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Vocab from the AAOS Emergency Care and Transportation Book 10th Edition.

accessory muscles

The secondary muscles of respiration. They include the neck muscles (sternocleidomastoids), the chest pectoralis major muscles, and the abdominal muscles.

auscultate

To listen to sounds within an organ with a stethoscope.

AVPU scale

A method of assessing the level of consciousness by determining whether the patient is awake and alert, responsive to verbal stimuli or pain, or unresponsive; used principally early in the assessment process.

blood pressure

The pressure of circulating blood against the walls of the arteries.

bradycardia

A slow heart rate, less than 60 beats/min.

breath sounds

An indication of air movement in the lungs, usually assessed with a stethoscope.

capillary refill

A test that evaluates distal circulatory system function by squeezing (blanching) blood from an area such as a nail bed and watching the speed of its return after releasing the pressure.

capnography

A noninvasive method that can quickly and efficiently provide information on a patient's ventilatory status, circulation, and metabolism.

capnometry

The use of a capnometer, a device that measures the amount of expired carbon dixoide.

carbon dioxide

A component of air that typically makes up 0.3% of air at sea level; also a waste product exhaled during expiration by the respiratory system.

chief complaint

The reason a patient called for help; also, the patient's response to questions such as "What's wrong?" or "What happened?"

coagulate

To form a clot to plug an opening in an injured blood vessel and stop bleeding.

colorimetric devices

Capnometer or end-tidal carbon dioxide detectors are devices that use a chemical reaction to detect the amount of carbon dioxide present in expired gases by changing colors (qualitative measurement rather than quantitative).

conjunctiva

The delicate membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the exposed surface of the eye.

crepitus

A grating or grinding sensation caused by fractured bone ends or joints rubbing together; also air bubbles under the skin that produce a crackling sound or crinkly feeling.

cyanosis

A bluish gray skin color that is caused by a reduced level of oxygen in the blood.

DCAP-BTLS

A mnemonic for assessment in which each area of the body is evaluated for Deformities, Contusions, Abrasions, Punctures/penetrations, Burns, Tenderness, Lacerations, and Swelling.

diaphoretic

Characterized by profuse sweating.

diastolic pressure

The pressure that remains in the arteries during the relaxing phase of the heart's cycle (diastole) when the left ventricle is at rest.

end-tidal CO2

The amount of carbon dioxide present in exhaled breath.

focused assessment

A type of physical assessment that is typically performed on patients who have sustained nonsignificant mechanisms of injury or on responsive medical patients. This type of examination is based on the chief complaint and focuses on one body system or part

frostbite

Damage to tissues as the result of exposure to cold; frozen or partially frozen body parts are frostbitten

full-body scan

A systematic head-to-toe examination that is performed during the secondary assessment on a patient who has sustained a significant mechanism of injury, is unconscious, or is in critical condition (Pg 291 - 295)

general impression

The overall initial impression that determines the priority for patient care; based on the patient's surroundings, the mechanism of injury, signs and symptoms, and the chief complaint

Golden Period

The time from injury to definitive care, during which treatment of shock and traumatic injuries should occur because survival potential is best

guarding

Involuntary muscle contractions (spasms) of the abdominal wall in an effort to protect an inflamed abdomen; a sign of peritonitis

history taking

A step within the patient assessment process that provides detail about the patient's chief complaint and an account of the patient's signs and symptoms

hypertension

Blood pressure that is higher than the normal range

hypotension

Blood pressure that is lower than the normal range

hypothermia

A condition in which the internal body temperature falls below 95°F (35°C), usually as a result of prolonged exposure to cool or freezing temperatures

incident command system (ICS)

A system implemented to manage disasters and mass-casualty incidents in which section chiefs, including finance, logistics, operations, and planning, report to the incident commander

jaundice

Yellow skin or sclera that is caused by liver disease or dysfunction

labored breathing

Breathing that requires greater than normal effort; may be slower or faster than normal and usually requires the use of accessory muscles

mechanism of injury (MOI)

