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Massage Therapy Terminology & Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


 

 
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A-AB
A
Assessment and Diagnosis Data for SOAP charting format.  
AAPC
American Academy of Procedural Coders in Salt Lake City UT.  
A-, An-
Absence or lack of; Anaerobic the absence of oxygen, and Acardia the lack of a heart; Not; No; Without  
Ab-
Away or departing from; ABduction, away from midline  
Abandonment
To withdraw support, especially in spite of duty, allegiance, or responsibility. Unilateral termination of care without the patient's consent and without making provisions for transferring care to another medical professional with the skills and training necessary to meet the needs of the patient.
Abatacept (Rx)
Brand name; Orencia. Generic name; Abatacept. Classified as an immunosuppressant. It reduces symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, used in the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis. It works by weakening your immune system and decreasing inflammation. Clients who take Orencia may experience dizziness, headache, or mild pain at injection site. It is best to use caution around injection site.
Abdomen
The body cavity that contains the major organs of digestion and excretion; region located below the diaphragm and above the pelvis.
Abdomin/o
Abdomen  
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)
A condition in which the walls of the aorta in the abdomen weaken and blood leaks into the layers of the vessel, causing it to bulge.
Abdominal-thrust maneuver
The preferred method to dislodge a severe airway obstruction in adults and children; also called the Heimlich maneuver.
ABduction
Lateral movement away from the midline of the trunk; motion of a limb away from the midline.
Abortion
Termination of pregnancy before the embryo or fetus is viable outside the uterus.
Abrasion
Damage to the epidermis and dermis from shearing forces; commonly referred to as a scrape; loss or damage of the superficial layer of skin as a result of a body part rubbing or scraping across a rough or hard surface.
Abruptio placenta
A premature separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus.
Absorption
The movement of food molecules from the digestive tract to the circulatory or lymphatic systems; the process by which medications travel through body tissues until they reach the bloodstream.
Abuse
The improper use, handling, or treatment, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit.  
AC
 
~ac
Pertaining to  
Acanth/o
Spiny; Thorny  
Acar/o
Mites  
Access
Gaining entry to an enclosed area and reaching a client.
Access port
A sealed hub on an abministration set designed for sterile access to the intravenous fluid.
Accessory muscles
The secondary muscles of respiration; including the neck (SCM or SternoCleidoMastoid), the chest (pectoralis major), and the abdominal muscles.
Accommodation
Adaptation in response to differences or changing needs; Adjustement of the eye for seeing objects at a close range.
Accountability
An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions and consequences.  
Acetabul/o
Acetabulum (hip socket)  
Acetabulum
The rounded cavity on the external surface of the coxal bone; the head of the femur articulates with the acetabulum to form the coxal joint; the depression on the lateral pelvis where its three component bones (pubis, ischium, and ilium) join, in which the femoral head fits snugly.
Acetaminophen (Rx)
Brand names; Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol. Generic name; Acetaminophen. Classified as a Nonopioid pain reliever. It reduces fever and is a mild analgesic used in the treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), frozen shoulder, migraine headache, tension headache, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains and strains, tendinosis, and transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). It works by elevating the body's overall pain threshold so you feel less pain. It also eliminates excess heat for fever reducing. Clients who take Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol may experience liver damage from prolonged use. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.

WebMD.com

Drugs.com

Tylenol.com

RxList

Acetaminophen and Codeine (Rx)
Brand name; Tylenol #3. Generic name; Acetaminophen and Codeine. Classified as a Narcotic. It relieves moderate to severe pain and is used in the treatment of Migraine headaches. It works by changing how your body feels in response to pain. Clients who take Tylenol #3 may experience headache, drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to offer water, adjust positioning when needed, and help client on/off the table.
Acetylcholine
A neurotransmitter that stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and the skeletal muscles and is involved in memory.
Achilles tendon
The tendon that attaches the calf muscles to the calcaneus, or heel bone; also called the calcaneal tendon.
Acid
A substance that liberates hydrogen ions when in an aqueous solution; compare with base.
Acidosis
A condition in which the blood has an excess hydrogen ion concentration and a decreased pH; a pathologic condition that results from the accumulation of acids in the body.
Acne
A chronic inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles caused by intractions between bacteria, sebum, and sex hormones.
Acou-
Hearing; Acoustics= sound science.  
Acous/o
Hearing  
Acoust/o
Hearing, sound  
Ac-, Acro-
Peak, Extreme or Extremity; Acromion= Peak of scapula.  
Acr/o
Extremeties; Top; Extream point  
Acromi/o
Acromion (Extension of the shoulder bone)  
Acromioclavicular (AC) joint
A plane or gliding joint where the body projections of the scapula and the clavicle meet at the top of the shoulder.
Acromion
The outer projection of the spine of the scapula; the highest point of the shoulder.
Acrosome
An enzyme-containing structure covering the nucleus of the sperm.
Actin/o
Light  
Actin
A contractile protine of muscle.
Action
The therapeutic effect of a medication on the body.
Action Potential
An electrical event occurring when a stimulus of sufficient intensity is applied to a neuron or muscle cell, allowing sodium ions to move into the cell and reverse the polarity.
Activate
To become active; Make active or more active.  
Activated charcoal
Form of charcoal with a high surface area that is specially formulated to bind to substances; used to prevent absorption of swallowed substances from the intestine; an oral medication that binds and absorbs ingested toxins in the gastrointestinal tract for treatment of some poisonings and medication overdoses; charcoal is ground into a very fine powder that provides the greatest possible surface area for binding medications that have been taken by mouth; it is carried on the EMS unit.
Active Duty Personnel
Government service personnel on current assignment with one of the uniformed services.  
Active Immunity
Immunity produced by an encounter with an antigen; provides immunologic memory.
Active transport
The transport of substances into or out of a cell using energy; net movement of a substance across a membrane against a concentration or electrical gradient; requires release and use of cellular energy.
Activities of daily living
The basic activities a person usually accomplishes during a normal day, such as eating, dressing, and bathing.
Acu/o
Sharp; Severe; Sudden  
~acusis
Hearing  
Acupuncture
The practice of inserting needles into specific points on meridians, or channels, to stimulate or sedate energy flow to regulate or alter body function. A branch of Chinese medicine, acupuncture is the art and science of manipulating the flow of Qi, the basic life force, and xue, the blood, body fluids, and nourishing essences. Western medicine uses acupuncture primarily to reduce pain. Acupressure, which uses digital pressure, follows the same Asian principles.
Acupressure
A system of balancing the body’s energy by applying pressure to specific acupoints to release tension and increase circulation. The many hands-on methods of stimulating the acupressure points can strengthen weaknesses, relieve common ailments, prevent health disorders and restore the body’s vital life force.  
Acute abdomen
A condition of sudden onset of pain within the abdomen, usually indicating peritonitis; immediate medical or surgical treatment is necessary.
Acute coronary syndrome
A term used to describe a group of symptoms caused by myocardial ischemia; includes angina and myocardial infarction.
Acute disease
Disease that has a specific beginning, signs, and symptoms that develop quickly, last a short time, and then disappear
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI)
A heart attack; death of heart muscle following obstruction of blood flow to it. Acute in this context means "new" or "happening right now."
Acute stress reactions
Reactions to stress that occurs during a stressful situation.
Acute pain
Pain that is usually temporary, of sudden onset, and easily localized. Acute pain can be a symptom of a disease process or a temporary aspect of medical treatment. Acting as a warning signal, acute pain activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).
Acyclovir (Rx)
Brand name; Zovirax. Generic name; Acyclovir. Classified as an Antiviral. It kills specific viruses used in the treatment of Bell's palsy. It works by slowing the growth and spread of herpes virus in the body, it is not a cure, it only lessens the symptoms of the infection. Clients who take Zovirax may experience hypotension, headache, or dry mouth. It is best to offer water, adjust positioning when needed, and help client on/off the table.

WebMD.com

Drugs.com

RxList.com

RxList

AD
 
Ad-
Toward or To; ADduction= Toward the midline  
~ad
Toward  
Adam's apple
The firm prominence in the upper part of the larynx formed by the thyroid cartilage. It is more prominent in men than in women.
Adaptation
Any change in structure or response to suit a new environment; decline in the transmission of a sensory nerve when a receptor is stimulated continuosly and without change in stimulus intensity.
Addiction
A state of overwhelming obsession or physical need to continue the use of a drug or agent.
ADduct
To move toward the midline of the body.
ADduction
A medical movement toward the midline of the body; motion of a limb toward the midline.
Aden-, Adeno-
Gland; Adeniform= Gland Shaped; Adenohypophysis= Glandular undergrowth.  
Aden/o
Gland  
Adenoid/o
Adenoids  
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
A compound that stores energy in the muscles. When ATP is broken down during catabolic reactions, it releases energy; the nucleotide involved in energy matabolism; used to store energy.
Adhesion
Abnormal adherence of collagen fibers to surrounding structures during immobilization, following trauma or as a complication of surgery, which restricts normal elasticity of the structures involved
Adip/o
Fat  
Adipose
Fatty
Admitting Physician
The physician who arranged for the patient's admission to the hospital but who does not necessarily have control over the patient's care (see attending physician).  
Adolescents
Persons who are 12 to 18 years of age.
Adren-
Toward the Kidney; Adrenal gland= Adjacent to kidney.  
Adren/o
Adrenal Gland  
Adrenal/o
Adrenal Gland  
Adrenal glands
Hormone-producing glands located superior to the kidneys; each consists of a medulla and cortex areas; endocrine glands located on top of the kidneys that release adrenaline when stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).
Adrenergic
Stimulation of the sympathetic nourvous system (SNS) causing a release of epinephrine and similar neurotransmitters and hormons; pertaining to nerves that release the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, or noradrenaline (such as adrenergic nerves, adrenergic response); the term also pertains to the receptors acted on by norepinephrine, that is, the adrenergic receptors.
Adrenergic fibers
Nerve fibers that release norepinephrine.
Adsorption
The process of binding or sticking to a surface.
Adult Primary Policy
The patient is the policy holder or subscriber; the person responsible for purchasing the policy.  
Adult Secondary Policy
The patient is listed as a dependent on a second full benefit policy.  
Advanced directive
Written documentation that specifies medical treatment for a competent patient should the patient become unable to make decisions; also called a living will or health care directive.
Advanced EMT (AEMT)
An individual who has training in specific aspects of advanced life support, such as intravenous therapy, and the administration of certain emergency medications.
Advanced Life Support (ALS)
Advanced lifesaving procedures, some of which are now being provided by the EMT; care provided to patients with use of drugs, advanced invasive airway procedures using cardiac monitor defibrillators, and advanced knowledge and judgment; these skills are generally reserved for pre-hospital care providers trained above the EMT level.
Adventitious breath sounds
Abnormal breath sounds such as wheezes, rhonchi, and rales.
Adverse Effect
A pathological reaction following the ingestion of or exposure to drugs or other chemical substances. These effects may result from cumulative effects of a drug/ substance, the patient's hypersensitivity to the substance, unexpected side effcts, or an interaction between two or more prescribed drugs.  
Advil (Rx)
Brand name; Advil or Motrin. Generic name; Ibuprofen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It reduces fever, is an anti-inflammatory, and an analgesic used for treatment of whiplash, transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), sprains and strains, scoliosis, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, muscle spasm, multiple sclerosis, hyperkyphosis, migraine headache, fibromyalgia, delayed-onset muscle soreness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Clients who take Advil or Motrin may experience upset stomach, ringing in the ears, or headache. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
AE-AH
 
Aero-
Air; Aerobic Respiration= Metabolism requiring oxygen.  
Aer/o
Air  
Aerobic
Requiring oxygen to live or grow.
Aerobic metabolism
Metabolism that can proceed only in the presence of oxygen.
Aerobic respiration
Respiration in which oxygen is consumed and glucose is broken down entirely; water, carbon dioxide, and large amounts of ATP are the final products.
Af-
Toward; Afferent Neurons= Carry impulses towards the CNS.  
AFDC
Aid to Families with Dependent Children  
Afferent
Toward a center or point of reference
Afferent nerves
Sensory nerves that link sensory receptors with the central nervous system (CNS) and transmit sensory information
Afferent neurons
Nerve cells that carry impulses toward the central nervous system (CNS)
Afterload
The force or resistance against which the heart pumps.
Agglutin/o
Clumping; Sticking together  
Agglutination
Clumping of (foreign) cells, induced by cross-linking of antigen-antibody complexes.
Agglutinins
Antibodies in blood plasma that cause clumping of corpuscles or bacteria.
Agglutinogens
Antigens that stimulate the formation of a specific agglutinin; Antigens found on red blood cells that are responsible for determining the ABO blood group classification.
Aggressive language
Communicates undertones of anger through the words, the voice tone, or both.  
Aging
The process by which the temporary bond between the organophosphate and acetycholinesterase undergoes hydrolysis, resulting in a permanent covalent bond.
Agitated delirium
A condition of disorientation, confusion, and possible hallucinations coupled with purposeless, restless physical activity.
~agogue
Producer, leader  
~agon
To assemble; Gather  
Agon-
Contest; Agonist= Prime mover muscle.  
Agonal gasps
Slow, shallow, irregular breaths or occasional gasping breaths; sometimes seen in dying patients.
Agonist
A muscle that bears the primary responsibility for causing or controling a certain movement or joint motion through a specified plane of motion; also known as the primary or prime mover; a medication that causes stimulation of receptors.
Agora-
Marketplace  
~agra
Excessive pain  
AHA
American Hospital Association  
AHIMA
American Health Information Management Association in Chicago IL.  
AI-AK
 
Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
A welfare program covering pregnant women and young children who are members of households where income falls below the poverty level.  
AIDS
Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome; caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); symptoms include severe weight loss, night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, and opportunistic infections
Ailment-
Nourish; Ailmentary Canal= Digestive tract.  
Air ambulances
Fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters that have been modified for medical care; used to evacuate and transport patients with life-threatening injuries to treatment facilities.
Air embolism
The presence of air in the veins, which can lead to cardiac arrest if it enters the heart.
Airborne transmission
The spread of an organism in aerosol form.
Airway
The upper airway tract or passage above the larynx, which includes the nose, mouth, and throat.
Airway adjuncts
Devices such as oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways that are designed to prevent airway obstruction by the tongue.
AL
 
A La Carte Billing
The breaking down of an integrated major surgical package into various components for the purpose of differential coding and obtaining a higher reimbursement.  
~al
Pertaining to  
Alb-
White; Corpus Albicans= White scar tissue on an overy.  
Alb/o
White  
Albin/o
White  
Albumin/o
Albumin (protein)  
Albumin
A protein found in virtually all animals; the most abundant plasma protein.
Albuminuria
Presence of albumin in the urine.
Aleve (Rx)
Brand name; Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn. Generic name; Naproxen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It is an Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, fever reducer used for treatment of whiplash, tendinosis, bursitis, neuropathy, ankylosing spondylosis, osteoarthritis, migraine headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and delayed-onset muscle soreness. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain. Clients who take Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, or Naprosyn may experience headache, ringing in the ears, and upset stomach. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Alexander technique
A re-education of the mind and body that intends to change movement habits in everyday activities. It aims to release tension and improve ease and freedom of movement, balance, support, and coordination. Developed by F.M. Alexander.  
Alges/o
Sensitivity to pain  
~algesia
Sensitivity to pain  
~algia
Pain  
Alimentary
Pertaining to the digestive organs.
Alimentary canal
The tube-shaped portion of the digestive system known as the gastrointestinal tract; the alimentary canal is about 30 feet long and contains several special structures throughout its length.
Alkalosis
A condition in which the blood has a lower hydrogen ion concentration than normal, and an increased pH; the buildup of excess base (lack of acids) in the body fluids.
All/o
Other  
Allegra (Rx)
Brand name; Allegra. Generic name; Fexofenadine hydrochloride. Classified as an Antihistamine. It relieves seasonal allergy symptoms, used for treatment of seasonal allergies. It works by reducing the effects of histamine, a natural chemical that the body releases to tackle allergens by producing sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose. Clients who take Allegra may experience fatigue or drowsiness. It is best to not position prone, and help client on/off table if needed.
Allel-
Of one another; Alleles= Alternative expression of a gene.  
Allergen
A substance that causes an allergic reaction.
Allergic reaction
The body's exaggerated immune response to an internal or surface agent.
Allergic rhinitis
An allergic response usually to outdoor airborne allergens such as pollen or sometimes indoor allergens such as dust mites or pet dander; also called hay fever.
Allergy
Overzealous immune response to an otherwise harmless antigen; also called hypersensitivity.
All-or-none response
The property of a muscle fiber (cell) contraction by which, when contraction is initiated, the fiber contracts to its full ability or does not contract at all.
Allowed Charge or Fee
The maximum amount, according to the individual policy, that insurance will pay for each procedure or service performed.  
Alopecia
Hair loss condition or baldness on parts or all of the body
Alpha
A type of energy that is emitted from a strong radiologic source; it is the least harmful penetrating type of radiation and connot travel fast or through most objects.
Alpha-adrenergic receptors
Portions of the nervous system that, when stimulated, can cause constriction of blood vessels.
Altered mental status
A change in the way a person thinks and behaves that may signal disease in the central nervous system (CNS) or elsewhere in the body.
Altered state
A state of consciousness in which we are more deeply relaxed, less aware of our thinking minds, and more open and vulnerable than we are in our day-to-day functioning.  
Alveol/o
Alveolus; Air sac; Small sac  
Alveolar ventilation
The volume of air that reaches the alveoli; it is determined by subtracting the amount of dead space air from the tidal volume.
Alveoli
The air sacs of the lungs in which the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place.
Alveolus
A general term referring to a small cavity or depression; an air sac in the lungs.
AM
 
