gases or liquids
coronary arteries blood vessels that supply the muscle of the heart (myocardium)
coronary artery disease (CAD) diseases that affect the arteries of the heart
cranium the bony structure making up the forehead, top, back, and upper sides of the skull
crepitation the grating sound or feeling of broken bones rubbing together; also called crepitus
cricoid cartilage the ring-shaped structure that circles the trachea at the lower edge of the larynx
cricoid pressure pressure applied to the cricoid cartilage to suppress vomiting and bring the vocal cords into view. Also called Sellick’s maneuver
crime scene the location where a crime has been committed or any place that evidence relating to a crime may be found.
critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) a process in which teams of professional and peer counselors provide emotional and psychological support to EMS personnel who are or have been involved in a critical (highly stressful) incident
crowning when part of the baby is visible through the vaginal opening.
crush injury an injury caused when force is transmitted from the body’s exterior to its internal structures. Bones can be broken, muscles, nerves, and tissues damaged, and internal organs ruptured, causing internal bleeding
cyanosis a blue or gray color resulting from lack of oxygen in the body (see hypoxia)
danger zone the area around the wreckage of a vehicle collision or other accident within which special safety precautions should be taken
dead space areas of the lungs outside the alveoli where gas exchange with the blood does not take place.
DCAP-BTLS a memory aid to remember deformities, contusions, abrasions, punctures/penetrations, burns, tenderness, lacerations, and swelling—signs and symptoms of injury found by inspection or palpation during patient assessment
decompensated shock occurs when the body can no longer compensate for low blood volume or lack of perfusion. Late signs such as decreasing blood pressure become evident. See compensated shock; shock
decompression sickness a condition resulting from nitrogen trapped in the body’s tissues caused by coming up too quickly from a deep, prolonged dive. A symptom of decompression sickness is "the bends," or deep pain in the muscles and joints
decontamination the removal or cleansing of dangerous chemicals and other dangerous or infectious materials. See also contamination
delirium tremens (DTs) a severe reaction that can be part of alcohol withdrawal, characterized by sweating, trembling, anxiety, and hallucinations. Severe alcohol withdrawal with the DTs can lead to death if untreated
dermis the inner (second) layer of skin found beneath the epidermis. It is rich in blood vessels and nerves
designated agent an EMT-B or other person authorized by a Medical Director to give medications and provide emergency care. The transfer of such authorization to a designated agent is an extension of the Medical Director’s license to practice medicine
detailed physical exam an assessment of the head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, extremities, and posterior of the body to detect signs and symptoms of injury. The examination of the head includes detailed examination of the face, ears, eyes, nose, and mouth.
diabetes mellitus also called "sugar diabetes" or just "diabetes," the condition brought about by decreased insulin production. The person with this condition is a diabetic
diaphragm the muscular structure that divides the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. A major muscle of respiration
diastolic blood pressure the pressure remaining in the arteries when the heart is relaxed and refilling
digestive system system by which food travels through the body and is digested, or broken down into absorbable forms.
dilate get larger
dilution thinning down or weakening by mixing with something else. Ingested poisons are sometimes diluted by drinking water or milk
direct carry a method of transferring a patient from bed to stretcher in which two or more rescuers curl the patient to their chests, then reverse the process to lower the patient to the stretcher
direct ground lift a method of lifting and carrying a patient from ground level to a stretcher in which two or more rescuers kneel, curl the patient to their chests, stand, then reverse the process to lower the patient to the stretcher
disaster plan a predefined set of instructions for a community's emergency responders.
dislocation the disruption or "coming apart" of a joint
dissemination spreading.
distal farther away from the torso. Opposite of proximal
distention a condition of being stretched, inflated, or larger than normal
domestic terrorism terrorism directed against the government or population without foreign direction. See also terrorism; international terrorism.
do not resuscitate (DNR) order a legal document, usually signed by the patient and his physician, which states that the patient has a terminal illness and does not wish to prolong life through resuscitative efforts
dorsal referring to the back of the body or the back of the hand or foot. A synonym for posterior
dorsalis pedis artery artery supplying the foot, lateral to the large tendon of the big toe
downers depressants, such as barbiturates, that depress the central nervous system, often used to bring on a more relaxed state of mind
draw-sheet method a method of transferring a patient from bed to stretcher by grasping and pulling the loosened TOP sheet of the bed
dressing any material (preferably sterile) used to cover a wound that will help control bleeding and help prevent additional contamination
drowning death caused by changes in the lungs resulting from immersion in water. See also near-drowning
duty to act an obligation to provide care to a patient
dyspnea shortness of breath; labored or difficult breathing
dysrhythmia a disturbance in heart rate and rhythm.
