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

arterial air embolism

Air bubbles in the arterial blood vessels.

blunt trauma

An impact on the body by objects that cause injury without penetrating soft tissues or internal organs and cavities.


A phenomenon in which speed causes a bullet to generate pressure waves, which cause damage distant from the bullet's path.

coup-contrecoup injury

Dual impacting of the brain into the skull; coup injury occurs at the point of impact; contrecoup injury occurs on the opposite side of impact, as the brain rebounds.


The slowing of an object.


Resistance that slows a projectile, such as air.

Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score

An evaluation tool used to determine level of consciousness, which evaluates and assigns point values (scores) for eye opening, verbal response, and motor response, which are then totaled; effective in helping predict patient outcomes.

index of suspicion

Awareness that unseen life-threatening injuries may exist when determining the mechanism of injury.

kinetic energy

The energy of a moving object.

mechanism of injury (MOI)

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

medical emergencies

Emergencies that require EMS attention because of illnesses or conditions not caused by an outside force.

multisystem trauma

Trauma that affects more than one body system.

penetrating trauma

Injury caused by objects, such as knives and bullets, that pierce the surface of the body and damage internal tissues and organs.

potential energy

The product of mass, gravity, and height, which is converted into kinetic energy and results in injury, such as from a fall.


Any object propelled by force, such as a bullet by a weapon.

pulmonary blast injuries

Pulmonary trauma resulting from short-range exposure to the detonation of explosives.

Revised Trauma Score (RTS)

A scoring system used for patients with head trauma.


The path a projectile takes once it is propelled.

trauma emergencies

Emergencies that are the result of physical forces applied to a patient's body.

trauma score

A score that relates to the likelihood of patient survival with the exception of a severe head injury. It calculates a number from 1 to 16, with 16 being the best possible score. It takes into account the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, respiratory rate, respiratory expansion, systolic blood pressure, and capillary refill.

tympanic membrane

The eardrum; a thin, semitransparent membrane in the middle ear that transmits sound vibrations to the internal ear by means of auditory ossicles.


The product of force times distance.

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