AMA
American Medical Association  
Ambi-
Around, on both sides, about  
Ambien (Rx)
Brand name; Ambien. Generic name; Zolpidem tartrate. Classified as a Sedative hypnotic and is used for sedation for insomnia. It initiates sleep quickly (within 15 minutes) and has a short half-life of 2-3 hours. It is not meant to maintain sleep unless delivered in Ambien CR (Controlled-Release) form. Is meant for a short-term treatment of insomnia. Clients who take Ambien may have abdominal pain, dry mouth, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to use deep tissue treatment work with caution, and ask about positioning during treatment.
Ambient temperature
The temperature of the surrounding environment.
Ambiguity
When a communication is not clear, the message received by the listener can be very different from the message the speaker intended to send.  
Ambly/o
Dim; Dul  
Ambulance
A specialized vehicle for treating and transporting sick and injured patients.  
Ambulatory Patient Group (APG)
The prospective payments of outpatient claims based on the reason for the encounter with the patient.  
Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC)
An independent surgical facility certified and accredited by state health departments for the purpose of performing surgery on patients who are expected to be discharged the same day surgery is performed. ASCs performing surgery on Medicare patients must also be accredited with Health Care Financing Administration or HCFA.  
American Academy of Procedural Coders (AAPC)
A Salt Lake City- based organization established in 1988 to ensure professional standards for procedural coders and to increase recognition within the health care industry of the coders and the professional services they perform.  
American Hospital Association (AHA)
Professional organization promoting the ideal and functions of acute care hospitals in the United States.  
American Medical Association (AMA)
The largest United States professional association of physicians, and publisher of Physician's Current Terminology, 4th Edition, (PCT-4).  
American standard system
A safety system for large oxygen cylinders, deigned to prevent the accidental attachment of a regulator to a cylinder containing the wrong type of gas.
Amaricans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Comprehensive legislation that is designed to protect individuals with disabilities against discrimination.
~amine
Nitrogen compound  
Amino acid
An organic compound containing nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; the building block of protein.
Amitriptyline hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep. Generic name; Amitriptyline hydrochloride. Classified as a Tricyclic antidepressant. It relieves depression and is used in the treatment of stress, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and neuropathy. It works by affecting the balance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (natural occurring substance) in the brain. Clients who take Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep may experience drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to help the client on/off table, abdominal massage may help relieve constipation, and make sure the client is alert before driving home.
Amma
A specialized form of skilled (somatic) touch therapy that combines deep tissue bodywork with the application of pressure, friction and touch to specific acupoints, superficial primary and tendino- muscle energy channels, muscles, ligaments and joints. The techniques are aimed to remove blockages and free the flow of Qi (energy) in the body.  
AMMA Therapy®
A highly-refined and complex system of bodywork therapy utilizing techniques and treatment strategies combining the use of traditional Chinese medical principles for assessing and evaluating general imbalances in the energetic system and a Western approach to organ dysfunctions. The treatment includes the use of dietary therapy, herbs, nutritional supplements and the external application of herbal preparations.  
Ammon/o
Ammonium  
Amni/o
Amnion (sac surrounding the embryo)  
Amnion
The fetal membrane that forms a fluid-filled sac around the embryo
Amniotic sac
The fluid-filled, baglike membrane in which the fetus develops.
Amphi-
On both sides; Of both kinds; Amphiarthroses= slightly movable joints.  
Amphiarthrosis
A slightly movable joint that connects bone to bone with fibrocartilage or hyaline growth cartilage. The two types in the human body are symphyses and synchondroses
Amputation
An injury in which part of the body is completely severed.
Amyl/o
Startch  
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
A progressive disease that begins in the central nervous system (CNS) and involves the degeneration of motor neurons and the subsequent atrophy of voluntary muscle. Also called Lou Gehrig's disease.
AN
 
~an
Pertaining to  
Ana-
Apart; Up; Again; Anaphase= Seperating chromosomes in mitosis  
An/o
Anus  
Anabolism
Chemical process in the body that join simple compounds to form more complex compounds of carbohydrates, liquids, protins, and nucleic acids. The processes require energy supplied from adenosine triphosphate; the energy-requiring building phase of metabolism.
Anacin (Rx)
Brand names; Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol. Generic name; Acetaminophen. Classified as a Nonopioid pain reliever. It reduces fever and is a mild analgesic used in the treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), frozen shoulder, migraine headache, tension headache, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains and strains, tendinosis, and transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). It works by elevating the body's overall pain threshold so you feel less pain. It also eliminates excess heat for fever reducing. Clients who take Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol may experience liver damage from prolonged use. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Anaerobic
Not requiring oxygen.
Anaerobic metabolism
The metabolism that takes place in the absence of oxygen; the principle product is lactic acid.
Anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock)
Exaggerated, life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction to a previously encountered antigen; caused by the release of histamine from the cells; an extreme, life-threatening systemic allergic reaction that may include shock and respiratory failure.
Anaplasia
Meaning without shape, the term describes abnormal or undifferentiated cells that fail to mature into specialized cell types. Anaplasia is a characteristic of malignant cells.
Anaprox (Rx)
Brand name; Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn. Generic name; Naproxen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It is an Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, fever reducer used for treatment of whiplash, tendinosis, bursitis, neuropathy, ankylosing spondylosis, osteoarthritis, migraine headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and delayed-onset muscle soreness. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain. Clients who take Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, or Naprosyn may experience headache, ringing in the ears, and upset stomach. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Anastomos-
Come together; Arteriovenous anastomosis= Artery and vein connections.  
Anatomical Position
Erect posture with face forward, arms at sides, forearms supinated (palms face forward) and fingers and thmbs in extension.
Anatomic position
A standard position in which the person stands upright with feet slightly apart, arms hanging at sides, palms facing forward with thumbs outward; the position of reference in which the patient stands facing you, arms at the side, with palms of the hands forward.
Anatomic range of motion (ROM)
The amount of motion available to a joint based on the structure of the joint and determined by the shape of the joint surfaces, joint capsule, ligaments, muscle bulk, and surrounding musculotendinous and bony structures.
Anatomy
The science of the structures of the body or a living organism and the relationship of its parts.
Andr/o
Male  
Androgens
Male sex hormones.
Anemia
Reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood caused by a decreased number of erythrocytes or decreased percentage of hemoglobin in the blood; A decrease in the normal number of red blood cells or in the amount of hemoglobin or iron in the blood.
Aneurysm-
A widening; Aortic Aneurism= Week spots in blood vessels that enlarge.  
Aneurysm/o
Aneurysm (widening of blood vessel)  
Aneurysm
A blood-filled sac in an artery wall caused by dilation or weakening of the wall; a permanent dilation of a blood vessel caused by weakness or damage to its structure. The most common sites of aneurysms are the aorta and the arteries of the brain; a swelling or enlargement of part of a blood vessel, resulting from weakening of the vessel wall.
Angi-
Vessel; Angiitis= Lymph or blood vessel inflammation.  
Angi/o
Vessel (blood)  
Angin-
Choked; Angina Pedctoris= Chest pain or discomfort, heart decreases in oxygen-rich blood, feels like squeezing or choking.  
Angina Pectoris
Severe, suffocating chest pain caused by brief lack of oxygen supply to heart muscles; Chest pain or pressure frequently brought on by exercise and relieved by rest; caused by ischemia in the heart and often treated with nitroglycerin; transient (short-lived) chest discomfort caused by partial or temporary blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle.
Anis/o
Unequal  
Anisocoria
Naturally occurring uneven pupil size.
Ankyl/o
Stiff  
Anorexia
Loss of appetite or desire for food
Anoxia
A deficiency of oxygen
Anthr/o
Antrum of stomach  
Ant-, Anti-
Opposed to; Aganist; Preventing; Inhibiting; Antagonist= Muscle that opposes the agonist or prime mover; Antibody= Plasma cell protein released to bind with an antigen immune or protecting system.  
Antagonist
A muscle that acts in opposition to an agonist, it is usually located on the opposite side of a joint from the agonist and the agonist performs the prime movement, both the antagonist and agonist can be assisted by synergistic muscles; a medication that binds to a receptor and blocks other medications.
Ante-
Before; Forward  
Antecubital
The anterior surface of the elbow.
Anter/o
Front  
Anterior
The front of an organism, organ, or part; the ventral surface; the front surface of the body; the side facing you in the standard anatomic position.
Anterior pelvis rotation
Anterior movement of the upper pelvis; the iliac crest tilts forward in a saggittal plane
Anterior tilt of pelvis
Tilt in which the vertical plane through the anterior superior iliac spines (ASIS's) are anterior to the vertical plane through the symphysis pubis
Anterograde (posttraumatic) amnesia
Inability to remember events after an injury.
Anthr/o
Antrum of the stomach  
Anthrac/o
Coal  
Anthrax
A disease caused by deadly bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) that lay dormant in a spore (protective shell); the germ is released from the spore when exposed to the optimal temperature and moisture. The routes of entry are inhalation, cutaneous, and gastrointestinal (from consuming food that contains spores).
Anti-
Against  
Antibody
A specialized substance produced by the body that can provide immunity against specific antigens; A specific protein produced by leucocytes to destroy or suppress antigens
Antidote
A substance that is used to neutralize or counteract a poison.
Antigen
Any substance- including toxins, foreign proteins, or bacteria- that when introduced to the body, is recognized as foreign, thus activating the immune response system, causeing the leucocytes in the body to produce antibodies
Antivenin
A serum that counteracts the effect of venom from an animal or insect.
Anus
The distal end of the digestive tract; the outlet of the rectum
Anxi/o
Uneasy; Anxious  
Anxious-avoidant attachment
A bond between an infant and his or parent or caregiver in which the infant is repeatedly rejected and develops an isolated lifestyle that does not depend on the support and care of others.
AO-AQ
Aort/o
Aorta (largest artery)  
Aorta
The major systemic artery that arises from the left ventricle of the heart; the large artery that carries oxygen and nutrients out of the heart; the main artery that receives blood from the left ventricle and delivers it to all the other arteries that carry blood to the tissues of the body.
Aortic aneurysm
A weakness in the wall of the aorta that makes it susceptible to rupture.
Aortic body
A receptor in the aortic arch sensitive to changing oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH levels of the blood
Aortic valve
The one-way valve that lies between the left ventricle and the aorta and keeps blood from flowing back into the left ventricle after the left ventricle ejects its blood into the aorta: one of four heart valves.
APG
Ambulatory Payment Group  
Apex (plural apices)
The pointed extremity of a conical structure.
Apgar score
A scoring system for assessing the status of a newborn that assigns a number value to each of five areas of assessment.
Aphasia
The inability to understand and/or produce speech.
~apheresis
Removal  
Aphth/o
Ulcer  
Apical surface
The surface of epithelial cells that is exposed to the external surface such as the atmostphere or a passage in the body
Aplastic crisis
A condition in which the body stops producing red blood cells; typically caused by infection.
Apnea
Absence of spontaneous breathing.
Apneustic center
Portion of the pons that increases the length of inspiration and decreases the respiratory rate.
Apo-
Off; Away  
Apo-Ami Triptyline (Rx)
Brand name; Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep. Generic name; Amitriptyline hydrochloride. Classified as a Tricyclic antidepressant. It relieves depression and is used in the treatment of stress, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and neuropathy. It works by affecting the balance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (natural occurring substance) in the brain. Clients who take Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep may experience drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to help the client on/off table, abdominal massage may help relieve constipation, and make sure the client is alert before driving home.
Apocrine
A type of sweat gland that discharges a thicker and more odoriferous form of sweat
Apocrine gland
The less numerous type of sweat glands that produce a secretion containg water, salts, and protein and are found along areas of the body with denser (closely compacted) hair growth
Apokyn (Rx)
Brand name; Apokyn. Generic name; Apomorphine hydrochloride. Classified as a Non-ergoline dopamine agonist. It reduces symptoms of Parkinson's disease used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It works by helping to restore the balance of dopamine (natural occurring substance) in the brain. Clients who take Apokyn may experience drowsiness, yawning, flushing, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to help the client on/off table, use deep tissue techniques with caution, and make sure the client is alert before driving home.
Apomorphine hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Apokyn. Generic name; Apomorphine hydrochloride. Classified as a Non-ergoline dopamine agonist. It reduces symptoms of Parkinson's disease used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It works by helping to restore the balance of dopamine (natural occurring substance) in the brain. Clients who take Apokyn may experience drowsiness, yawning, flushing, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to help the client on/off table, use deep tissue techniques with caution, and make sure the client is alert before driving home.
Aponeur/o
Aponeurosis (type of tendon)  
Aponeurosis
Fibrous or membranous sheet connecting a muscle and the part it moves; A broad, flat sheet of fibrous connective tissue
Apparent life-threatening event (ALTE)
An event that causes unresponsiveness, cyanosis, and apnea in an infant, who then resumes breathing with stimulation.
Append/o
Appendix  
Appendage
A structure attached to the body such as the upper and lower extremities.
Appendic/o
Appendix  
Appendicitis
Inflammation of the appendix.  
Appendicular skeleton
The part of the skeleton composed of the limbs and their attchments, bones of the limbs and limb girdles that are attached to the axial skeleton; the portion of the skeletal system that comprises the arms, legs, pelvis, and shoulder girdle.  
Appendix
A wormlike extension of the large intestine; a small tubular structure that is attached to the lower border of the cecum in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen.  
Applied ethics
The manner in which principles of ethics are incorporated into professional conduct.  
Apprenticeship
A system of training practitioners in a structured competency-based set of skills that combines on-the-job training with academic instruction. Apprenticeships often last many years.  
Aque/o
Water  
Aqueous humor
The watery fluid in the anterior chambers of the eye  
AR
 
~ar
Pertaining to  
Arachn/o
Spider  
Arachnoid
Weblike; specifically, the weblike middle layer of the three meninges  
Arbitration
This is an alternative form of dispute resolution that takes place out of court. All parties in the dispute select an impartial third party (arbitrator), agree in advance to comply with the arbitrator's award, and participate in a hearing where evidence and testimonies are presented. The arbitrator's decision is usually final, and courts rarely reexamine it.  
~arche
Beginning  
Areola
The circular, pigmented area surrounding the nipple  
Arm
The portion of the upper limb between the shoulder and elbow joints  
Armed Forces
The Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines.  
Arousal
A physiological and psychological state of being awake, reactive to stimuli, or ready for activity. It involves the brain stem, the autonomic nervous system, and the endocrine system.  
Arrector pili
Tiny, smooth muscles attached to hair follicles, which cause the hair to stand upright when activated  
Arrhythmia
An irregular or abnormal heart rhythm.  
Arsenic/o
Arsenic  
Arter/o
Artery  
Arteri/o
Artery  
Arterial air embolism
Air bubbles in the arterial blood vessels.  
Arteriol/o
Arteriole (small artery)  
Arterioles
The smallest arteries, minute artery; the smallest branches of arteries leading to the vast network of capillaries. Direction of blood flow: heart, artery, arteriole, capillary, venule, vein, and back to the heart; under the control of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), constrict and dialate to regulate blood flow and pressure.  
Arteriosclerosis
A term meaning hardening of the arteries and referring to arteries that have become brittle and have lost their elasticity; any of a number of proliferative and degenerative changes in the arteries leading to decreased elasticity.  
Artery
A blood vessel that transports oxygenated blood from the heart to the body or deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs; a vessel that carries blood away from the heart; a blood vessel, consisting of three layers of tissue (elastic tissue, smooth muscle, connective tissue or collagen) and smooth muscle that carries blood away from the heart.  
Arthr/o
Joint  
~arthria
Articulate (speak distinctly)  
Arthritis
The most common type of joint disorder, arthritis literally means inflammation of the joints.  
Arthrokinematics
Movement of bone surface in the joint capsule including roll, spin and slide.  
Arthrology
The study of joints.  
Articul/o
Joint  
Articular cartilage
A pearly layer of specialized cartilage covering the articular surfface (contact surfaces on the ends) of bones in synovial joints.  
Articulation
Another word for joint, the structure created when bones connect to each other; point where two bones meet.  
Articular facet
A small articular surface of a bone, especially a vertebra.  
Articular process
A small flat projection found on the surface of the arches of the vertebrae on either side incorporating the articular surface.  
Articulation
A joint or connection of bones.  
~artresia
Closure, Occlusion  
Atreto-
Closed, Lacking an opening  
~ary
Pertaining to  
AS
 