eclampsia a severe complication of pregnancy that produces seizures and coma
ectopic pregnancy when implantation of the fertilized egg is not in the body of the uterus, occurring instead in the oviduct (fallopian tube), cervix, or abdominopelvic cavity
edema swelling resulting from a buildup of fluid in the tissues
embolism a thrombus, or clot of blood and plaque, that has broken loose from the wall of an artery
EMS Command the senior EMS person on the scene who establishes an EMS command post and oversees the medical aspects of a multiple-casualty incident
endocrine system system of glands that produce chemicals called hormones that help to regulate many body activities and functions.
endotracheal tube a tube designed to be inserted into the trachea. Oxygen, medication, or a suction catheter can be directed into the trachea through an endotracheal tube
epidermis the outer layer of skin
epiglottis a leaf-shaped structure that prevents food and foreign matter from entering the trachea
epilepsy a medical condition that sometimes causes seizures
epinephrine a hormone produced by the body. As a medication it dilates respiratory passages and is used to relieve severe allergic reactions
esophagus the tube that leads from the pharynx to the stomach
evaporation the change from liquid to gas. When the body perspires or gets wet, evaporation of the perspiration or other liquid into the air has a cooling effect on the body
evisceration an intestine or other internal organ protruding through a wound in the abdomen
exhalation a passive process in which the intercostal (rib) muscles and the diaphragm relax, causing the chest cavity to decrease in size and causing air to flow out of the lungs. Also called expiration
expiration See exhalation
exposure the dose or concentration of an agent multiplied by the time, or duration.
expressed consent consent given by adults who are of legal age and mentally competent to make a rational decision in regard to their medical well-being. See also consent; implied consent
extremities the portions of the skeleton that include the clavicles, scapulae, arms, wrists, and hands (upper extremities) and the pelvis, thighs, legs, ankles, and feet (lower extremities)
extremity lift a method of lifting and carrying a patient in which one rescuer slips hands under the patient’s armpits and grasps the wrists, while another rescuer grasps the patient’s knees
femoral artery the major artery supplying the thigh and leg
femur the large bone of the thigh
fetus the baby as it develops in the womb
fibula the lateral and smaller bone of the lower leg
flowmeter a valve that indicates the flow of oxygen in liters per minute.
flow-restricted, oxygen-powered ventilation device (FROPVD) a device that uses oxygen under pressure to deliver artificial ventilations. Has automatic flow restriction to prevent over-delivery of oxygen to the patient
focused history and physical exam the step of patient assessment that follows the initial assessment and includes the patient history, physical exam, and vital signs
Fowler’s position a sitting position
fracture any break in a bone
full-thickness burn a burn in which all the layers of the skin are damaged. There are usually areas that are charred black or areas that are dry and white. Also called a third-degree burn
gag reflex vomiting or retching that results when something is placed in the back of the pharynx. This is tied to the swallow reflex
gallbladder a sac on the underside of the liver that stores bile produced by the liver.
general impression impression of the patient's condition that is formed on first approaching the patient, based on the patient's environment, chief complaint, and appearance.
glottic opening the opening to the trachea
glucose a form of sugar, the body’s basic source of energy
golden hour the optimum limit of one hour between time of injury and surgery at the hospital. See also platinum ten minutes
Good Samaritan laws a series of laws, varying in each state, designed to provide limited legal protection for citizens and some health-care personnel when they are administering emergency care
hallucinogens mind-affecting or mind-altering drugs that act on the central nervous system to produce excitement and distortion of perceptions
hazardous material according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, "any substance or material in a form which poses an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce."
