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.
A drug used to treat certain heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) by helping to stabilize heart rhythm. (see IV push)
Against Medical Advice. a term used with a patient who checks himself out of a hospital against the advice of a person's doctor. While it may not be medically wise for the person to leave early, in most cases the wishes of the patient are considered first. The patient is usually asked to sign a form stating that he is aware that he or she is leaving the facility against medical advice, and the AMA term is used on reports concerning the patient. This is for legal reasons in case there are complications to limit liability on the part of the medical facility.
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.
occurs when the beat of the heart is no longer originating from the sinus node, and the rhythm is abnormal.
is a state of no cardiac electrical activity, hence no contractions of the myocardium and no cardiac output or blood flow. Asystole is one of the conditions required for a medical practitioner to certify death.
a procedure in which a bag is attached outside the mouth so that breathing can be done mechanically for the patient.
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.
A test that determines the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood, as well as the pH.
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)
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)
Short for chest X ray, typically done when the doctor suspects pneumonia or to rule out pneumonia.
shorthand for cesarean section, which is the surgical delivery of a baby through the abdominal wall.
term used when a patient doesn't make it to the bathroom in time and has a bowel movement.
when the throat is cut to insert a direct tube for breathing when a intubation is not possible due to blockage of the throat.
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)
a lung disease that causes the production of thick mucus in the lungs, hampering breathing.
an instrument inserted into the trachea through the mouth to facilitate breathing.
is an elevated blood level (above 5.0 mmol/L) of the electrolyte potassium . The prefix hyper-means high (contrast with hypo-, meaning low). The middle kal refers to kalium, which is Latin for potassium. The end portion of the word, -emia, means "in the blood". Extreme degrees of hyperkalemia are considered a medical emergency due to the risk of potentially fatal arrhythmias.
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)
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."
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.
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.
A lumbar puncture, sometimes called a spinal tap, is a procedure in which a small amount of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, called the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), is removed and examined.
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.
A procedure where they insert a syringe into the chest and drain the fluid from the pericardium.(which is the sack around your heart.
A procedure done to check for internal bleeding in the abdomen following a trauma.
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.
a package containing envelopes for the collection of hair, sperm, and blood samples of a rape victims, as well as the official reporting forms.
a blood volume substitute made of salt and water, a temporary substitute for lost blood.
Sudden infant death syndrome is any sudden and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant aged one month to one year. The term cot death is sometimes used in the United Kingdom, and crib death in North America.
On a heart monitor, one heartbeat is reflected as a PQRST wave. A segment of the wave is the ST.
is the compression of the heart caused by blood or fluid accumulation in the space between the myocardium (the muscle of the heart) and the pericardium (the outer covering sac of the heart).
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.
Blood test to determine what drugs are in a patient's system. RUDS is short for Random Urine Drug Screen.
the system of prioritizing patients in an emergency situation in which there are a great number of injured or ill.
A powerful drug used to dissolve a blood clot in the coronary artery that is causeding a heart attack. (seeangioplasty)