Asbest/o
Asbestos  
ASC
Ambulatory Surgical Center  
Ascending tracts
Tracts that carry sensory information to the brain.  
Ascites
Fluid in the abdomen.  
~ase
Enzyme  
Aspir/o
Removal  
Aspiration
In the context of airway, the introduction of vomitus or other foreign material into the lungs.  
Aspirin (Rx)
Brand name; Astrin, Empirin, or Ecotrin. Generic name; Aspirin. Classified as a Salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and fever reducer and is used in the treatment of stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, or tension headaches. It works by reducing substances in the body (prostaglandins) that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Clients who take Astrin, Empirin, and Ecotrin may experience upset stomach and increased bruising. It is best to use caution with deep massage techniques and be aware of the client's decreased pain perception.
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid or ASA)
A medication that is an antipyretic (reduces fever), analgesic (reduces pain), anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation), and potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation (clumping).  
Assault
Unlawfully placing a client in fear of bodily harm.  
~assay
To examine; Analyze  
Assertion sequence
A communication process designed to minimize misunderstandings in boundary discussions and to help in the skillful responses to any challenges. It consists of four stages of increasingly forceful conversations.  
Assertive language
Communicates clearly, with minimal emotional content. The voice tone is neutral - not a monotone, but a natural intonation free from hostility, whining, hesitation, and anything else that might potentially distract or upset the person who's listening.  
Assessment
A systematic method or approach to gathering information about a client's condition and symptoms.  
Assignment of Insurance Benefits
An authorization granted by the patient to allow the insurance company to pay claim benefits directly to the provider of care. It is to the provider's benefit to have the patient sign the "assignment of benefits" statement on each claim form. All benefits due to the provider will be mailed directly to the provider rather than to the patient.  
~asthenia
Lack of strength  
Asthma
Respiratory disorder characterized by recurring episodes of sudden onset of breathing difficulty, wheezing on expiration and inspiration as a result of constriction of the bronchi, coughing, and thick mucous bronchial secretions; also known as reactive airway disease; disease or allergic response characterized by bronchial spasms and difficult breathing; an acute spasm of the smaller air passages, called bronchioles, associated with excessive mucus production and with swelling of the mucous lining of the respiratory passage.  
Astigmatism
A visual defect resulting from irregularity in the lens or cornea of the eye causing the image to be out of focus  
Astr/o
Star, Star-shaped: Astroblastoma, Astrocytoma  
Astrin (Rx)
Brand name; Astrin, Empirin, or Ecotrin. Generic name; Aspirin. Classified as a Salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and fever reducer and is used in the treatment of stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, or tension headaches. It works by reducing substances in the body (prostaglandins) that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Clients who take Astrin, Empirin, and Ecotrin may experience upset stomach and increased bruising. It is best to use caution with deep massage techniques and be aware of the client's decreased pain perception.
Asystole
The complete absence of any electrical cardiac activity, appearing as a straight or almost straight line on an ECG strip.  
AT-AZ
 
Atarax (Rx)
Brand name; Atarax. Generic name; Hydroxyzine embonate. Classified as an Antihistamine, sedative, and antispasmodic. It promotes calmness and reduces nausea or vomiting. It is used for the treatment of stress and allergies. It works by blocking histamine. Clients who take Atarax may experience drowsiness or dry mouth. It is best to use deep tissue techniques with caution, and offer water.
Ataxic respirations
Irregular, ineffective respirations that may or may not have an identifiable pattern.  
Atel/o
Incomplete  
Atelectasis
Collapse of the alveolar air spaces of the lungs.  
Ather/o
Plaque (fatty substance)  
Atherosclerosis
A condition in which fatty plaque is deposited in medium and large arteries; changes in the walls of the large arteries consisting of lipid deposits on the artery walls. The early stage of arteriosclerosis and increased rigidity; a disorder in which cholesterol and calcium build up inside the walls of the blood vessels, forming plaque, which eventually leads to partial or complete blockage of blood flow.  
~ation
Process; Condition  
Ativan (Rx)
Brand name; Ativan. Generic name; Lorazepam. Classified as a Benzodiazepine anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic. It relieves anxiety, promotes calmness, and sleep. it is used for treatment of stress. It works by enhancing the effects of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) a natural chemical made in the brain that blocks brain signals (neurotransmissions). Clients who take Ativan may experience restlessness, drowsiness, and dry mouth. It is best to use deep tissue massage techniques with caution. Offer a calming environment and water.
Atlas
First cervical vertebra, articulating with the occipital bone and rotating around the odontoid process of the axis  
Atmo-
Stream; Vapor  
Atom
The smallest particle of an element that retains and exhibits the properties of that element. Atoms are made up of protiens, neutrons and electrons; indivisible by ordinary chemical means  
Atomic mass number
The sum of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom  
Atomic number
The number of protons in an atom  
Atomic symbol
A one- or two-letter symbol indicating a particular element  
Atomic weight
Average of the mass numbers of all of the isotopes of an element  
Atreto-
Closed, Lacking an opening  
Atri/o
Atrium (upper heart chamber)  
Atrioventricular node
AV node; A specialized mass of conducting cells located at the atrioventricular junction in the heart.  
Atrium
One of the two (right and left) small, thin-walled, upper chambers of the heart; the right and left are seperated by a thin interatrial septum; a chamber of the heart receiving blood from the veins; superior heart chamber; the right atrium receives blood from the vena cava and delivers it to the right ventricle, the left atrium receives blood from pulmonary veins and delivers it to the left ventricle.  
Atrophy
A decrease in the size of a body part or organ caused by a decrease in the size of cells; a reduction in size or wasting away of an organ or cell resulting from disease or lack of use.  
Attachments
Connections of skeletal muscles to bones; often referred to as the origin and insertion.  
Attending Physician
The physician in charge of the patient's care; this physician may or may not be the physician who admitted the patient to the hospital.  
Attitude
A feeling, disposition, or expression of a positive or negative evaluation of people, objects, event, activities, or ideas.  
Audi/o
Hearing  
Audit/o
Hearing  
Auditory
Pertaining to the sense of hearing.  
Auditory ossicles
Three tiny bones, the malleu, incus, and stapes, located within the middle ear that serve as transmitters of sound vibrations.  
Aur/o
Ear  
Aura
A sensation experienced prior to a seizure; serves as a warning sign that a seizure is about to occur.  
Auricul/o
Ear  
Auscult/o
To listen  
Auscultate
To listen to sounds within an organ with a stethoscope.  
Auscultation
The act of examination by listening to body sounds.  
Aut-, Auto-
Self; Own  
Aut/o
Self; Own  
Authorization to Release Medical Information
Written permission given by the patient (or their representative) authorizing the provider of care to release treatment and diagnostic information to a specified party.  
Autoimmune response
The production of antibodies or effector T cells that attack a person's own tissue.  
Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
A device that detects treatable life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias (ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia) and delivers the appropriate electrical shock to the patient; device used in cardiac arrest to perform a computer analysis of the patient's cardiac rhythm and deliver defibrillatory shocks when indicated.  
Automatic transport ventilator (ATV)
A ventilation device attached to a control box that allows the variables of ventilation to be set, it frees the EMT to perform other tasks while the patient is being ventilated.  
Automaticity
The ability of a structure, organ, or system to initiate its own activity; the ability of cardiac muscle cells to contract without stimulation from the nervous system.  
Autonomic
Self-directed, self-regulating; independent.  
Autonomic nervous system (ANS)
A division of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) composed of nerves that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the glands, heart, and smooth muscles to maintain the internal body environment; The division of the nervous system that functions involuntarily; innervates cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and glands; the part of the nervous system that regulates involuntary functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and sweating.  
Autonomy
The ability to make one's own decisions.  
Aux/o
Growth, Acceleration  
Avonex (Rx)
Brand name; Rebif or Avonex. Generic name; Interferon Beta-1A, recombinant. Classified as an Antiviral, Antiproliferative, and immunomodulator. It reduces symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and is used for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It works by using the protein Interferon (not a cure) to help decrease balance problems, weakness, numbness, and slow the disease. Clients who take Avonex or Rebif may experience liver problems, depression, and flu-like symptoms. It is best to never perform deep treatment work, use caution around injection site, and never massage the day of, or day after injection.
AVPU
Acronym for Alert, Verbal, Painful, and Unresponsive; used to describe patient's responsiveness.  
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.  
Avulsion
Injury to a ligament or tendon involving tearing off of its attachment; an injury in which soft tissue is torn completely loose or is hanging as a flap.  
Axial skeleton
The axis of the body; the axial skeleton consists of the head, vertebral column (spine), and the ribs and sternum it provides the body with form and protection; The bones of the skull, vertebral column, thorax, and sternum.  
Axi/o
Axis  
Axill/o
Armpit  
Axilla
Armpit  
Axis
The second cervical vertebra. It has a vertical projection called the dens around which the atlas rotates; The imaginary straight line around which a joint or structure revolves/rotates. Movement at the joint take place in a plane about an axis. There are three axis of rotation; Sagittal axis, Frontal axis, and Vertical axis.
Axon
A single elongated projection from the nerve cell body that transmits impulses away from the cell body; Neuron process that carries impulses away from the nerve cell body; efferent process; the conducting portion of the nerve cell.  
Azot/o
Urea; Nitrogen  
Azulfidine (Rx)
Brand name; Azulfidine. Generic name; Sulfasalazine. Classified as an Anti-inflammatory. It relieves gastrointestinal tract inflammation and is used for treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis. It works to reduce irritation and swelling in the large intestine. Clients who take Azulfidine may experience depression, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. It is best to use deep tissue techniques with caution, and alter position when needed.
 
Info Link
B-BD
 
B cells
Lymphocytes that oversee humoral immunity; their descendants differentiate into antibody-producing plasma cells; also called B lymphocytes.  
Bacill/o
Bacilli (Bacteria)  
Backboard
A device that is used to provide support to a patient who is suspected of having a hip, pelvic, spinal, or lower extremity injury; also called a spine board, trauma board, and longboard.  
Baclofen (Rx)
Brand name; Lioresal. Generic name; Baclofen. Classified as a Skeletal muscle relaxant. It relieves muscle spasm in the treatment of Cerebral palsy. It works by helping to relax the muscles. Clients who take Lioresal may experience constipation or drowsiness. It is best to note that deep tissue techniques are contraindicated. Abdominal massage might relieve constipation.
Bacteria
Any of a large group of microorganisms, generally one-celled; found in humans and other animals, plants, soil, air, and water; have a broad range of functions; microorganisms that reproduce by binary fission; these single-cell creatures reproduce rapidly, some can form spores (encysted variants) when environmental conditions are harsh.  
Bacterial vaginosis
An overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina; characterized by itching, burning, or pain, and possibly a "fishy" smelling discharge.  
Bacteri/o
Bacteria  
Bag-mask device
A device with a one-way valve and a face mask attached to a ventilation bag; when attached to a reservoir and connected to oxygen, it delivers more than 90% supplemental oxygen.  
Balance
The ability to control equilibrium. Two types of balance are static or still balance and dynamic or moving balance.  
Balance Billing

Refers to the practitioner’s ability or inability to bill the client for the remaining cost of service not covered by insurance payments. Most insurance companies have practitioners on contract and will not allow them to bill the client above the contracted rate the insurance company has determined. Charging the patient for the difference between the physician's fee and the insurance carrier's allowed fee.

 
Balan/o
Glans (acorn) Penis (head)  
Ball-and-socket joint
Joint that allows movement in many directions around a central point. Ball-and socket joints are ball-shaped convex surfaces fitted into concave sockets. This type of joint gives the greatest freedom of movement but also is the most easily dislocated; a joint that allows internal and external rotation, as well as bending.  
Bariatrics
A branch of medicine concerned with the management (prevention or control) of obesity and allied diseases.  
Bar/o
Pressure; Weight  
Barotrauma
Injury resulting from pressure disequilibrium across body surfaces; for example, from too much pressure in the lungs.  
Barrier device
A protective item, such as a pocket mask with a valve, that limits exposure to a patient's body fluids.  
Bartering
Used for bodyworkers to mean exchanging a manual therapy session for goods or services other than another manual therapy session.  
Bartholin/o
Bartholin Glands  
Bary-
Weight; Pressure  
Basal metabolic rate (BMR)
The rate of energy expenditure of the body under normal, relaxed activities; the rate at which energy is expended (heat produced) by the body per unit time under controlled (basal) conditions: 12 hours after a meal, at rest.  
Basal nuclei
Gray matter areas deep within the white matter of the cerebral hemispheres; also called basal ganglia.  
Basal surface
The tissue surface that faces the inside of the body.  
Base
A substance that accepts hydrogen ions; proton acceptor; compare with acid.  
Base station
Any radio hardware containing a transmitter and receiver that is located in a fixed place.  
Basement membrane
A permeable membrane that attaches epithelial tissues to the underlying connective tissue; a thin layer of extracellular material to which epithelial cells are attached in mucosal surfaces.  
-Basia
Walking  
Basic Coverage
Insurance coverage limited to basic inpatient medical and diagnostic care, and both inpatient and outpatient surgary services.  
Basic life support (BLS)
Noninvasive emergency lifesaving care that is used to treat medical conditions, including airway obstruction, respiratory arrest, and cardiac arrest.  
Basilar skull fractures
Usually occur following diffuse impact to the head (such as falls, motor vehicle crashes); generally result from extension of a linear fracture to the base of the skull and can be difficult to diagnose with a radiograph (x-ray).  
Basket stretcher
A rigid stretcher commonly used in technical and water rescues that surrounds and supports the patient yet allows water to drain through holes in the bottom; also called a Stokes litter.  
Bas/o
Base; Opposite of Acid  
Basophils
White blood cells whose granules stain deep blue with basic dye; have a relatively pale nucleus and granular-appearing cytoplasm.  
Batho-, Bathy-
Deep, Depth  
Battery
Touching a patient or providing emergency care without consent.  
Battle's sign
Bruising behind an ear over the mastoid process that my indicate a skull fracture.  
BCBSA
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association  
BC/BS
Blue Cross and/ or Blue Shield  
BCBS FEP
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Federal Employees Plan  
BC/BS Medicare Supplemental Plan
A Blue Cross/Blue Shield policy designed to augment the patient's Medicare benefits. Also known as BC/BS Medigap plan if plan meets federal Medigap standards.  
BE-BI
 
Behavior
How a person functions or acts in response to his or her environment.  
Behavioral crisis
The point at which a person's reactions to events interfere with activities of daily living; this becomes a psychiatric emergency when it causes a major life interruption, such as attempted suicide.  
Benchmarking
The process of comparing one's performance metrics to industry best practices.  
Bends
Common name for decompression sickness.  
Beneficence
The principle of "do good." Beneficence is action that is done for the benefit of others.  
Beneficiary
A person eligible to receive the benefits of a specific policy or program.  
Benefit
An amount payable by an insurance company to the insured or the insured's designated health care provider for covered medical expenses.  
Benefit Period
A Medicare designation for the period of time covered by the inpatient deductible. A benefit period starts with the first day of hospitalization and ends when the patient has been out of the hospital for 60 consecutive days. Also known as "Spell of Illness".  
Benign
A term usually describing a non-cancerous tumor that is contained and does not spread; not malignant. A tumor that is non-invasive or not affecting deeper tissue, localized, and non-spreading.  
Benztropine mesylate (Rx)
Brand name; Cogentin. Generic name; Benztropine mesylate. Classified as an Antiparkinson. It increases physical mobility in Parkinson's patients in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It works by blocking acetylcholine (ACh) which is the neurotransmitter at neuromuscular junctions and at a variety of sites within the central nervous system (CNS). Clients who take Cogentin may experience cardiac complications, confusion, incoherence, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best for a reminder call to be placed for treatment. Abdominal massage might relieve constipation.

WebMD.com

Nlm.Nih.gov

RxList.com

RxList

Beta
A type of energy that is emitted from a strong radiologic source; is slightly more penetrating than alpha and requires a layer of clothing to stop it.  
Beta-adrenergic receptors
Portions of the nervous system that, when stimulated, can cause an increase in the force of contraction of the heart, an increased heart rate, and bronchial dilation.  
Betaseron (Rx)
Brand name; Betaseron. Generic name; Interferon Beta-1B, recombinant. Classified as an Antiviral, immunomodulator. It decreases Multiple Sclerosis exacerbations and is used for treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It works by decreasing the number of attacks of weakness and slow the worsening of the disease with the protein interferon. Clients who take Betaseron may experience anxiety, flu-like symptoms, depression, hemorrhage, or dizziness. It is best to never perform deep treatment work. Use caution around injection site, never massage the day of, or day after injection. Help client on/off table if needed.