Hazardous-material incident the release of a harmful substance into the environment
head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver a means of correcting blockage of the airway by the tongue by tilting the head back and lifting the chin. Used when no trauma, or injury, is suspected. See also jaw-thrust maneuver
hematoma a swelling caused by the collection of blood under the skin or in damaged tissues as a result of an injured or broken blood vessel; in a head injury, a collection of blood within the skull or brain
hemorrhage bleeding, especially severe bleeding
hemorrhagic shock shock resulting from blood loss
HIPAA The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law protecting the privacy of patient-specific health care information and providing the patient with control over how this information is used and distributed.
hives red, itchy, possibly raised blotches on the skin that often result from allergic reactions
hot zone area immediately surrounding a hazardous material incident which extends far enough to prevent adverse effects from the released hazardous material to personnel outside the zone
humerus the bone of the upper arm, between the shoulder and the elbow
humidifier a device connected to the flowmeter to add moisture to the dry oxygen coming from an oxygen cylinder
hyperglycemia high blood sugar
hyperthermia an increase in body temperature above normal
hyperventilate to provide ventilations at a higher rate than normal
hypoglycemia low blood sugar
hypoperfusion inadequate perfusion of the cells and tissues of the body caused by insufficient flow of blood through the capillaries. Also called shock. See also perfusion
hypopharynx the area directly above the openings of both the trachea and the esophagus
hypothermia a generalized cooling that reduces body temperature below normal
hypovolemic shock shock resulting from blood or fluid loss
hypoxia an insufficiency of oxygen in the body’s tissues
ileostomy See colostomy
ilium the superior and widest portion of the pelvis
implied consent the consent it is presumed a patient or patient’s parent or guardian would give if they could, for example an unconscious patient or a parent who cannot be contacted when care is needed. See also consent; expressed consent
Incident Command the person or persons who assume overall direction of a large-scale incident
Incident Command System (ICS) See Incident Management System
Incident Management System (IMS) a system used for the management of a multiple-casualty incident, involving assumption of responsibility for command and designation and coordination of such elements as triage, treatment, transport, and staging
index of suspicion awareness often based on the mechanism of injury, that a patient may have suffered injuries
indications specific signs or circumstances under which it is appropriate to administer a drug to a patient
induced abortion expulsion of a fetus as a result of deliberate actions taken to stop the pregnancy
inferior away from the head; usually compared with another structure that is closer to the head (e.g., the lips are inferior to the nose). Opposite of superior
ingested poisons poisons that are swallowed
inhalation an active process in which the intercostal (rib) muscles and the diaphragm contract, expanding the size of the chest cavity and causing air to flow into the lungs. Also called inspiration
inhaled poisons poisons that are breathed in
inhaler a spray device with a mouthpiece that contains an aerosol form of a medication that a patient can spray into his airway
initial assessment the first element in assessment of a patient; steps taken for the purpose of discovering life-threatening problems.It includes: general impression, assessing mental status, assessing the ABC's, and determining the priority of the patient
injected poisons poisons that are inserted through the skin, for example by needle, snake fangs, or insect stinger
inspiration See inhalation
insulin a hormone produced by the pancreas or taken as a medication by many diabetics
international terrorism terrorism that is foreign-based or directed. See also terrorism, domestic terrorism.
interventions actions taken to correct a patient's problems.
intubation insertion of a tube. See also endotracheal tube; nasogastric tube; orotracheal intubation
involuntary muscle muscle that responds automatically to brain signals but cannot be consciously controlled
irreversible shock when the body has lost the battle to maintain perfusion to vital organs. Cell and tissue damage occur, especially to the liver and kidneys. Even if adequate vital signs return, the patient may die days later due to organ failure
ischium the lower, posterior portions of the pelvis
jaw-thrust maneuver correcting blockage of the airway by moving the jaw forward without tilting the head or neck. Used when trauma, or injury, is suspected to open the airway without causing further injury to the spinal cord in the neck.
joints places where bones articulate, or meet
jugular vein distention (JVD) bulging of the neck veins
labor the stages of the delivery of a baby that begin with the contractions of the uterus and end with the expulsion of the placenta
laceration a cut
large intestine the muscular tube that removes water from waste products received from the small in testine and removes anything not absorbed the by body toward excretion from the body.