The way in which traumatic injuries occur; the forces that act on the body to cause damage

nasal flaring

Flaring out of the nostrils, indicating that there is an airway obstruction

nature of illness (NOI)

The general type of illness a patient is experiencing

OPQRST

An abbreviation for key terms used in evaluating a patient's pain: Onset, Provocation or Palliation, Quality, Region/radiation, Severity, and Timing of pain

orientation

The mental status of a patient as measured by memory of person (name), place (current location), time (current year, month, and approximate date), and event (what happened)

palpate

To examine by touch

paradoxical motion

The motion of the portion of the chest wall that is detached in a flail chest; the motion—in during inhalation, out during exhalation—is exactly the opposite of normal chest wall motion during breathing

perfusion

Circulation of blood within an organ or tissue in adequate amounts to meet current needs of the cells

personal protective equipment (PPE)

Clothing or specialized equipment that provides protection to the wearer

pertinent negatives

Negative findings that warrant no care or intervention

primary assessment

A step within the patient assessment process that identifies and initiates treatment of immediate and potential life threats

pulse

The pressure wave that occurs as each heartbeat causes a surge in the blood circulating through the arteries

pulse oximetry

An assessment tool that measures oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in the capillary beds

rales

A crackling, rattling breath sound that signals fluid in the air spaces of the lungs; also called crackles

reassessment

A step within the patient assessment process that is performed at regular intervals to identify and treat changes in a patient's condition, A patient in unstable condition should be reassessed every 5 minutes, whereas a patient in stable condition should be reassessed every 15 minutes

responsiveness

The way in which a patient responds to external stimuli, including verbal stimuli (sound), tactile stimuli (touch), and painful stimuli

retractions

Movements in which the skin pulls in around the ribs during inspiration

rhonchi

Coarse, low-pitched breath sounds heard in patients with chronic mucus in the upper airways

SAMPLE history

A brief history of a patient's condition to determine signs and symptoms, allergies, medications, pertinent past history, last oral intake, and events leading to the injury or illness

scene size-up

A step within the patient assessment process that involves a quick assessment of the scene and the surroundings to provide information about scene safety and the mechanism of injury or nature of illness before you enter and begin patient care

sclera

The tough, fibrous, white portion of the eye that protects the more delicate inner structures

secondary assessment

A step within the patient assessment process in which a systematic physical examination of the patient is performed, The examination may be a systematic full-body scan or a systematic assessment that focuses on a certain area or region of the body, often determined through the chief complaint

shallow respirations

Respirations that are charcterized by little movement of the chest wall (reduced tidal volume) or poor chest excursion

sign

Objective findings that can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, or measured

sniffing position

An upright position in which the patient's head and chin are thrust slightly forward to keep the airway open

spontaneous respirations

Breathing that occurs with no assistance

standard precautions

Protective measures that have traditionally been developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in dealing with objects, blood, body fluids, and other potential exposure risks of communicable disease

stridor

A high-pitched noise heard primarily on inspiration

subcutaneous emphysema

A characteristic crackling sensation felt on palpation of the skin caused by the presence of air in soft tissues

symptom

Subjective findings that the patient feels but that can be identified only by the patient

systolic pressure

The increased pressure in an artery with each contraction of the ventricles (systole)

tachycardia

A rapid heart rate, more than 100 beats/min

tidal volume

The amount of air (in milliliters) that is moved in or out of the lungs during one breath

triage

The process of sorting patients based on the severity of injury and medical need to establish treatment and transportation priorities

tripod position

An upright position in which the patient leans forward onto two arms stretched forward and thrusts the head and chin forward

two- to three-word dyspnea

A severe breathing problem in which a patient can speak only two to three words at a time without pausing to take a breath

vasoconstriction

Narrowing of a blood vessel, such as with hypoperfusion or cold extremeties

vital signs

The key signs that are used to evaluate the patient's overall condition, including respirations, pulse, blood pressure, level of consciousness, and skin characteristics

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