WebMD.com

Drugs.com

Betaseron.com

RxList

Bi-
Two  
Biceps
Two-headed, especially applied to certain muscles; the large muscle that covers the anterior humerus.  
Bicuspid
Having two points or cusps.  
Bilateral
Pertaining to two sides; a body part or condition that appears on both sides of the midline.  
Bile
A greenish-yellow or brownish fluid produced in and secreted by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and released into the small intestine.  
Bile ducts
The ducts that convey bile between the liver and the intestine.  
Billing Entity
A legal business name of a practice or organization.  
Bills of lading
The shipping papers used for transport of chemicals over roads and highways; also referred to as freight bills.  
Bi/o
Life  
Bil/i
Bile; Gall  
Bilirubin/o
Bilirubin  
Bioethics
The study of ethics related to issues that arise in health care.  
Biologic rhythms
The internal, periodic timing component of an organism, also known as a biorhythm. Circadian rhythms work on a 24-hour period to coordinate internal functions such as sleep. Ultradian rhythms repeat themselves from every 90 minutes to every few hours, whereas seasonal rhythms are annual functions.  
Biomechanics
The study of mechanical principles, movements, and actions applied to living bodies.  
Biopsy
The removal and examination of live tissue; usually done to detect or rule out the presence of cancerous cells.  
Birth canal
The vagina and cervix.  
BJ-BN
 
Blanching
Turning white.  
-Blast
Embryonic; Immature Cell  
Blastocyst
A stage of early embryonic development.  
-Blastoma
Immature Tumor (cells)  
Blenn/o
Mucus  
Blephar/o
Eyelid  
Blind spots
Areas of the road that are blocked from your sight by your own vehicle or mirrors.  
Blood
A thick, red fluid that provides oxygen, nourishment, and protection to the cells and carries away waste produucts. Whole blood consists of two components: the formed cellular elements and the liquid plasma. Blood is a form of connective tissue.  
Bloodborne pathogens
Pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans; these pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)  
Blood-brain barrier
A mechanism that inhibits passage of materials from the blood into brain tissues.  
Blood pressure
The measurement of pressure exerted by the heart on the walls of the blood vessels. The highest pressure exerted is called systolic pressure, which results when the ventricles are contracted. Diastolic pressure, the lowest pressure, results when the ventricles are at rest. Blood forced into the aorta during systole sets up a pressure wave that travels down the arteries. The wave expands the arterial wall, and the expansion can be palpated by pressing the artery against the tissue, the waves constitute the pulse rate.  
Bloody show
A small amount of blood at the vagina that appears at the beginning of labor and may include a plug of pink-tinged mucus that is discharged when the cervix begins to dilate.  
Blowout fracture
A fracture of the orbit or of the bones that support the floor of the orbit.  
BlueCard Program
A BC/BS Association program that eases the processing of claims from PAR and PPN providers when they provide medical services to BC/BS patients enrolled in plans outside the health care provider's local service area. This program was formerly known as the "Out-of-Area Program".  
Blue Cross (BC)
A medical insurance corporation organized for the purpose of offering pre paid hospital care plans to people living and working in a specific geographic region.  
Blue Shield (BS)
A medical insurance corporation organized for the purpose of offering pre paid medical and surgical care plans to people living and working in a specific geopgraphic region.  
Blunt trauma
An impact on the body by objects that cause injury without penetrating soft tissues or internal organs and cavities.  
B-NICE
A memory device to recall the types of weapons of mass destruction: biologic, nuclear, incendiary, chemical, and explosive.  
BO-BR
Body language
Nonverbal communication in which people reveal clues to unspoken intentions or feelings through their physical behaviors, such as posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements.  
Body memories
Body sensations that symbolically or literally capture some aspect of trauma. Sensory impulses are recorded in the brain, and these remembrances of bodily sensations can be felt when similar occurrences or cues stimulate the stored memories.  
Body Substance Isolation (BSI)
Isolation of substances that are excreted from the body to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.  
Bol/o
Cast; Throw  
Bolus
A rounded mass of food prepared by the mouth for swallowing.  
Bonding
The formation of a close, personal relationship.  
Bony thorax
Bones of the thorax, including ribs, sternum, and thoracic vertebrae.  
Botulinum
Produced by bacteria, this is a very potent neurotoxin; when introduced into the body, this neurotoxin affects the nervous system's ability to function and causes botulism.  
-Boulia
Will  
Boundaries
For healthcare practitioners, a boundary is like a protective circle around the professional relationship that separates what is appropriate between practitioner and client from what is not. Keeping appropriate boundaries includes such behavior as not engaging a client in another kind of relationship, such as a social one, and honoring what is appropriate within the professional relationship, such as confidentiality.  
Boundary
Border or limit that separate people from their environment and from other people.  
Boundary crossing
A transgression that may or may not be experienced as harmful.  
Boundary violation
A harmful transgression of a boundary.  
Bowman's capsule
Walled cuplike end of a renal tubule; encloses a glomerulus; also called Glomerular capsule.  
Brachial
Pertaining to the arm.  
Brachial artery
The major vessel in the upper extremity that supplies blood to the arm.  
Brachi/o
Arm  
Brachy-
Short  
Brady-
Slow  
Bradycardia
Heart rate less than 60 beats per minute; a patient with bradycardia may or may not have symptoms; slow heart beat, usually defined as a rate under 60 beats per minute.  
Bradypnea
Slow respiratory rate; ominous sign in a child that indicates impending respiratory arrest.  
Brain
The largest and most complex unit of the nervous system, the brain is responsible for perception, sensation, emotion, intellect, and action; the controlling organ of the body and center of consciousness; functions include perception, control of reactions to the environment, emotional responses, and judgment.  
Brain stem
The primitive portin of the brain that contains centers for vital functions and reflex actions, such as vomiting, coughing, sneezing, posture, and basic movement patterns; the protion of the brain consisting of the medulla, pons, and midbrain; the area of the brain between the spinal cord and cerebrum, surrounded by the cerebellum; controls functions that are neccesary for life, such as respiration.  
Breach of confidentiality
Disclosure of information without proper authorization. Unauthorized release of confidential patient information to a third party.  
Breath-holding syncope
Loss of consciousness caused by a decreased breathing stimulus.  
Breathing pattern disorder
A complex set of behaviors that leads to overbreathing without a pathologic condition present.  
Breath sounds
An indication of air movement in the lungs, usually assessed with a stethoscope.  
Breech Presentation
A delivery in which the buttocks come out first.  
Brom/o
Bromine-containing compound, odor  
Bronchial breath sounds
Normal breath sounds made by air moving through the bronchi.  
Bronch/o
Bronchial Tube  
Bronchi/o
Bronchial Tube  
Bronchiol/o
Bronchiole  
Bronchioles
Subdivision of the smaller bronchi in the lungs; made of smooth muscle and dilate or constrict in response to various stimuli.  
Bronchiolitis
Inflammation of the bronchioles that usually occurs in children younger than 2 years and is often caused by the respiratory syncytial virus.  
Bronchitis
Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi; an acute or chronic inflammation of the lungs that may damage lung tissue; usually associated with cough and production of sputum and, depending on its cause, sometimes fever.  
Bronchodilators
Medications that relax constricted airways, making airflow easier; commonly used in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.  
Bronchospasm
Condition seen in patients with asthma in which airways constrict tightly in response to irritants, cold air, exercise, or unknown factors.  
Bronchus
One of the two large branches of the trachea leading to the lungs.  
BS-BZ
 
BS
Blue Shield  
Buboes
Enlarged lymph nodes (up to the size of a tennis ball) that were characteristic in people infected with the bubonic plague.  
Bubonic plague
An epidemic that spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, causing more than 25 million deaths, also called the Black Death; transmitted by infected fleas and characterized by acute malaise, fever, and the formation of tender, enlarged, inflammed lymph nodes that appear as lesions, called buboes.  
Buccal
Pertaining to the cheek.  
Bucc/o
Cheek  
Buffers
Compounds that prevent the hydrogen ion concentration from fluctuating too rapidly to alter the pH; a substance or substances that help to stabilize the pH of a solution.  
Bundle branch block
A blocking of heart action resulting from damage to one of the bundle branches; delayed contraction of one ventricle.  
Bunion/o
Bunion  
Burnout
A psychological term that refers to long-term physical or emotional exhaustion.  
Burns
Injuries in which soft-tissue damage occurs as a result from thermal heat, frictional heat, toxic chemicals, electricity, or nuclear radiation.  
Bursa
A flat sac of synovial membrane in which the inner sides of the sac are separated by fluid film. Bursae are located where moving structures are apt to rub, they reduce the friction between two structures; a small sac filled with fluid and located at friction points, especially joints.  
Bursitis
Inflammation of a bursa.  
Burs/o
Bursa (Fluid sac near joints)  
Business association
A legal business formation in which individual practitioners under one roof each maintain their own separate businesses, while contributing to common expenses.  
Business page
Business information entered when registering on social media websites designated for promoting products and services.  
Bx
Biopsy  
Byssin/o
Cotton dust  
 
 
Info Links
C-CAQ
Cac/o
Bad  
Calcaneus
The heel bone.  
Calc/o
Calcium  
Calcane/o
Calcaneus (Heel bone)  
Calci/o
Calcium  
Calcul/o, -Calcuila
To Compute  
Calculus
A stone formed within various body parts.  
Cali/o
Calyx or Calyce (Husk or Pod)  
Calic/o
Calyx or Calyce (Husk or Pod)  
Callus
An area of thickened, hardened skin that develops in an area of friction or region of recurrent pressure.  
Calor/i
Heat  
Calorie
Unit of heat; the large calorie (spelled with capital letter C) is the amount of heat required to raise 1 kg of water 1 degree celsius; also used in metabolic and nutrition studies as the unit to measure the energy value of foods.  
Calyx
A cuplike extension of the pelvis of the kidney.  
Canal
A duct or passageway; a tubular structure.  
Campt/o
Bent  
Canaliculus
Extremely small tubular passage or channel.  
Cancer
Malignant, nonencapsulated cells that invade surrounding tissue. They often break away, or metastasize, from the primary tumor and form secondary cancer masses; a malignant, invasive cellular neoplasm that has the capability of spreading throughout the body or body parts.  
Capillaries
The small blood vessels that connect arterioles and venules; various substances pass through capillary walls, into and out of the interstitial fluid, and then on to the cells.  
Capillar/o
Capillary (small blood vessel)  
Capillary
One of the small blood vessels found between arteries and veins that allows the exchange of gases, nutrients, and waste products. The walls of capillaries are thin, allowing molecules to diffuse easily; a minute blood vessel connecting arterioles with venules.  
Capillary Refill Time (CRT)
Time it takes for a patient's skin color to return to normal after the skin or nailbed has been pressed or blanched; normal time is less than 2 seconds; assesses perfusion.  
Capillary vessels
The tiny blood vessels between the arterioles and venules that permit transfer of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, and waste between body tissues and the blood.  
Capitated Payments
Payments made to health care providers who are staff members of HMOs where the provider is paid a contractually agreed upon capita fee for all services provided to an enrollee served regardless of the actual number or nature of the services provided.  
Capitation
A reimbursement system used by HMOs and some other managed care plans to pay the health care provider a fixed fee on a per capita basis that has no relationship to type of services performed or the number of services each patient receives.  
Capn/o
Carbon Dioxide  
-Capnia
Carbon Dioxide  
Capnography
A noninvasive method that can quickly and efficiently provide information on a patient's ventilatory status, circulation, and matabolism.  
Capnometry
The use of a capnometer, a device that measures the amount of expired carbon dioxide.  
Caps/o, Capsul/o
Capsule, Container  
CAR-CAS
 
Carbidopa (Rx)
Brand name; Sinemet. Generic name; Carbidopa and Levodopa. Classified as an Antiparkinson. It improves voluntary movement in the treatment of Cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease. It works when the body and brain transform the Levodopa into a substance that helps to decrease tremors and other symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Carbidopa helps Levodopa to reach the brain. Clients who take Sinemet may experience cardiac irregularities, involuntary grimacing, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to offer water. Abdominal massage might relieve constipation.
Carbohydrates
Sugars, startches, and cellulose composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; organic compound composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; includes starches, sugars, and cellulose.  
Carbon dioxide
A componant of air that typically makes up 0.3% of air at sea level; also a waste product exhaled during expiration by the respiratory system.  
Carbon dioxide retention
A condition characterized by a chronically high blood level of carbon dioxide in which the respiratory center no longer responds to high blood levels of carbon dioxide.  
Carbon monoxide
An odorless, highly poisonous gas that results from incomplete oxidation of carbon in combustion.  
Carboys
Glass, plastic, or steel containers, ranging in volume from 5 to 15 gallons.  
Carcin/o
Cancerous; Cancer  
Carcinogen
Cancer-causing agent.  
Carcinoma
Cancer; a malignant growth of epithelial cells.  
Carcinoma In Situ
A malignant tumor that is localized, circumscribed, and noninvasive. Also known as Cancer In Situ.  
Cardiac
Pertaining to the heart.  
Cardiac arrest
Condition in which the heart no longer generates blood flow, causing pulselessness and apnea; two of the many causes are arrhythmias and myocardial infarction; a state in which the heart fails to generate effective and detectable blood flow; pulses are not palpable in cardiac arrest, even if muscular and electrical activity continues in the heart.  
Cardiac cycle
A synchronized sequence of events that takes place during one full heartbeat; sequence of events encompassing one complete contraction and relaxation of the atria and ventricles of the heart.  
Cardiac monitoring
The act of viewing the electrical activity of the heart through the use of an ECG machine or cardiac monitor.  
Cardiac muscle
Specialized muscle of the heart.  
Cardiac muscle fibers
Smaller, striated, involuntary muscle fibers (cells) in the heart that contract to pump blood.  
Cardiac output
The amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle in 1 minute; the blood volume (in liters) ejected per minute by the left ventricle; a measure of the volume of blood circulated by the heart in 1 minute, calculated by multiplying the stroke volume by the heart rate.  
Cardiac tamponade (pericardial tamponade)
Compression of the heart as the result of buildup of blood or other fluid in the pericardial sac, leading to decreased cardiac output.  
Cardi/o
Heart  
Cardiogenic shock
Cardiac failure whereby the heart cannot sufficiently pump blood to the rest of the circulatory system; a state in which not enough oxygen is delivered to the tissues of the body, caused by low output of blood from the heart; it can be a severe complication of a large acute myocardial infraction, as well as other conditions.  
Cardioesophageal sphincter
Valve between the stomach and esophagus.  
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
The combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions used to establish adaquate ventilation and circulation in a patient who is not breathing and has no pulse.  
Cardiovascular system
Organ system that distributes blood to all parts of the body.  
Care/Caid Claim
Combined Medicare/ Medicaid claim (in majority of these claims, massage is not covered)  
Care Coordination
The planned organization of patient care activities between multiple practitioners.  
Care Plan Oversight Service
A CPT or Current Procedural Terminology evaluation and management service for the purpose of reporting the physician's time spent coordinating multidisciplinary patient care plans, and integrating or adjusting the patient's medical treatment plans.  
Cari/o
Caries, rottenness  
Carina
Point at which the trachea bifurcates (divides) into the left and right mainstem bronchi.  
Carotene
A yellow pigment found in the dermis that provides a natural yellow tint to the skin of some individuals.  
Carotid
The main artery in the neck.  
Carotid artery
The major artery that supplies blood to the head and brain.  
Carotid body
A receptor in the common carotid artery sensitive to changing oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH levels of the blood.  
Carotid sinus
A dilation of a common carotid artery; involved in regulation of systemic blood pressure.  
Carp/o
Wrist Bones (Carpals)  
Carpals
Eight bones of the wrist that form the carpal tunnel (on the palmar side) and is surrounded by the flexor retinaculum; there are two rows of four bones, the pisiform (end of ulna), triquetrum, lunate, scaphoid and (second row ulnar to radius side) hamate, capitate, trapezoid and trapezium.  
Carrier
The insurance company or insurer  
Cartilage
A form of flexible connective tissue. Types of cartilage include hyaline, fibrocartilage, and elastic cartilage; white, semiopaque connective tissue; the support structure of the skeleton system that provides cushioning between bones; also forms the nasal septum and portions of the outer ear.  
Cartilaginous joint
A joint in which two bony surfaces are united by cartilage; the two types of cartilaginous joints are synchondroses and symphyses; bones united by cartilage; no joint cavity is present.  
Case management
A process implemented to properly manage the quality and outcome of patient care when working with multiple practitioners. It is a collaboration process that assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services required for optimum patient care.  
Case Management Service
A CPT or Current Procedural Terminology evaluation and management service for the process in which the attending physician or agent coordinates the care given to a patient by other health care providers and/ or community organizations.  
Case manager
A designated person whose exclusive role is to coordinate care and services amoung providers. A nurse or other medically trained person who coordinates the care of patients with long term chronic conditions.  
Cases Meeting or Equalling the Listing
Category for disability that will meet SSA's or Social Security Account or Administration legal definition for disability. These are cases in which two or more conditions are running concurrently, and the combined effects of these conditions qualify the applicant for disability benefits.  
Casualty collection area
An area set up by physicians, nurses, and other hospital staff near a major disaster scene where patients can receive further triage and medical care.  
CAT-CAZ
 