laryngoscope an illuminating instrument that is inserted into the pharynx to permit visualization of the pharynx and larynx
larynx the voicebox
lateral to the side, away from the midline of the body
lateral recumbent position lying on the side. See recovery position
liability being held legally responsible
ligaments connective tissues that connect bone to bone
limb presentation when an infant’s limb protrudes from the vagina before the appearance of any other body part
liver the largest organ of the body, produces bile to assist in breakdown of fats and assists in the metabolism of various substances in the body.
local cooling cooling or freezing of particular (local) parts of the body
lungs the organs where exchange of atmospheric oxygen and waste carbon dioxide take place
mainstem bronchi See bronchi
malar the cheek bone, also called the zygomatic bone
malleolus protrusion on the side of the ankle. The lateral malleolus, at the lower end of the fibula, is seen on the outer ankle; the medial malleolus, at the lower end of the tibia, is seen on the inner ankle
mandible the lower jaw bone
manual traction the process of applying tension to straighten and realign a fractured limb before splinting. Also called tension
manubrium the superior portion of the sternum
maxillae the two fused bones forming the upper jaw
mechanism of injury a force or forces that may have caused injury
meconium staining amniotic fluid that is greenish or brownish-yellow rather than clear as a result of fetal defecation; an indication of possible maternal or fetal distress during labor
medial toward the midline of the body
medical direction oversight of the patient-care aspects of an EMS system by the Medical Director.
Medical Director a physician who assumes the ultimate responsibility for the patient care aspects of the EMS system
mental status level of responsiveness. See also AVPU
metacarpals the hand bones
metatarsals the foot bones
mid-axillary line a line drawn vertically from the middle of the armpit to the ankle
mid-clavicular line a vertical line through the center of each clavicle
midline an imaginary line drawn down the center of the body, dividing it into right and left halves
minute volume the amount of air breathed in during each respiration multiplied by the number of breaths per minute.
miscarriage See spontaneous abortion
mobile radio a two-way radio that is used or affixed in a vehicle
multiple birth when more than one baby is born during a single delivery
multiple-casualty incident (MCI) any medical or trauma incident involving multiple patients
muscles tissues or fibers that cause movement of body parts and organs
musculoskeletal system the system of bones and skeletal muscles that support and protect the body and permit movement
narcotics a class of drugs that affect the nervous system and change many normal body activities. Their legal use is for the relief of pain. Illicit use is to produce an intense state of relaxation
nasal (NAY-zul) bones the bones that form the upper third, or bridge, of the nose
nasal cannula a device that delivers low concentrations of oxygen through two prongs that rest in the patient’s nostrils
nasogastric tube (NG tube) a tube designed to be passed through the nose, nasopharynx, and esophagus. It is used to relieve distention of the stomach in an infant or child patient
nasopharyngeal airway a flexible breathing tube inserted through the patient’s nose into the pharynx to help maintain an open airway
nasopharynx the area directly posterior to the nose
nature of illness what is medically wrong with a patient
near-drowning the condition of having begun to drown, but still able to be resuscitated
negligence a finding of failure to act properly in a situation in which there was a duty to act, needed care as would reasonably be expected of the EMT-B was not provided, and harm was caused to the patient as a result
nervous system the system of brain, spinal cord, and nerves that govern sensation, movement, and thought. See also central nervous system; peripheral nervous system; autonomic nervous system
neurogenic shock hypoperfusion due to nerve paralysis (sometimes caused by spinal cord injuries) resulting in the dilation of blood vessels that increases the volume of the circulatory system beyond the point where it can be filled
9-1-1 system a system for telephone access to report emergencies. A dispatcher takes the information and alerts EMS or the fire or police departments as needed.