Cata-
Down  
Catabolism
Chemical processes in the body that release energy as complex compounds are broken down into simpler ones; the process in which living cells break down substances into simpler substances; destructive metabolism.  
-Cataphasia
Affirmation  
Cataract
Partial or complete loss of transparency of the crystalline lens of the eye; clouding of the lens of the eye or its surrounding transparent membranes.  
Catchment Area
A CHAMPUS or Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services term; A region which is defined by postal zip code boundaries that fit roughly within a 40-mile radius of the government medical treatment facility and is used to determine the need for preauthorization for any civilian medical care.  
Catecholamines
A group of neurotransmitters involved in sleep, mood pleasure, and motor function; epinephrine and norepinephrine.  
Cathar/o, Cathart/o
Cleansing, Purging  
Catheter
A flexible, hollow structure that drains or delivers fluids.  
Catheter shear
The cutting of the catheter by the needle during improper rethreading of the catheter with the needle; the severed piece can then enter the circulatory system.  
-Cathisia, -Kathisia
Sitting  
Caud/o
Tail; Lower part of body  
Caudal
Downward, away from the head; toward the tail; in humans, the inferior portion of the anatomy; pertaining to a position near the tail end of the long axis of the body; also known as inferior.  
Caus/o
Burn; Burning  
Cauter/o
Heat; Burn  
Cav/o, Cavit/o
Hollow, Cavity  
Cavitation
A phenomenon in which speed causes a bullet to generate pressure waves, which cause damage distant from the bullet's path.  
CE-CEQ
 
Cec/o
Cecum (First part of the colon)  
Cecum
The blind-end pouch at the beginning of the large intestine; functions to absorb fluids and salts that remain after digestion and absorption completion then it churns and kneads with mucus; also spelled caecum; the first part of the large intestine, into which the ileum opens.  
-Cele
Hernia  
Celebrex or Celecoxib (Rx)
Brand name; Celebrex. Generic name; Celecoxib. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It relieves signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis in the treatment of Degenerative disc disease (DDD), Frozen shoulder, and Rheumatoid arthritis. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Clients who take Celebrex may experience dizziness or upset stomach. It is best to use deep massage techniques with caution. Be aware of client's decreased pain perception, and help client on/off the table.
Celi/o
Belly; Abdomen  
Cell
The basic structural unit of living organism. A cell contains a nucleus and cytoplasm and is surrounded by a membrane; the basic biological unit of living organism, containing a nucleus and a variety of organelles enclosed by a limiting membrane.  
Cell membrane
Membrane that encloses cell contents; outer limiting membrane also called plasma membrane.  
Cellular immunity
Immunity conferred by lymphocytes called T cells; also called cell-mediated immunity.  
Cellular respiration
Metabolic processes that occur within the cells of organisms, the process converts biochemical energy from nutrients into Adenosine triphosphates or ATP, and then release waste product; exothermic redox reaction.  
Cellular telephone
A low-power portable radio that communicates through an interconnected series of repeater stations called "cells."  
Cementum
The bony connective tissue that covers the root of the tooth.  
Center of Gravity
An imaginary midpoint or center of the weight of a body or object, where the body or object could balance on a point.  
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The primary federal agency that conducts and supports public health activities in the United States; The CDC is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services.  
-Centesis
Surgical puncture to remove fluid  
Centr/o
Center  
Central nervous system (CNS)
The brain and spinal cord and their coverings.  
Central pulses
Pulses that are closest to the core (central) part of the body where the vital organs are located; include the carotid, femoral, and apical pulses.  
Centriole
A minute body found near the nucleus of the cell composed of microtubules; active in cell division.  
Cephal/o
Head  
Cephalic
Towards the head.  
CER-CG
 
Cerebell/o
Cerebellum (Posterior part of the brain)  
Cerebellum
The second largest part of the brain, the cerebellum is involved with balance, posture, coordination, and movement; part of the hindbrain; involved in producing smoothly coordinated skeletal muscle activity; One of the three major subdivisions of the brain, sometimes called the "little brain"; coordinates the various activities of the brain, particularly fine body movements.  
Cerebr/o
Cerebrum (Largest part of the brain)  
Cerebral aqueduct
The slender cavity of the midbrain that connects the third and fourth ventricles; also called the aqueduct of Sylvius.  
Cerebral edema
Swelling of the brain.  
Cerebral palsy
A term for a group of disorders characterized by poorly controlled body movement.  
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
A clear, colorless fluid that flows throughout the brain and around the spinal cord, cushioning and protecting these structures and maintaining proper pH balance; the fluid produced by choroid plexi; fills the ventricles and surrounds the central nervous system; fluid produced in the ventricles of the brain that flows in the subarachnoid space and bathes the meninges.  
Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
Also called a stroke, is a condition that results from a disruption of circulation to the brain, causing ischemia and damage to brain tissue; An interruption of blood flow to the brain that results in the loss of brain function.  
Cerebrum
The largest of the three brain subdivisions, the cerebrum consists of two hemisheres that occupy the uppermost region of the crainium. The cerebrum receives, interprets, and associates incoming information with past memories and then transmits the appropriate motor response; also called gray matter; made up of several lobes that control movement, hearing, balance, speech, visual perception, emotions, and personality.  
Certification
A voluntary regulatory method which offers the use of vocational titles to distinguish professional services. It refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics that is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review, education, assessment, or audit. In some states, certification is used as the designation for practitioners rather than licensure. A process in which a person, an institution, or a program is evaluated and recognized as meeting certain predetermined standards to provide safe and ethical care.  
Cerumin/o
Cerumen  
Cerumen
A sticky substance released by glands in the ear. Also known as earwax, cerumen protects the ear from the entry of foreign material and repels insects.  
Ceruminous glands
Modified apocrine glands found in the external ear that secrete cerumen.  
Cervic/o
Neck; Cervix (Neck of uterus)  
Cervical
Refers to the neck or neckline portion of an organ or structure.  
Cervical spine
The portion of the spinal column consisting of the first seven vertebrae that lie in the neck.  
Cervix
The inferior necklike narrowest portion of the uterus that opens into the vagina.  
Cervical collar
Device used to provide partial C-spine immobilization; only 50% in the three major motions of anterior / posterior, lateral flexion, and rotation; it is applied to the neck area of an injured patient suspected to having a cervical spine injury.  
CH
 
-Chalasia
Relaxation  
-Chalasis
Relaxation  
Cheil/o
Lip  
Chem/o
Drug; Chemical  
CHAMPUS
Civilian Health And Medical Program of the Uniformed Services. A comprehensive federal civilian medical care program for spouses and dependents of those in the uniformed services, either active duty or personnel or those who died while on active duty, as well as retired personnel, their spouses, and dependents. Also known as TRICARE  
CHAMPUS Extra Plan
A combination of regular CHAMPUS and CHAMPUS Prime coverage available in specific states. Also known as TRICARE Extra  
CHAMPUS Prime Plan
Full medical care plan administered by a CHAMPUS-designated HMO for CHAMPUS-eligible persons in specific areas of the country. Also known as TRICARE Prime.  
CHAMPUS Sponsor
Uniformed services personnel who are either on active duty, retired, or have died while in the service.  
CAHMPVA
Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Veterans Administration. A federal program for medical care in the civilian community for spouses and dependents of veterans with total service-connected disabilities or who died as a result of service-connected disabilities.  
Change agents
Factors that influence the ways we establish, maintain, and change boundaries (e.g., location of service, interpersonal space, appearance, self-disclosure, language, touch, time, and money).  
Channel
An assigned frequency or frequencies that are used to carry voice and/or data communications.  
Charge Slip
Summary of services rendared to the patient during a visit. Including the date, Patient's name, and list of all services rendared on that particular date.  
Charting
The process of keeping a written record of a client or patient. The most effective charting methods follow clinical reasoning, which emphasizes a problem-solving approach. Many systems of charting are used, but these models all have similar components: POMR (problem-oriented medical record) and SOAP (subjective, objective, analysis, and plan-the four parts of written record).  
Chemical bond
An energy relationship holding atoms together; involves the interaction of electrons.  
Chemical properties
Properties that demonstrate how a substance reacts with other substances or responds to a change in the environment.  
Chemical reaction
Process in which molecules are formed, changed, or broken down.  
Chemical Transportation Emergancy Center (CHEMTREC)
An agency that assists emergency personnel in identifying and handling hazardous materials transport incidents.  
Chemoreceptors
Receptors sensitive to various chemicals in solution; Monitor the levels of O2, CO2, and the pH of the cerebrospinal fluid and then provide feedback to the respiratory centers to modify the rate and depth of breathing based on the body's needs at any given time.  
Chest leads
The leads that are used only with a 12-lead ECG and must be placed exactly; includes leads V1, V2, V3, V4, V5, and V6.  
-Chazia
Defacation; Elimination of wastes  
Chi Nei Tsang
This is an entire system of Chinese deep healing that makes use of the energy flow of the five major systems in the body: vascular, lymphatic, nervous, tendon/muscle and acupuncture meridians. With this practice, one is able to increase the energy flow to specific organs through massaging a series of points in the navel area.  
Chiasma
A crossing or intersection of two structures, such as the optic nerves.  
Chief Complaint (CC)
Brief statement describing the reason for the patient's seeking medical attention; the reason a patient called for help; also the patient's response to questions such as "What's wrong?" or "What happened?"  
Child abuse
A general term applying to all forms of child abuse and neglect.  
Chir/o
Hand  
Chlamydia
A sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.  
Chlor/o
Green  
Chlorhydr/o
Hydrochloric acid  
Chlorine (CL)
The first chemical agent ever used in warfare; it has a distinct odor of bleach and creates a green haze when released as a gas; initially it produces upper airway irritation and a choking sensation.  
Chol/e
Bile; Gall  
Cholangi/o
Bile; Vessel  
Cholecyst/o
Gallbladder  
Cholecystitis
Inflammation of the gallbladder.  
Cholecystokinin
An intestinal hormone that stimulates gallbladder contraction and pancreatic jucie release.  
Choledoch/o
Common Bile Duct  
Cholesterol/o
Cholesterol  
Cholesterol
A steroid found in animal fats as well as in most body tissues; made primarily in the liver.  
Cholinergic fibers
Nerve endings that, upon stimulation, release acetylcholine.  
Chondrocyte
A mature cartilage cell.  
Chondr/o
Cartilage  
Chordae tendineae
Thin bands of fibrous tissue that attach to the valves in the heart and prevent them from inverting.  
Chore/o
Dance  
Chori/o
Chorion (outermost membrane of the fetus)  
Chorion/o
Chorion  
Chorion
The outermost fetal membrane; helps form the placenta.  
Choroid/o
Choroid layer of the eye  
Choroid
The pigmented nutritive layer of the eye.  
-Chroia
Skin Coloration  
Chromation
The structures in the nucleus that carry the hereditary factors (genes).  
Chrom/o
Color  
Chromosome
Barlike body of tightly coiled cheomatin; visible during cell division.  
Chron/o
Time  
Chronic bronchitis
Irritation of the major lung passageways from infectious disease or irritants such as smoke.  
Chronic disease
Disease with a vague onset that develops slowly and lasts for a long time, sometimes for life.  
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Condition characterized by diminished inspiratory and expiratory capacity of the lungs; a slow process of dilation and disruption of the airways and alveoli caused by chronic bronchial obstruction.  
Chronic pain
Pain that continues or recurs over a prolonged time, usually for more than 6 months. The onset may be obscure, and the character and quality of the pain change over time. Chronic pain usually is poorly localized and not as intense as acute pain, although for some the pain is exhausting and depressing, chronic pain usually does not activate the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).  
Chyme
The semifluid stomach contents consisting of partially digested food and gastric secretions; the name of the substance that leaves the stomach; it is a combination of all of the eaten foods with added stomach acids.  
Chrys/o
Gold  
Chyl/o
Chyle  
Chyle
A milky fluid with emulsified fat and other products of digestion. It is formed from the Chyme in the small intestine and conveyed by the lacteals and the thoracic duct to the veins.  
Chyluria
The presence of chyle in the urine.  
Chym/o
To pour  
CI-CN
 
Cib/o
Meal  
-Cide
Killing  
-Cibal
Pertaining to killing  
Cilia
Tiny, hairlike projections on cell surfaces that move in a wavelike manner.  
Ciliary zonule
Suspensory ligament that attaches the lens to the ciliary body in the anterior eye.  
Cine/o
Movement  
Circulatory system
The complex arrangement of connected tubes, including the arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins, that move blood, oxygen, nutrients, carbon dioxide, and cellular waste throughout the body.  
Circle of Willis
A union of arteries at the base of the brain.  
Circum-
Around  
Circumduction
Circular movement of a limb, combining the movements of flexion, extension, ABduction, and ADduction, to create a cone shape.  
Cirrh/o
Orange-Yellow  
Cirrhosis
A chronic disease of the liver, characterized by an overgrowth of connective tissue or fibrosis.  
Cis/o
To Cut  
Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)
The older of two retirement programs for civil service employees of the federal governement. All employees hired prior to 1984 were enrolled in this program.  
Claim
A demand for payment of covered medical expenses sent to an insurance company.  
Claim Attachment
Additional claims documentation needed to adjudicate the claim.  
-Clasis
To Break  
-Clast
To Break  
Claustr/o
Enclosed Space  
Clavicul/o
Clavicle (collarbone)  
Clavicle
The collarbone; it is lateral to the sternum and anterior to the scapula.  
Clean Claim
A filed claim that is poperly filled out and contains all the data necessary for immediate processing by the insurance carrier.  
Cleaning
The process of removing dirt, dust, blood, or other visible contaminants from a surface.  
Cleavage
An early embryonic phase consisting of rapid cell divisions without intervening growth periods.  
Cleid/o
Clavicle  
Client-centeredness
The principle that practitioners always act in the best interest of the client.  
Clinical supervision
A process of meeting regularly with a person who is trained in the skills of supervision, to discuss casework and other professional issues in a structured way.  
Clin/o
To slope, bend  
Clitoris
A small, erectile structure in the female, homologous to the penis in the male.  
Clonal selection
The process during which a B cell or T cell becomes sensitized through binding contact with an antigen.  
Clone
Descendants of a single cell.  
Closed abdominal injury
An injury in which there is soft-tissue damage inside the body but the skin remains intact.  
Closed chest injury
An injury to the chest in which the skin is not broken, usually caused by blunt trauma.  
Close-ended questions
Questions that can be answered in short or single word responses.  
Closed fracture
A fracture in which the skin is not broken.  
Closed head injury
Injury in which the brain has been injured but the skin has not been broken and there is no obvious bleeding.  
Closed injuries
Injuries in which damage occurs beneath the skin or mucous membrane but the surface remains intact.  
Closed kinematic chain
The positioning of joints in such a way that motion at one of the joints is accompanied by motion at an adjacent joint.  
Close-packed position
The only position of a synovial joint in which the surface fit precisely together and maximal contact between the opposing surfaces occurs. The compression of joint surfaces permits no movement, and the joint possesses its greatest stability.  
Closed-Panel HMO (Health Maintenance Organization)
An established insurance program that allows members to receive non-emergency health services from contracted providers at specified facilities.  
-Clysis
Irragation; Washing  
CO-COM
 
Coaching
A group or individual process that helps participants set and reach goals. Usually there is one leader directing the activities and guiding the person(s) to finding their own inner strength to follow through on their dreams.  
Coagul/o
Coagulation (Clotting)  
Coagulate
To form a clot to plug an opening in an injured blood vessel and stop bleeding.  
Coagulation
Clotting of blood.  
COBRA Insurance
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 gave employees who leave a company with employer-sponsored group health insurance the right to continue their health insurance coverage for up to eighteen months, if they are willing to pay the entire cost of premiums. Medicare is primary to COBRA insurance.  
-Coccus
Berry-Shaped Bacterium  
Coccyg/o
Coccyx (Tail Bone)  
Coccyx
The last three or four vertebrae of the spine; the tailbone.  
Cochle/o
Cochlea (Inner structure of the ear)  
Cochlea
A cavity of the inner ear resembling a snail shell; houses the hearing receptor.  
Code of conduct
A set of rules designed to address applicable state and federal laws as well as established business and professional ethical standards.  
Code of ethics
Operating principles and behavioral guidelines that members of a profession are expected to uphold.  
Codeine (Rx)
Brand name; Tylenol #3. Generic name; Acetaminophen and Codeine. Classified as a Narcotic. It relieves moderate to severe pain and is used in the treatment of Migraine headaches. It works by changing how your body feels in response to pain. Clients who take Tylenol #3 may experience headache, drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to offer water, adjust positioning when needed, and help client on/off the table.
Code Modifier
A specific two-digit code added to CPT-4 (Physician's Current Procedural Terminology, Fourth Edition) main codes or a two-character code added to HCPCS Level 11 and III codes (Health Care Procedural Coding System) to indicate a deviation from the provider's normal fee. Use of a code modifier will keep the specific procedure out of the profile determination calculation.  
Cogentin (Rx)
Brand name; Cogentin. Generic name; Benztropine mesylate. Classified as an Antiparkinson. It increases physical mobility in Parkinson's patients in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It works by blocking acetylcholine (ACh) which is the neurotransmitter at neuromuscular junctions and at a variety of sites within the central nervous system (CNS). Clients who take Cogentin may experience cardiac complications, confusion, incoherence, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best for a reminder call to be placed for treatment. Abdominal massage might relieve constipation.
-Coimesis
Sleeping  
Coinsurance Payment
A specified percentage of insurance determined for each service the patient must pay the health care provider.  
Coitus
Sexual intercourse.  
Col/o
Colon (Large Intestine)  
Cold zone
A safe area at a hazardous materials incident for the agencies involved in the operations; the incident commander, the command post, EMS providers, and other support functions necessary to control the incident should be located in the cold zone; also referred to as the clean zone or the support zone.  
Coll/a
Glue  
Collagen
The protein substance of small connective tissue fibrils that combine to create the connective tissue of fasciae, tendons, and ligaments. When combined with water, it forms gelatin. Collagen constitutes approximately one fourth of the protein in the body.  
Collagenous fibers
Stong fibers with little capacity for stretch. They have a high degree of tensile strength, which allows them to withstand longitudinal stress.  
Collaterals
Branches from an axon that allow communication among neurons.  
Colon/o
Colon (Large Intestine)  
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).  
Colostomy
A surgical procedure to establish an opening between the colon and the surface of the body.  
Colp/o
Vagina  
-Coma
Deep sleep  
Coma
Unconsciousness from which the person cannot be arroused; a state of profound unconsciousness from which one cannot be roused.  
Comat/o
Deep sleep  
Combination Program
A Workers' Compensation term: A mix of different style Workers' Compensation programs from which employers can choose to insure employees against injuries/disorders acquired within the scope of their employment.  
Combined Medical/ Surgical Case
An in-patient hospitalization where the patient was first admitted as a medical case but, after testing, required surgery.  
Combining vowel
A vowel added between two roots or a root and a suffix to make pronunciation of the word easier.  
Combitube
A multilumen airway device that consists of a single tube with two lumens, two balloons, and two ventilation ports; an alternative airway device if endotracheal intubation is not possible or has failed.  
Comi/o
To care for  
Command
In incident command, the position that oversees the incident, establishes the objectives and priorities, and from there develops a response plan.  
Command post
The location of the incident commander at the scene of an emergency and where command, coordination, control, and communication are centralized.  
Common cold
A viral infection usually associated with swollen nasal mucous membranes and the production of fluid from the sinuses and nose.  
Common Data File
An abstract of all recent insurance claims filed for a patient.  
Commotio cordis
A blunt chest injury caused by a sudden, direct blow to the chest that occurs only during the critical portion of a person's heartbeat.  
Communicable disease
A disease that can be spread from one person or species to another.  
Communication
The transmission of information to another person, verbally or through body language.  
Compact (dense) bone
The hard portion of bone that protects spongy bone and provides the firm framework of the bone and the body. The osteocytes in this type of bone are located in concentric rings around a central haversian canal, through which nerves and blood vessels pass.  
Compartment syndrome
Swelling in a confined space that produces dangerous pressure; may cut off blood flow or damage sensitive tissue; frequently seen in fractures below the elbow or knee in children.  
Compazine (Rx)
Brand name; Compazine. Generic name; Prochlorperazine. Classified as an Antipsychotic, Antiemetic, and anxiolytic. It relieves signs and symptoms of psychosis, reduces anxiety, and relieves nausea and vomiting. Is also used for treatment of Migraine headache, and headaches. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain. Clients who take Compazine may experience constipation and dry mouth. It is best to offer water. Abdominal massage may help with constipation.
Compensated shock
The early stage of shock, in which the body can still compensate for blood loss.  
Compensatory damages
Damages awarded in a civil suit that are intended to restore the plaintiff to the same condition that he or she was in prior to the incident complained about in the lawsuit.  
Competency
Having requisite or sufficient skill, knowledge, ability, or qualities.  
Competent
Able to make rational decisions about personal well-being.  
Complement
A group of plasma proteins that normally circulate in inactive forms; when activated by complement fixation, causes lysis of foreign cells and enhances phagocytosis and inflammation.  
Complex access
Complicated entry that requires special tools and training and includes breaking windows or using other force.  
Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD)
A term for those subjected to prolonged, repeated trauma.  
Compliance
Adherence to applicable laws and standards.  
Compliance
The ability of the alveoli to expand when air is drawn in during inhalation.  
Compound
Substance composed of two or more different elements, the atoms of which are chemically united.  
Comprehensive History and Physical Examination
A CPT or Current Procedural Terminology Evaluation and Management Service requiring a documented patient history that includes the chief complaint; an extended discussion of the history of the present illness; a complete review of the patient's past, family, and social histories; a comprehensive review of all body systems; and an extensive physical examination of either all body systems or a single organ system.  
Comprehensive NFS (Nurse Facility Services) Assessment
A nursing care plan for patients in skilled nursing facilities that includes the patient's functional capacity and identification of potential problems and nursing plan to enhance or maintain the patient's physical and psychosocial functions.  
Comtan (Rx)
Brand name; Comtan. Generic name; Entacapone. Classified as an Antiparkinson. It controls signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease used for treatment of Parkinson's disease. It works by COMT enzymes (Catechol-O-methyltransferase O=oxygen) inactivating catecholamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine allowing other Rx to work properly. Clients who take Comtan may experience anxiety, depression, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea. It is best to perform abdominal massage to help relieve constipation. Offer a calming environment and positive reinforcement in actions and words.
CON-COQ
 
Con-
Together; With  
Concave
Having a curved or depressed surface.  
Concentric contraction
The action of a prime mover or agonist by which a muscle develops tension as it shortens to provide enough force to overcome resistance, described as positive contraction.  
Concussion
A temporary loss or alteration of part or all of the brain's abilities to function without actual physical damage to the brain.  
Conduction
The loss of heat by direct contact (eg. when a body part comes into contact with a colder object).  
Conductivity
Ability to transmit an electrical impulse.  
Condyle
A rounded articular projection at the end of bone that articulates with another bone.  
Condyloid (condylar) joint
Joint that allows movement in two directions, but one motion predominates. The joint resembles a condyle, which is a rounded protuberance at the end of a bone forming an articulation.  
Cones
One of two types of photoreceptor cells in the retina of the eye, provides for color vision.  
Confidentiality
The client's guarantee that what occurs in the therapeutic setting remains private and protected.  
Conflict
A state of disharmony between incompatible or antithetical (directly opposed or contrasted) persons, ideas, or interests; a clash or mutually incompatible.  
Conflict of interest
Circumstances wherein personal interests may conflict with business intrests.  
Confrontation
The act of facing and dealing with a problematic situation.  
Congenital
Existing at birth.  
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
A disorder in which the heart loses part of its ability to effectively pump blood, usually as a result of damage to the heart muscle and usually resulting in a backup of fluid into the lungs; condition in which the heart is an inadequate pump, causing fluid to build up in the lungs (pulmonary edema) and venous system (distended neck veins); circulation is inadequate to meet tissue needs.  
Coni/o
Dust  
Conjunctiv/o
Conjunctiva (lines the eyelids)  
Conjunctiva
The delicate membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the exposed surface of the eye; the thin, protective mucous membrane lining the eyelids and covering the anterior surface of the eyeball.  
Conjunctivitis
Inflammation of the conjunctiva.  
Connecting nerves
Nerves in the spinal cord that connect the motor and sensory nerves.  
Connective tissue
The most abundant type of tissue in the body, connective tissue supports and holds together the body and its parts, protects the body from foreign matter, and is organized to transport substance throughout the body; a primary tissue; form and function vary extensively; functions include support, storage, and protection.  
Consci/o
Awareness, aware  
Consent
Approve, permit, agree, or comply to render care.  
Consistency
Harmony of conduct or practice; reliability or uniformity of successive results or events.  
Constrict/o
Narrowing, binding  
-Constriction
Narrowing  
Consultation
A meeting with a professional trained in psychological dynamics to obtain advice and insight about a particular client or issue.  
Contact burn
A burn caused by direct contact with a hot object.  
Contact hazard
A hazardous agent that gives off very little or no vapors; the skin is the primary route for this type of chemical to enter the body; also called a skin hazard.  
Contagious
An infectious disease that can be transmitted to another; communicable; a person who has a contagious disease and can transmit it to another person might be considered "contagious."  
Container
Any vessel or receptacle that holds material, including storage vessels, pipelines, and packaging.  
Contamination
The presence of infectious organisms or foreign bodies on or in objects such as dressings, water, food, needles, wounds, or a patient's body.  
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
A method of ventilation used primarily in the treatment of critically ill patients with respiratory distress; can prevent the need for endotracheal intubation.  
Continuous quality improvement (CQI)
A system of internal and external reviews and audits of all aspects of an EMS system.  
Contra-
Against; Opposite  
Contraception
The prevention of conception; Birth control  
Contract
An agreement between practitioner and client that is often implied rather than explicit about what each will or will not do. An ethical contract must be within the bounds of the practitioner's training and the ethical standards of her or his profession. The client agrees to give specific fees, goods, or services in return and agrees to be respectful of the practitioner's guidelines for appropriate behavior.  
Contractility
The ability of a muscle to shorten forcibly with adequte stimulation. This property sets muscles apart from all other types of tissue.  
Contraction
An increase in muscle tension, with or without change in overall length; to shorten or develop tension, an ability highly developed in muscle cells.  
Contracture
The chronic shortening of a muscle, especially the connective tissue component.  
Contradictory communication
Sending two conflicting messages at the same time.  
Contraindications
Conditions that make a particular medication or treatment inappropriate; for example a condition in which a medication or treatment should not be given because it would not help or may actually harm a patient.  
Contralateral
Opposite; acting in unison with a similar part on the opposite side of the body.  
Contributary negligence
A legal defense that may be raised when the defendant feels that the conduct of the plaintiff somehow contributed to any injuries or damages that were sustained by the plaintiff.  
Control zone
Areas at a hazardous materials incident that are designated as hot, warm, or cold, based on safety issues and the degree of hazard found there.  
Contus/o
To bruise  
Contusion
Minor damage in the dermal layer of the skin, causing discoloration from blood leaking into the surrounding tissue; a bruise; a bruise from an injury that causes bleeding beneath the skin without breaking the skin.  
Convection
The loss of body heat caused by air movement (eg. Breeze blowing across the body).  
Conventional reasoning
A type of reasoning in which a child looks for approval from peers and society.  
Convergence
Turning toward a common point from different directions.  
Convoluted
Rolled, coiled, or twisted.  
Copyright infringement
Using someone's words or ideas as if they were your own works; reproducing, displaying, distributing, or performing another's work without the permission of the copyright holder.  
COR-CQ
 
Cor/o
Pupil  
Core/o
Pupil  
Core temperature
The temperature of the central part of the body (eg. The heart, lung, and vital organs.)  
Corn
A painful, conical thickening of skin over bony prominences of the feet caused by continued pressure and friction on normally thin skin. Soft corns are those located in moist areas, such as between the toes.  
Corne/o
Cornea  
Cornea
The transparent anterior portion of the eyeball; the transparent tissue layer in front of the pupil and iris of the eye.  
Coron/o
Cornea  
Coronal axis
A horizontal line extending from left to right formed by the intersection of the frontal or coronal and transverse planes.
Coronal plane
A vertical plane perpendicular to the sagittal plane dividing the body into anterior and posterior portions, also called the frontal plane; an imaginary plane where the body is cut into front and back parts about which movements of ABduction and ADduction take place.
Coronary arteries
The arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscle itself; they are located in grooves between the atria and ventricles and between the two ventricles; the blood vessels that carry blood and nutrients to the heart muscle.  
Coronary veins
Veins that return the deoxygenated blood from the heart to the right atrium.  
Corpor/o
Body  
Corpus
Body; the major portion of an organ.  
Cortex
The outer surface layer of an organ.  
Cortic/o
Cortex, outer Region  
Cortisol
A glucocorticoid, also known as hydrocortisone. Levels of stress often are measured by cortisol levels.  
Cost/o
Rib  
Costal
Pertaining to the ribs.  
Coumadin (Rx)
Brand name; Coumadin. Generic name; Warfarin sodium. Classified as an Anticoagulant. It is used for reducing the blood's ability to clot with post stroke and post cardiac events. It is used to prevent thrombosis and thromboembolism formation and migration. Clients who take Coumadin may experience cramps, anorexia, headache, or mouth sores. It is best to consult the client's primary care provider before massage. Deep tissue techniques are contraindicated and ask about cardiac implants.
Countertransference
When a practitioner allows unresolved feelings and personal issues to influence his or her relationship with a client. The practitioners redirectional (to change the direction or course of) unresolved emotions influencing the client/practitioner relationship.  
Coup-contrecoup injury
Duel 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.  
Covalent bond
A bond involving the sharing of electrons between atoms.  
Cover and concealment
The tactical use of an impenetrable barrier for protection.  
Covert
An act in which the public safety community generally has no prior knowledge of the time, location, or nature of the attack.  
Cox/o
Hip  
Coxal
Pertaining to the hip.  
CPR board
A device that provides a firm surface under the patient's torso.  
CR-CS
 
Crackles
Low-pitched bubbling sounds produced by fluid in the lower airways; often described as either fine or coarse.  
Cramp
A spasmodic contraction of one or many muscles, painful muscle spasms or involuntary twitches that involve the whole muscle; painful, involuntary contraction of a muscle.  
Crani/o
Skull  
Cranial
Upward, toward the head; pertaining to the skull.  
Cranial nerves
Twelve pairs of nerves that originate from the offactory bulbs, thalamus, visual cortex, and brainstem. They transmit information to and from the sensory organs of the face and the muscles of the face, neck, and upper shoulders; the 12 pairs of nerves that arise from the brain.  
Cras/o
Mixture; Temperament  
Creep
The slow movement of viscoelastic materials back to their original state and tissue structure after release of a deforming force.  
Crenation
The shriveling of a cell, for example an erythrocyte, resulting from loss of water.  
Crepitation
An audible and/or palpable crunching during movement of tendon or ligaments over bone.  
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.  
Cricoid cartilage
A firm ridge of cartilage that forms the lower part of the larynx.  
Cricothyroid membrane
A thin sheet of fascia that connects the thyroid and cricoid cartilages that make up the larynx.  
Crin/o
Secrete  
-Crine
To secrete; Separate  
-Crit
To separate  
Critic/o
Crisis, dangerous  
Critical incident stress management (CISM)
A process that confronts the responses to critical incidents and defuses them, directing the emergency services personnel toward physical and emotional equilibrium.  
Cross-contamination
Occurs when a person is contaminated by an agent as a result of coming into contact with another contaminated person.  
Croup
An inflammatory disease of the upper respiratory system that may cause a partial airway obstruction and is characterized by a barking cough; usually seen in children.  
Crowning
The appearance of the infant's head at the vaginal opening during labor.  
Crural
Pertaining to the leg.  
Crush syndrome
Significant metabolic derangement that develops when crushed extremities or body parts remain trapped for prolonged periods; can lead to renal failure and death.  
Crushing injury
An injury that occurs when a great amount of force is applied to the body.  
Cry/o
Cold  
Crypt/o
Hidden  
Cryptorchidism
A developmental defect in which the testes fail (or one testis fails) to descend into the scrotum.  
C-spine
Neck area; common term in vehicle extrication trauma patient care; short for cervical spine.  
CT-CZ
 
Cubit/o
Elbow, forearm  
Culd/o
Cul-de-sac  
Cultural imposition
When one person imposes his or her beliefs, values, and practices on another because he or she believe his or her ideals are superior.  
Cumulative stress reactions
Prolonged or excessive stress.  
Cupr/o
Copper  
Cupula
A domelike structure.  
Cushing's syndrome
A disease produced by excess secretion of adrenocortical hormone; characterized by adipose tissue accumulation, weight gain, and osteoporosis.  
Cushion of safety
Keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and other vehicles on any side of you.  
-Cusis
Hearing  
Cutane/o
Skin  
Cutaneous
Referring to the skin.  
Cutaneous membrane
The skin; composed of epidermal and dermal layers.  
Cyan/o
Blue  
Cyanide
An agent that affects the body's ability to use oxygen; a colorless gas that has an odor similar to almonds; affects begin on the cellular level and are very rapidly seen at the organ and system levels.  
Cyanosis
Slightly bluish, grayish, slatelike, or dark purple discoloration of the skin caused by a deficiency of oxygen and excess of carbon dioxide in the blood; a bluish gray skin color that is caused by a reduced level of oxygen in the blood.  
Cycl/o
Ciliary body of eye; Cycle; Circle  
Cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Flexeril. Generic name; Cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride. Classified as a Skeletal muscle relaxant. It relieves muscle spasm in the treatment of Degenerative disc disease (DDD), Fibromyalgia, and muscle spasm. It works by blocking nerve impulses (or pain sensations) that are trying to be sent to the brain. Clients who take Flexeril may experience tachycardia, drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to use deep tissue massage techniques with caution. Abdominal massage might relieve constipation. Offer water during session and help the client on/off the table.
-Cyesis
Pregnancy  
Cylinders
Portable, compressed gas containers used to hold liquids and gases. Uninsultaed compressed gas cylinders are used to store substances such as nitrogen, argon, helium, and oxygen. They have a range of sizes and internal pressures.  
Cymbalta (Rx)
Brand name; Cymbalta. Generic name; Duloxetine. Classified as a Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SSNRI) and Antidepressant. It relieves general anxiety disorders and depression in the treatment of major depressive and general anxiety disorders, and neuropathy. It works by affecting chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Clients who take Cymbalta may experience slow reaction time, dulled thinking, mild nausea, dry mouth, gas, or constipation. It is best to place a reminder call the day before the appointment if needed. Offer water and be patient during the intake interview. Abdominal massage may help relieve constipation.
Cyst/o
Urinary bladder; Cyst; Sac of fluid  
Cystitis
An inflammation of the urinary bladder.  
Cyt/o
Cell  
-Cyte
Cell  
Cytokinesis
Division of cytoplasm that occurs after the cell nucleus has divided.  
Cytology
The science concerned with the study of cells.  
Cytoplasm
Material enclosed by the cell membrane, the substance of a cell other than that of the nucleus.  
-Cytosis
Condition of cells; Slight increase in numbers  
Cytoskeleton
A fremework of proteins inside the cell providing flexibility and strength.  
Cytosol
The fluid that surrounds the nucleus or organelles inside the cell membrane.  
Cytotoxic T cell
Effector T cell that directly kills foreign cells; also called a killer T cell.  
 