nitroglycerin a medication that dilates the blood vessels
nonrebreather mask a face mask and reservoir bag device that delivers high concentrations of oxygen. The patient’s exhaled air escapes through a valve and is not rebreathed
occlusion blockage, as of an artery by fatty deposits
occlusive dressing any dressing that forms an airtight seal
ongoing assessment a procedure for detecting changes in a patient’s condition. It involves four steps: repeating the initial assessment, repeating and recording vital signs, repeating the focused history and physical exam, and checking interventions
open extremity injury an extremity injury in which the skin has been broken or torn through from the inside by an injured bone or from the outside by something that has caused a penetrating wound with associated injury to the bone
open wound an injury in which the skin is interrupted, exposing the tissue beneath
OPQRST a memory device for the questions asked to get a description of the present illness: onset, provokes, quality, radiation, severity, time
oral glucose a form of glucose (a kind of sugar) given by mouth to treat an awake patient (who is able to swallow) with an altered mental status and a history of diabetes
orbits the bony structures around the eyes; the eye sockets
organ donor a person who has completed a legal document that allows for donation of organs and tissues in the event of death
oropharyngeal airway a curved device inserted through the patient’s mouth into the pharynx to help maintain an open airway
oropharynx (OR-o-FAIR-inks) the area directly posterior to the mouth
orotracheal intubation placement of an endotracheal tube through the mouth and into the trachea. See also endotracheal tube
oxygen a gas commonly found in the atmosphere. Pure oxygen is used as a drug to treat any patient whose medical or traumatic condition may cause them to be hypoxic, or low in oxygen
oxygen cylinder a cylinder filled with oxygen under pressure
oxygen saturation (SpO2) the ratio of the amount of oxygen present in the blood to the amount that could be carried, expressed as a percentage.
palmar referring to the palm of the hand
palpation touching or feeling. A pulse or blood pressure may be palpated with the fingertips
pancreas a gland located behind the stomach that produces insulin and produces juices that assist in digestion of food in the duodenum of the small intestine.
paradoxical motion movement of a part of the chest in the opposite direction to the rest of the chest during respiration
parietal pain a localized, intense pain that arises from the parietal peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity.
partial-thickness burn a burn in which the epidermis (outer layer of skin) is burned through and the dermis (second layer) is damaged. Burns of this type cause reddening, blistering, and a mottled appearance. Also called a second-degree burn
passive rewarming covering a hypothermic patient and taking other steps to prevent further heat loss and help the body rewarm itself
patella the kneecap
patent airway an airway (passage from nose or mouth to lungs) that is open and clear and will remain open and clear, without interference to the passage of air into and out of the body.
pathogens the organisms that cause infection, such as viruses and bacteria
pedal edema accumulation of fluid in the feet or ankles
penetrating trauma injury caused by an object that passes through the skin or other body tissues
perfusion the supply of oxygen to and removal of wastes from the cells and tissues of the body as a result of the flow of blood through the capillaries
perineum the surface area between the vagina and anus
peripheral nervous system (PNS) the nerves that enter and leave the spinal cord and that travel between the brain and organs without passing through the spinal cord
peripheral pulses the radial, brachial, posterior tibial, and dorsalis pedis pulses, which can be felt at peripheral (outlying) points of the body
peritoneum the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity (the parietal peritoneum) and covers the organs within it (the visceral peritoneum).
permeation the movement of a substance through a surface or, on a molecular level, through intact materials; penetration, or spreading.
personal protective equipment (PPE) equipment such as eyewear, mask, gloves, gown, or turnout gear or helmet that protect the EMS worker from infection and/or from exposure to hazardous materials and the dangers of rescue operations
phalanges the toe bones and finger bones
pharmacology the study of drugs, their sources, characteristics, and effects
pharynx the study of body function
placenta the organ of pregnancy where exchange of oxygen, foods, and wastes occurs between a mother and fetus
placenta previa a condition in which the placenta is formed in an abnormal location (low in the uterus and close to or over the cervical opening) that will not allow for a normal delivery of the fetus; a cause of prebirth bleeding
plane a flat surface formed when slicing through a solid object
plantar referring to the sole of the foot
plasma the fluid portion of the blood
platelets components of the blood; membrane-enclosed fragments of specialized cells
platinum ten minutes the optimum limit of ten minutes at the scene with a serious trauma patient. See also golden hour
pocket face mask a device, usually with a one-way valve, to aid in artificial ventilation. Also acts as a barrier to prevent contact with a patient’s breath or body fluids. Can be used with supplemental oxygen when fitted with an oxygen inlet
poison any substance that can harm the body by altering cell structure or functions
portable radio a hand-held two-way radio
positional asphyxia death of a person due to a body position that restricts breathing for a prolonged time
positive pressure ventilation See artificial ventilation
posterior the back of the body or body part. Opposite of anterior
posterior tibial artery artery supplying the foot, behind the medial ankle
power grip gripping with as much hand surface as possible in contact with object being lifted, all fingers bent at the same angle, hands at least 10 inches apart
power lift also called the squat-lift position. a lift from a squatting position with weight to be lifted close to the body, feet apart and flat on the ground, body weight on or just behind balls of feet, back locked in. The upper body is raised before the hips
preeclampsia a complication of pregnancy where the woman retains large amounts of fluid and has hypertension (high blood pressure). She may also experience seizures and/or coma during birth, which is very dangerous to the infant
premature infant any newborn weighing less than 51/2 pounds or born before the 37th week of pregnancy
pressure dressing a bulky dressing held in position with a tightly wrapped bandage to apply pressure to help control bleeding
pressure point a site where a main artery lies near the surface of the body and directly over a bone. Pressure on such a point can stop distal bleeding
pressure regulator a device connected to an oxygen cylinder to reduce cylinder pressure to a safe pressure for delivery of oxygen to a patient
priapism persistent erection of the penis that may result from spinal injury and some medical problems
priority the decision regarding the need for immediate transport of the patient vs. further assessment and care at the scene.