 
Info Link
DA-DE
 
Dactyl/o
Fingers; Toes  

Danger zone

(hot zone)

An area where individuals can be exposed to hazards such as sharp metal edges, broken glass, toxic substances, lethal rays, or ignition or explosion of hazardous materials.
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.
De-
Lack of; Down; Less; Removal of  
Dead space
The portion of the tidal volume that does not reach the alveoli and thus does not participate in gas exchange.
Decay
A nutural process in which a material that is unstable attempts to stabilize itself by changing its structure.
Deciduous
Temporary
Deciduous (milk) teeth
The 20 temporary teeth replaced by permanent teeth; "baby" teeth.
Deceleration
The slowing of an object.
Decision-making capacity
Ability to understand and process information and make a choice regarding appropriate medical care.
Decompensated shock
The late stage of shock when blood pressure is falling.
Decomposition reaction
A destructive chemical reaction in which complex substances are broken down into simpler ones.
Decompression sickness
A painful condition seen in divers who ascend too quickly, in which gas, especially nitrogen, forms bubbles in blood vessels and other tissues; also called "the bends."
Decontamination
The process of removing or neutralizing and properly disposing of hazardous materials from equipment, patients, and rescue personnel.
Decontamination area
The designated area in a hazardous materials incident where all patients and rescuers must be decontaminated before going to another area.
Decubitus ulcers
Also known as bedsores, they are caused by the pressure of skin against a surface for long periods. These sores can range from a pink discoloration of the skin to a deep wound that may invade into bone or organs.
Dedicated line
A special telephone line that is used for specific point-to-point communications; also known as a "hotline."
Deep
Away from the surface of the body, the opposite of superficial; further inside the body and away from the skin.
Deep fascia
A coarse sheet of fibrous connective tissue that binds muscles into functional groups and forms partitions, called intermuscular septae, between muscle groups.
Deep venous thrombosis
The formation of a blood clot within the larger veins of an extremity; typically following a period of prolonged immobilization.
Defamation
The communication of false information spoken or written about a person that is harmful or damaging to that person's reputation or standing in the community.
Defecation
The elimination of the contents of the bowels (feces).
Defense mechanisms
Psychological strategies of relating to the world that are developed unconsciously to protect people from shame, anxiety, and other emotionally painful experiences that they are unable to handle. Denial, dissociation, projection, reaction formation, repression, displacement, intellectualization, rationalization, sublimation, compensation, and assertiveness are common mechanisms used.
Defibrillate
To shock a fibrillating (chaotically beating) heart with specialized electrical current in an attempt to restore a normal, rhythmic beat.
Defibrillation
Delivery of an electrical shock to the myocardium in an attempt to convert ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia to a normal rhythm.
Degenerative joint disease
Osteoarthritis.
Deglutition
The act of swallowing.
Dehydration
A condition resulting from excessive loss of water; loss of water from the tissues of the body.
Dehydration synthesis
Process by which a larger molecule is synthesized from smaller ones by removal of a water molecule at each site of bond formation.
Delayed stress reaction
Reaction to stress that occurs after a stressful situation.
Delirium
A more or less sudden change in mental status marked by the inability to focus, think logically, and maintain attention.
Delirium tremens (DTs)
A severe withdrawal syndrome seen in alcoholics who are deprived of ethyl alcohol; characterized by restlessness, fever, sweating, disorientation, agitation, and seizures; can be fatal if untreated.
Dem/o
People  
Demeanor
The way in which a person behaves toward others, including body language.  
Dementia
The slow onset of progressive disorientation, shortened attention span, and loss of cognitive function.
Demobilization
The process of directing responders to return to their facilities when work at a disaster or mass-casualty incident has finished, at least for those particular responders.
Dendrites
Branching projections from the nerve cell body that carry signals to the cell body; the receptive portion of a nerve cell.
Denial
A defense mechanism that involves active refusal to recognize or acknowledge the full implications of an unpleasant reality. Denial bears some similarity to repression, but requires the collaboration of the conscious mind.  
Dent/i
Tooth  
Dentin
The calcified tissue forming the major part of a tooth; deep to the enamel.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
Genetic material of the cell that carries the chemical "blueprint" of the body; nucleic acid found in all living cells; carries the organism's hereditary information.
Depakote (Rx)
Brand name; Depakote. Generic name; Divalproex sodium. Classified as an Antiseizure medication. It helps in the treatment of acute manic episodes of bipolar disorder or seizure disorders in the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It works by affecting chemicals in the body that may be involved in causing seizures. Clients who take Depakote may experience drowsiness, nausea, or vomiting. It is best not to use percussive treatment work. Always remain calm. Help the client on/off the table, and create a plan for seizures.
Dependent edema
Swelling in the part of the body closest to the ground, caused by collection of fluid in the tissues; a possible sign of congestive heart failure.
Dependent lividity
Blood settling to the lowest point of the body, causing discoloration of the skin.
Depolarization
The loss of a state of polarity; the loss of a negative charge inside the plasma membrane.
Depositions
Oral questions asked of parties and witnesses under oath.
Depression
Downward or inferior movement; a persistent mood of sadness, despair, and discouragement; may be a symptom of many different mental and physical disorders, or it may be a disorder on its own.
Derm/o
Skin  
-Derma
Skin  
Dermat/o
Skin  
Dermatitis
A general term for acute or chronic skin inflammation characterized by redness, eruptions, edema, scaling, and itching. The three main types are atropic dermatities, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis. Eczema is a form of dermatitis; an inflammation of the skin; nonspecific skin allergies.
Dermatome
A cutaneous (skin) section supplied by a single spinal nerve.
Dermis
The inner layer of skin that contains collagen and elastin fibers, which provide much of the structure and strength of the skin, and is much thicker than the epidermis; the deep layer of the skin; composed of dense, irregular connective tissue; the inner layer of the skin, containing hair follicles, sweat glands, nerve endings, and blood vessels.
Descending tracts
Tracts that carry sensory information from the brain to the spinal cord.
Desexualize
Steps taken to ensure that the treatment is not turned into a sexual experience for either the practitioner or the client.  
Desicc/o
Drying  
Designated officer
The individual in the department who is charged with the responsibility of managing exposures and infection control issues.
-Desis
To Bind; Tie together  
Developmental disability
Insufficient development of the brain, resulting in some level of dysfunction or impairment.
Dextr/o
Right  
DF-DI
 
Dia-
Complete; Through  
Diabetes mellitus
A metabolic disorder that results from inadequate insulin secretion; a disease caused by deficient insulin release or inadequate responsiveness to insulin, leading to inability of the body cells to use carbohydrates at a normal rate; a metabolic disorder in which the ability to metabolize carbohydrates (sugars) is impaired, usually because of a lack of insulin.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
A form of hyperglycemia in uncontrolled diabetes in which certain acids accumulate when insulin is not available.
Diagnosis
A labeling of signs and symptoms by a licensed medical professional. The identification of the underlying cause, etiology, pathology, or nature of a set of signs and/or symptoms.
Diagonal ADduction
Movement of a limb through a diagonal plane directly across and toward the midline of the body.
Diagonal ABduction
Movement of a limb through a diagonal plane away from and across the midline of the body.
Diamond carry
A carrying technique in which one EMT is located at the head end of the stretcher or backboard, one at the foot end, and one at each side of the patient; each of two EMTs at the sides uses one hand to support the stretcher/backboard so that all are able to face forward as they walk.
Diapedsis
The passage of blood cells through intact vessel walls into the tissues.
Diaphor/o
Sweat  
Diaphoretic
State of swelling; characterized by profuse sweating.
Diaphragm
A dome-shaped sheet of muscle attached to the thoracic wall that seperates the lungs and thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity. As the chest cavity enlarges, the diaphragm moves downward and flattens to create a vacuum that allows air to flow into the lungs. As the chest contracts and the diaphragm relaxes, the diaphragm arches upward, helping air to flow out of the lungs; any portition or wall separating one area from another; a muscle that separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominopelvic cavity; a muscular dome that forms the undersurface of the thorax, separating the chest from the abdominal cavity; when the diaphragm and chest wall muscles contract air is brought into the lungs, when the diaphragm relaxes air is expelled from the lungs.
Diaphysis
Elongated shaft of a long bone.
Diarthrosis
A freely movable synovial joint.
Diastole
A period (between contractions) of relaxation of the heart during which it fills with blood; the relaxation, or period of relaxation, of the heart, especially of the ventricles.
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.
Diazepam (Rx)
Brand name; Valium. Generic name; Diazepam. Classified as a Benzodiazepine anxiolytic, skeletal muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, and sedative. It promotes calmness and reduces muscle spasm, anxiety, and seizures in the treatment of Cerebral palsy, and Chronic fatigue syndrome. It works by enhancing the effects of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) a natural chemical made in the brain that blocks brain signals (neurotransmissions). Clients who take Valium may experience bradycardia, physical or psychological dependence, drowsiness, nausea, or vomiting. Deep tissue techniques are contraindicated, abdominal massage may help relieve constipation. Help client on/off table, and check client's alertness for a safe drive home.
Diencephalon
That part of the forebrain between the cerebral hemispheres and the midbrain including the thalamus, the third ventricle, and the hypothalamus.
Diffusion
Movement of ions and molecules from an area of higher concentration to that of a lower concentration; the spreading of particles in a gas or solution with a movement toward uniform distribution of particles; a process in which molecules move from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration.
Digestion
The mechanical and chemical breakdown of food from its complex form into simple molecules; the bodily process of breaking down foods chemically and mechanically; the processing of food that nourishes the individual cells of the body.
Digestive system
System that processes food into absorbable units and eliminates indigestible wastes.
Digital
Pertaining to the digits; fingers and toes.
Dihydroergotamine mesylate (Rx)
Brand name; Migranal. Generic name; Dihydroergotamine mesylate. Classified as a Cranial vasoconstrictor. It reduces symptoms of migraine and cluster headaches in the treatment of Migraine headache. It works by narrowing the blood vessels in the brain. Clients who take Migranal may experience anxiety, sweating, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to adjust for temperature needs, and create a calming environment.
Dilat/o
To Enlarge, expand  
Dilate
To stretch; to open; to expand.
-Dilation
Widening; Stretching; Expanding  
Dilation
Widening of a tubular structure such as a coronary artery.
Diphtheria
An infectious disease in which a membrane forms, lining the pharynx; this lining can severely obstruct the passage of air into the larynx.
Dipl/o
Double  
Dips/o
Thirst  
Direct contact
Exposure or transmission of a communicable disease from one person to another by physical contact.
Direct ground lift
A lifting technique that is used for patients who are found laying supine on the ground with no suspected spinal injury.
Dirty bomb
Name given to a bomb that is used as a radiologic dispersal device.
Dis-
Apart, to separate  
Disaccharide
Litterally, double sugar; examples include sucrose and lactose.
Disaster
A widespread event that disrupts community resources and functions, in turn threatening public safety, citizens' lives, and property.
Discovery
The phase of a civil suit where the plaintiff and defense obtain information from each other that will enable the attorneys to have a better understanding of the case, which will assist them in negotiating a possible settlement or in preparing for trial. Discovery includes depositions, interrogatories, and demands for production of records.
Discriminate
To distinguish by noting differences. To unfairly treat a person or group of people differently from others, because of characteristics such as, personal beliefs, race, religion, or intelligence.  
Disease
An abnormality in functions of the body, especially when the abnormality threatens well-being.
Disease vector
An animal that spreads a disease, once infected, to another animal.
Disharmony
Distortions in health that result when the functions or systems are neither balanced nor working at their optimum. In Chinese medicine, disharmony can be created by the imbalance of six Pernicious Influences or the Seven Emotions; Anger, joy, sadness, grief, pensiveness, fear, and fright.
Disinfection
The killing of pathogenic agents by direct application of chemicals.
Disk herniation
A pathologic condition that occurs when the fibrocartilage that surrounds the intervertebral disk ruptures, releasing the nucleus that cushions the vertebrae above and below. The resultant pressure on spinal nerve roots may cause pain and damage the surrounding nerves.
Dislocation
Disruption of a joint in which ligaments are damaged and the bone ends are completely displaced.
Displaced fracture
A fracture in which bone fragments are separated from one another and not in anatomic alignment.
Dissecting aneurysm
A condition in which the inner layers of an artery, such as the aorta, become separated, allowing blood (at high pressures) to flow between the layers.
Dissemination
The means by which a terrorist will spread disease, for example, by poisoning the water supply or aerosolizing the agent into the air or ventilation system of a building.
Dissociate
A defense mechanism that separates ideas, feelings, information, identity, or memories that normally go together. Dissociation involves a detachment from reality (as opposed to a loss of reality) and exists on a continuum of mild (e.g., daydreams) to severe disorders.  
Dist/o
Far; Distant  
Distal
Farther from the center or median line or from the thorax; situated away from the point of attachment or origin or a central point; Farther from the point of attachment of a limb or origin of a structure; farther from the trunk or nearer to the free end of the extremity.
Distraction
The action of pulling the spine along its length.
Distributive shock
A condition that occurs when there is widespread dilation of the small arterioles, small venules, or both.
Divalproex sodium (Rx)
Brand name; Depakote. Generic name; Divalproex sodium. Classified as an Antiseizure medication. It helps in the treatment of acute manic episodes of bipolar disorder or seizure disorders in the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It works by affecting chemicals in the body that may be involved in causing seizures. Clients who take Depakote may experience drowsiness, nausea, or vomiting. It is best not to use percussive treatment work. Always remain calm. Help the client on/off the table, and create a plan for seizures.
Diverticulitis
Bulging out of intestinal rings in small pockets at weak areas in the muscle walls, creating abdominal discomfort.
Diverticulum
A pouch or sac in the walls of a hollow organ or structure.
Diving reflex
Slowing of the heart rate caused by submersion in cold water.
DJ-DO
 