prolapsed umbilical cord when the umbilical cord presents first and is squeezed between the vaginal wall and the baby’s head
prone lying face down
protocols lists of steps, such as assessment and interventions, to be taken in different situations. Protocols are developed by the Medical Director of an EMS system
proximal closer to the torso. Opposite of distal
pubis the medial anterior portion of the pelvis
pulmonary arteries the vessels that carry blood from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs
pulmonary edema accumulation of fluid in the lungs
pulmonary veins the vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart
pulse the rhythmic beats felt as the heart pumps blood through the arteries
pulse oximeter an electronic device for determining the amount of oxygen carried in the blood, known as the oxygen saturation or SpO2.
pulse quality the rhythm (regular or irregular) and force (strong or weak) of the pulse
pulse rate the number of pulse beats per minute
pulseless electrical activity (PEA) a condition in which the heart’s electrical rhythm remains relatively normal, yet the mechanical pumping activity fails to follow the electrical activity, causing cardiac arrest
puncture wound an open wound that tears through the skin and destroys underlying tissues. A penetrating puncture wound can be shallow or deep. A perforating puncture wound has both an entrance and an exit wound
pupil the black center of the eye
quality improvement a process of continuous self-review with the purpose of identifying and correcting aspects of the system that require improvement
radial artery artery of the lower arm. It is felt when taking the pulse at the wrist
radial pulse the pulse felt at the wrist
radiation sending out energy, such as heat, in waves into space
radius the lateral bone of the forearm
rapid trauma assessment a rapid assessment of the head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, extremities, and posterior of the body to detect signs and symptoms of injury
reactivity in the pupils of the eyes, reacting to light by changing size
recovery position lying on the side. Also called lateral recumbent position
red blood cells components of the blood. They carry oxygen to and carbon dioxide away from the cells
referred pain pain that is felt in a location other than where the pain originates.
rem roentgen equivalent (in) man; a measure of radiation dosage.
repeater a device that picks up signals from lower-power radio units such as mobile and portable radios and retransmits them at a higher power. It allows low-power radio signals to be transmitted over longer distances
respiration breathing
respiratory arrest when breathing completely stops
respiratory failure the reduction of breathing to the point where oxygen intake is not sufficient to support life
respiratory quality the normal or abnormal (shallow, labored, or noisy) character of breathing
respiratory rate the number of breaths taken in one minute
respiratory rhythm the regular or irregular spacing of breaths
respiratory system the system of nose, mouth, throat, lungs, and muscles that brings oxygen into the body and expels carbon dioxide
routes of entry pathways into the body, generally by absorption, ingestion, injection, or inhalation.
rule of nines a method for estimating the extent of a burn
rule of palm a method for estimating the extent of a burn. The palm of the patient’s hand, which equals about 1% of the body’s surface area, is compared with the patient’s burn to estimate its size
SAMPLE history the present and past medical history of a patient, so called because the elements of the history begin with the letters of the word SAMPLE
scapula the shoulder blade
scene size-up steps taken by a crew when approaching the scene of an emergency call: checking scene safety, taking BSI precautions, noting the mechanism of injury or nature of the patient’s illness, determining the # of patients, and deciding for additional resources
scope of practice a set of regulations and ethical considerations that define the scope, or extent and limits, of the EMT-B’s job
secondary devices destructive devices, such as bombs, placed to be activated after an initial terrorist attack and timed to injure emergency responders and others who rush in to help care for those targeted by an initial attack.
seizure a sudden change in sensation, behavior, or movement. The most severe form of seizure produces violent muscle contractions called convulsions
Sellick’s maneuver See cricoid pressure
shock See hypoperfusion. See also cardiogenic shock; compensated shock; decompensated shock; irreversible shock; hemorrhagic shock; hypovolemic shock; neurogenic shock
shock position See Trendelenburg position
side effect any action of a drug other than the desired action
sign an indication of a patient’s condition that is objective, or can be observed by another person; an indication that can be seen, heard, smelled, or felt by the EMT-B or others
skeleton the bones of the body.
skin the layer of tissue between the body and the external environment.
small intestine the muscular tube between the stomach and the large intestine, divided into the duodenum, the jejunum, and ileum, which receives partially digested food from the stomach and continues digestion. Nutrients are absorbed by the body through its walls.
sphygmomanometer the cuff and gauge used to measure blood pressure
spinous process the bony bump on a vertebra
spleen an organ located in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen that acts as a blood filtration system and a reservoir for reserves of blood.
spontaneous abortion when the fetus and placenta deliver before the 28th week of pregnancy; commonly called a miscarriage
sprain the stretching and tearing of ligaments
staging officer the person responsible for overseeing and keeping track of ambulances and ambulance personnel at a multiple-casualty incident. The staging officer will direct ambulances to treatment areas at the request of the transportation officer
staging sector the area where ambulances are parked and other resources are held until needed
standing orders a policy or protocol that is issued by a Medical Director that authorizes EMT-Bs and others to perform particular skills in certain situations
status epilepticus a prolonged seizure or when a person suffers two or more convulsive seizures without regaining full consciousness
sternum the breastbone
stillborn born dead
stoma a permanent surgical opening in the neck through which the patient breathes. See also tracheostomy
stomach muscular sac between the esophagus and the small intestine where digestion of food begins.
strain muscle injury resulting from over-stretching or over-exertion of the muscle
strategies broad general plans designed to achieve desired outcomes.
stroke a condition of altered function caused when an artery in the brain is blocked or ruptured, disrupting the supply of oxygenated blood or causing bleeding into the brain. Also called a cerebrovascular accident (CVA)
stylet a long, thin, flexible metal probe
subcutaneous layers the layers of fat and soft tissues found below the dermis
sucking chest wound an open chest wound through which air is "sucked" into the chest cavity
suctioning use of a vacuum device to remove blood, vomitus, and other secretions or foreign materials from the airway
sudden death a cardiac arrest that occurs within two hours of the onset of symptoms. The patient may have no prior symptoms of coronary artery disease
superficial burn a burn that involves only the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. It is characterized by reddening of the skin and perhaps some swelling. An example is a sunburn. Also called a first-degree burn
superior toward the head (e.g., the chest is superior to the abdomen). Opposite of inferior
supine lying on the back
supine hypotensive syndrome dizziness and a drop in blood pressure caused when the woman in advanced pregnancy is in a supine position and the weight of the uterus, infant, placenta, and amniotic fluid compress the inferior vena cava, Reducing output
symptom an indication of a patient’s condition that cannot be observed by another person but rather is subjective, or felt and reported by the patient
syncope fainting.
systolic blood pressure the pressure created when the heart contracts and forces blood out into the arteries
tachycardia a rapid heart rate; any pulse rate above 100 beats per minute
tactics specific operational actions to accomplish as signed tasks.
tarsals the ankle bones
tearing pain sharp pain that feels as if body tissues are being torn apart.
temporal bone bone that forms part of the side of the skull and floor of the cranial cavity. There are a right and a left temporal bone
temporomandibular joint the movable joint formed between the mandible and the temporal bone, also called the TM joint
tendons tissues that connect muscle to bone
terrorism a violent act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any segment to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
thorax the chest
thrombus a clot formed of blood and plaque attached to the inner wall of an artery
tibia the medial and larger bone of the lower leg
torso the trunk of the body; the body without the head and the extremities
tourniquet a device used for bleeding control that constricts all blood flow to and from an extremity
toxin a poisonous substance secreted by bacteria, plants, or animals
trachea the "windpipe"; the structure that connects the pharynx to the lungs
tracheostomy a surgical incision in the neck held open by a metal or plastic tube. See also stoma
traction splint a special splint that applies constant pull along the length of a lower extremity to help stabilize the fractured bone and to reduce muscle spasms in limb. Traction splints are used primarily on femoral shaft fractures
transportation officer the person responsible for managing transportation of patients to hospitals from the scene of a multiple-casualty incident
treatment officer the person responsible for overseeing treatment of patients who have been triaged at a multiple-casualty incident
treatment sector the area in which patients are treated at a multiple-casualty incident
Trendelenburg position a position in which the patient’s feet and legs are higher than the head. Also called shock position
trending the changes in a patient’s condition over time, such as slowing respirations or rising pulse rate, that may show improvement or deterioration, and that can be shown by documenting repeated assessments
triage the process of quickly assessing patients in a multiple-casualty incident and assigning each a priority for receiving treatment according to the severity of their illness or injuries. From a French word meaning "to sort."
triage officer the person responsible for overseeing triage at a multiple-casualty incident
triage sector the area in which secondary triage takes place at a multiple casualty incident
triage tag color coded tag indicating the priority group to which a patient has been assigned
ulna the medial bone of the forearm
umbilical cord the fetal structure containing the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the placenta
universal dressing a bulky dressing
uppers stimulants such as amphetamines that affect the central nervous system to excite the user
uterus the muscular abdominal organ where the fetus develops; the womb
vagina the birth canal
vallecula a groove-like structure anterior to the epiglottis
valve a structure that opens and closes to permit the flow of a fluid in only one direction.
vein any blood vessel returning blood to the heart
venae cavae the superior vena cava and the inferior vena cava. These two major veins return blood from the body to the right atrium. (Venae cavae is plural, vena cava singular.)
venom a toxin (poison) produced by certain animals such as snakes, spiders, and some marine life forms
venous bleeding bleeding from a vein, which is characterized by dark red or maroon blood and as a steady flow, easy to control
ventilation the breathing in of air or oxygen or providing breaths artificially. See also artificial ventilation
ventral referring to the front of the body. A synonym for anterior
ventricles the two lower chambers of the heart. There is a right ventricle (which sends oxygen-poor blood to the lungs) and a left ventricle (which sends oxygen-rich blood to the body)
ventricular fibrillation (VF) condition in which the heart’s electrical impulses are disorganized, preventing the heart muscle from contracting normally
ventricular tachycardia (V-Tach) a condition in which the heartbeat is quite rapid; if rapid enough, ventricular tachycardia will not allow the heart’s chambers to fill with enough blood between beats to produce blood flow sufficient to meet the body’s needs
venule the smallest kind of vein
vertebrae the 33 bones of the spinal column (singular vertebra)
visceral pain a poorly localized, dull or diffuse pain that arises from the abdominal organs, or viscera.
vital signs outward signs of what is going on inside the body, including respiration; pulse; skin color, temperature, and condition (plus capillary refill in infants and children); pupils; and blood pressure
vocal cords two thin folds of tissue within the larynx that vibrate as air passes between them, producing sounds
volatile chemicals vaporizing compounds, such as cleaning fluid, that are breathed in by the abuser to produce a "high."
voluntary muscle muscle that can be consciously controlled
warm zone area at a hazardous material incident where personnel and equipment decontamination and hot-zone support take place
water chill chilling caused by conduction of heat from the body when the body or clothing is wet
watt the unit of measurement of the output power of a radio
weaponization packaging or producing a material, such as chemical, biological, or radiological agent, so that it can be used as a weapon, for example by dissemination in a bomb detonation or as an aerosol sprayed over an area or introduced into a ventilation system
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) weapons, devices, or agents intended to cause widespread harm and/or fear among a population.
white blood cells components of the blood. They produce substances that help the body fight infection
wind chill chilling caused by convection of heat from the body in the presence of air currents
withdrawal referring to alcohol or drug withdrawal in which the patient’s body reacts severely when deprived of the abused substance
xiphoid process the inferior portion of the sternum
zoonotic able to move through the animal-human barrier; transmissible from animals to humans.
zygomatic bones the cheekbones
Created by: LivLogik