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)
Instructions to withhold resuscitation efforts; these can be issued by a physician after consultation with the patient or surrogate decision maker or by the medical command authority via radio communication; written documentation by a physician giving permission to medical personnel to not attempt resuscitation in the event of cardiac arrest.
Documentation
The written portion of the EMT's patient interaction. This becomes part of the patient's permanent medical record.
Dolich/o
Long  
Dolor/o
Pain  
Dopamine
A catecholamine found in the brain and automatic system. Generally a stimulant, dopamine is involved in emotions/moods and in regulating motor control and the executive functioning of the brain.
Dors/o
Back (of Body)  
Dorsal
Relating to the back; posterior; the posterior surface of the body, including the back of the hand or top of the foot.
Dorsal respiratory group (DRG)
A portion of the medulla oblongota where the primary respiratory pacemaker is found.
Dorsal root
One of two roots that attaches a spinal nerve to the spinal cord.
Dorsalis pedis artery
The artery on the anterior surface of the foot between the first and second metatarsals.
Dorsi-
Back  
Dorsiflexion (dorsal flexion)
Movement of the ankle that results in the top of the foot moving toward the anterior tibia; up and down movement that includes lifting the foot so that its superior surface approaches the shin; standing on your heels
Dose
The amount of medication given on the basis of the patient's size and age.
Dosha
An Ayurvedic concept that describes chemical processes in the body. The three types are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
-Dote
To give  
Down syndrome
A genetic chromosomal defect that can occur during fetal development and that results in mental retardation as well as certain physical characteristics, such as a round head with a flat occiput and slanted, wide-set eyes.
Doxepin hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Sinequan. Generic name; Doxepin hydrochloride. Classified as a Tricyclic Antidepressant. It relieves depression and anxiety in the treatment of Fibromyalgia. It is not known how it works. Clients who take Sinequan may experience tachycardia, drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to offer water, adjust positioning when needed, and help client on/off the table.
DP-DR
 
Drag
Resistance that slows a projectile, such as air.
Drip chamber
The area of the administration set where fluid accumulates so that the tubing remains filled with fluid.
Drip sets
Another name for administration sets.
-Drome
To run  
Drowning
The process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion or immersion in liquid.
Drums
Barrel-like containers used to store a wide variety of substances, including food-grade materials, corrocives, flammable liquids, and grease. Drums may be constructed of low-carbon steel, polyethylene, cardboard, stainless steel, nickel, or other materials.
DS-DZ
 
Dual relationships
The overlapping of professional and social roles and interactions between two people. A relationship with a client other than the contractual therapeutic one, such as having a client who is also a friend, family member, or business associate.  
Duct/o
To lead; Carry  
Duct
A canal or passageway.
Duloxetine (Rx)
Brand name; Cymbalta. Generic name; Duloxetine. Classified as a Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SSNRI) and Antidepressant. It relieves general anxiety disorders and depression in the treatment of major depressive and general anxiety disorders, and neuropathy. It works by affecting chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Clients who take Cymbalta may experience slow reaction time, dulled thinking, mild nausea, dry mouth, gas, or constipation. It is best to place a reminder call the day before the appointment if needed. Offer water and be patient during the intake interview. Abdominal massage may help relieve constipation.
Duoden/o
Duodenum  
Duodenum
The first part of the small intestine.
DuoDote auto-injector
A nerve agent antidote kit containing atropine and pralidoxime chloride; delivered as a single dose through one needle.
Duplex
The ability to transmit and receive simultaneously.
Dur/o
Dura mater  
Dura mater
The outermost and toughest of the three membranes (meninges) covering the brain and spinal cord.
Durable power of attorney for health care
A type of advance directive executed by a competent adult that appoints another individual to make medical treatment decisions on his or her behalf in the event that the person making the appointment loses decision-making capacity.
Duties
The practitioner's obligations to her clients to act in a particular manner.  
Duty to act
A medicolegal term relating to certain personnel who either by statute or by function have a responsibility to provide care.
Duty of care
A legal requirement that a practitioner adheres to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could possibly be harmful. If a practitioner's actions don't meet this standard of care, then the acts are considered negligent, and any damages resulting may be claimed in a lawsuit for negligence.  
Dynamic equalibrium
Sense that reports on angular or rotatory movements of the head in space.
Dynam/o
Power, strength  
Dynamic force
Force applied to an object that produces movement in or of the object.
-Dynia
Pain  
Dys-
Bad; Painful; Difficult; Abnormal  
Dysarthria
Slurred speech.
Dysbarism injuries
Any signs and symptoms caused by the difference between the surrounding atmospheric pressure and the total gas pressure in various tissues, fluids, and cavities of the body.
Dyspnea
Labored, difficult breathing; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
 
Info Link
E-EI
 
-Eal
Pertaining to  
Early adults
Persons who are 19 to 40 years of age.
Ec-
Outside; Out  
Eccentric contraction
The action of an antagonist by which a muscle lengthens while under tension and changes in tension to control the descent of the resistance. Eccentric contractions may be thought of as controlling movement against gravity or resistance and are described as negative contractions.
Eccentric muscle contraction
An overall lengthening of the muscle while it is contracting or resisting a workload
Ecchymosis
Bruising or discoloration associated with bleeding within or under the skin.
Eccrine
A type of sweat gland that releases a watery fluid known as sweat, which cools the body and provides minor elimination of metabolic waste.
ECG
Electrocardiogram; an electronic tracing of the heart's electrical activity through leads, which originate in the electrocardiograph machine and contain electrodes that attach to the patient's chest and/or limbs.
ECG 12-lead
An ECG or Electrocardiogram that uses 12 leads attached to the patient's skin; these include the limb leads and chest leads.
ECG 4-lead
An ECG or Electrocardiogram that uses 4 leads attached to the patient's skin; these include the limb leads.
Echin/o
Spiny, prickly  
Echo-
Reflected sound  
Eclampsia
Seizures (convulsions) resulting from severe hypertension in a pregnant woman.
Ecotrin (Rx)
Brand name; Astrin, Empirin, or Ecotrin. Generic name; Aspirin. Classified as a Salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and fever reducer and is used in the treatment of stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, or tension headaches. It works by reducing substances in the body (prostaglandins) that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Clients who take Astrin, Empirin, and Ecotrin may experience upset stomach and increased bruising. It is best to use caution with deep massage techniques and be aware of the client's decreased pain perception.
-Ectasia
Dilation; Dilatation; Widening  
-Ectasis
Dilation; Dilatation; Widening  
Ecto-
Outside; Out  
-Ectomy
Removal; Excision; Resection  
Ectopic
Not in the normal place; for example, in an ectopic pregnancy the egg is implanted at a place other than the uterus
Ectopic pregnancy
A pregnancy that develops outside the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube.
Ectro/o
Congenital absence  
-Edema
Swelling  
Edema
A local or generalized condition in which body tissues contain an excessive amount of fluid. The accumulation of abnormal amounts of fluid in tissue space; an abnormal accumulation of fluid in body parts or tissues; causes swelling; the presence of abnormally large amounts of fluid between cells in body tissues, causing swelling of the affected area.
Effector
An organ, gland, or muscle capable of being activated by nerve endings
Efferent
Away from a center or point of reference; carrying away or away from
Efferent nerves
Motornerves that link the central nervous system to the effectors outside it and transmit motor impulses.
Efferent neurons
Neurons that conduct impulses away from the central nervous system
Effexor (Rx)
Brand name; Effexor. Generic name; Venlafaxine hydrochloride. An SSNRI or Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor and is classified as an Antidepressant. Used for treatment of Stress, major depression disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorders, and social phobia. It effects the chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Clients who take Effexor may experience increased blood pressure, agitation, constipation, nausea, and weakness. It is best to use caution with stimulating techniques, and abdominal massage may relieve constipation.
Effleurage
To glide, stroke or touch lightly, from the French word effleure; used early in a massage to introduce touch, spread lubricant, palpate; prepares tissue for deeper techniques, is used to transition between strokes or limbs/area, or to end the massage or section of body.
Effort
The force applied to overcome resistance  
Eight
Octa-, Octi-  
EJ-EL
 
Ejaculation
The sudden ejection of semen from the penis  
-Elasma
Flat plate  
Elastic fibers
Connective tissue fibers that are extensible and elastic. They are made of protein called elastin, which returns to its original length after being stretched.  
Elasticity
The ability of a muscle to recoil and resume its original resting length after being stretched.  
Elastin
A connective tissue fiber type that has elastic properties and allows flexibility of connective tissue structures.  
Elder abuse
Any action on the part of an older person's family member, caregiver, or other associated person that takes advantage of the older person, his or her property, or emotional state; also called granny beating and parent battering.  
Ele/o
Oil  
Electr/o
Electricity  
Electrical conduction system
A network of special cells in the heart through which an electrical current flows, causing contractions of the heart that produce pumping of blood.  
Electrical energy
Energy form resulting from the movement of charged particles  
Electrocardiogram (ECG)
A graphic record of the electrical activity of the heart  
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
A graphic record of the electrical activity of nerve cells in the brain  
Electrolyte
A substance that breaks down into ions when in solution and is capable of conducting an electric current  
Electron
Negatively charged subatomic particle; orbits the atomic nucleus  
Electron transport chain
Metabolic pathway within the mitochondria in which energy harvested from high-energy hydrogen atoms is used to make ATP; final delivery of H to molecular oxygen produces water.  
Element
Substance containing only a single kind of atom; any of the building blocks of matter; for example, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon.  
Eletriptan hydrobromide (Rx)
Brand name; Relpax. Generic name; Eletriptan hydrobromide. Classified as an Antimigraine. It relieves migraine headache symptoms used for the treatment of Migraine headaches. It works by narrowing blood vessels around the brain and reducing substances in the body that can trigger migraine symptoms such as headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound. Clients who take Relpax may experience palpitations, dizziness, flushing, or abdominal pain. It is best to create a calming environment, help client on/off the table, and alter positioning when needed.
Elevation
Upward or superior movement.  
Elimination (egestion)
Removal and release of solid waste products from food that cannot be digested or absorbed.  
EM
 
Em-
In  
-Ema
Condition  
Emancipated minors
A person who is under the legal age in a given state but, because of other circumstances, is legally considered an adult.  
Embolo/o
Embolus  
Embolus
A blood clot or other substance in the circulatory system that travels to a blood vessel where is causes a blockage.  
Embolism
The obstruction of a blood vessel by an embolus; blood clot, bubble of air, or fatty mass floating in the blood.  
Embry/o
Embryo  
Embryo
An organism in its early stages of development; in humans, the first 2 months after conception; the fertilized egg that is the early stages of a fetus.  
Emergency
A serious situation, such as injury or illness, that threatens the life or welfare of a person or group of people and requires immediate intervention.  
Emergency doctrine
The principle of law that permits a health care provider to treat a patient in an emergency situation when the patient is incapable of granting consent because of an altered level of consciousness, disability, the effects of drugs or alcohol, or the patient's age.  
Emergency medical care
Immediate care or treatment.  
Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD)
A system that assists dispatchers in selecting appropriate units to respond to a particular call for assistance and in providing callers with vital instructions until the arrival of EMS crews.  
Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
The first trained individual, such as a police officer, fire fighter, lifeguard, or other rescuer, to arrive at the scene of an emergency to provide initial medical assistance.  
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
A multidisciplinary system that represents the combined efforts of several professionals and agencies to provide prehospital emergency care to the sick and injured.  
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
An individual who has training in basic life support, including automated external defibrillation, use of a definitive airway adjunct, and assisting patients with certain medications; a person trained in and responsible for the administration of specialized emergency care and transportation to a medical facility of victims of acute illness or injury; the US Department of Transportation training guidelines for EMTs include a 110-hour course of instruction and clinical time.  
Emergency move
A move in which the patient is dragged or pulled from a dangerous scene before assessment and care are provided.  
Emergency Response Guidebook
A preliminary action guide for first responders operating at a hazardous materials incident in coordination with the US Department of Transportation's labels and placards marking system. The ERG was jointly developed by the DOT, the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico, and Transpot Canada.  
-Emesis
Vomiting  
Emesis
Vomiting.  
-Emia
Blood condition  
-Emic
Pertaining tobBlood condition  
Emmetr/o
In due measure  
Emmetropia
The eye that focuses images correctly on the retina, is said to have this "harmonious vision".  
Emotionally oriented bodywork
Manual therapy that is based on the idea that physical tension and restriction are related to unconscious patterns of holding that the client has adopted, often early in life, to cope with his or her emotional environment. The practitioner facilitates the client in releasing these tension patterns for the greater emotional and physical well-being of the client. Also called psychologically oriented bodywork.  
Empathy
The action of understanding, being sensitive to, and identifying with another person's situation, feelings, thoughts, and motives.  
-Emphraxis
Stoppage, obstruction  
Emphysema
A condition caused by overdistension of the pulmonary alveoli and fibrosis of lung tissue; a disease of the lungs in which there is extreme dilation and eventual destruction of the pulmonary alveoli with poor exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide; it is one form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  
Empirin (Rx)
Brand name; Astrin, Empirin, or Ecotrin. Generic name; Aspirin. Classified as a Salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and fever reducer and is used in the treatment of stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, or tension headaches. It works by reducing substances in the body (prostaglandins) that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Clients who take Astrin, Empirin, and Ecotrin may experience upset stomach and increased bruising. It is best to use caution with deep massage techniques and be aware of the client's decreased pain perception.
EMT-administered medication
When the EMT directly administers the medication to the patient.  
EMT-Basic (EMT-B)
(old term no longer used now EMT) Basic level of emergency medical technician education identified by the US Department of Transportation; provides basic emergency medical care.  
EMT-Intermediate (EMT-I)
(old term no longer used now AEMT or Advanced EMT) Level of emergency medical technician between the level of EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic; the EMT-I generally has additional education in assessment over the EMT-B level; in addition, the EMT-I generally will be educated to use intravenous therapy and a limited selection of medications.  
EMT-Paramedic (EMT-P)
Most advanced level of prehospital emergency care provided identified by the US Department of Transportation; the EMT-P has advanced assessment skills and is trained in a wide variety of invasive interventions; the EMT-P can use a variety of medications, intravenous solutions, and other advanced treatment techniques.  
EN
 
En-
In; Within  
Enamel
The hard, calcified substance that covers the crown of a tooth.  
Enanti/o
Opposite, opposed  
Enbrel (Rx)
Brand name; Enbrel. Generic name; Etanercept. Classified as an Antirheumatic. It relieves signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis used for treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis. It works by controlling the body's defensive response by blocking the action of TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor a cytokine involved with inflammation) used by the immune system. Clients who take Enbrel may experience abdominal pain, dizziness, or headache. It is best to elevate the head and help client on/off the table, if needed.
Encephal/o
Brain  
End-
In; Within  
Endep (Rx)
Brand name; Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep. Generic name; Amitriptyline hydrochloride. Classified as a Tricyclic antidepressant. It relieves depression and is used in the treatment of stress, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and neuropathy. It works by affecting the balance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (natural occurring substance) in the brain. Clients who take Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep may experience drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to help the client on/off table, abdominal massage may help relieve constipation, and make sure the client is alert before driving home.
Endo-
In; Within  
Endocarditis
An inflammation of the inner lining of the heart.  
Endocardium
The endothelial membrane lining the interior of the heart.  
Endocrine glands
A ductless gland that secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream; glands that secrete or release chemicals that are used inside the body.  
Endocrine system
Body system that includes internal organs that secrete hormones; the complex message and control system that integrates many body functions, including the release of hormones.  
Endocytosis
The cellular process of engulfing particles located outside the cell membrane into a cell by forming vesicles.  
Endometrium
The mucous membrane lining on the inside of the uterus.  
Endomysium
The thin connective tissue surrounding each muscle cell  
Endoneurium
A delicate connective tissue sheath that surrounds each fiber in a nerve  
Endoplasmic reticulum
A network of interacellular membranes in the form of tubes that is connected to the nuclear membrane; a membranous network of tubular or saclike channels in the cytoplasm of a cell  
Endorphins
Peptide hormones that mainly work like morphine to suppress pain. They influence mood, producing mild euphoric feeling such as is seen in runner's high.  
Endoskeleton
The bony support structure found inside the human body that accommodates growth  
Endosteum
A thin membrane of connective tissue that lines the marrow cavity of the bone  
Endothelium
The single layer of simple squamous cells that line the walls of the heart and the vessels that carry blood and lymph  
Endotracheal intubation
Insertion of an endotracheal tube directly through the larynx between the vocal cords and into the trachea to maintain and protect an airway.  
End-tidal carbon dioxide detectors
Plastic, disposable indicators that signal by color change when an endotracheal tube is in the proper place.  
End-tidal CO2
The amount of carbon dioxide present in exhaled breath.  
Energy
The capacity to work, and work is the movement of or a change in the physical structure of matter; the ability to do work  
Enfuvirtide (Rx)
Brand name; Fuzeon. Generic name; Enfuvirtide. Classified as an Anti-HIV and Antiviral. It controls symptoms of HIV infection used for treatment of HIV/AIDS. It works by decreasing the amount of HIV in the body so the immune system can work better. Clients who take Fuzeon may experience peripheral neuropathy, depression, bruising, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea. Deep tissue techniques are contraindicated. Gentle abdominal massage may help relieve constipation. Perform neuropathy protocol and be supportive in actions and words.
Entacapone (Rx)
Brand name; Comtan. Generic name; Entacapone. Classified as an Antiparkinson. It controls signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease used for treatment of Parkinson's disease. It works by COMT enzymes (Catechol-O-methyltransferase O=oxygen) inactivating catecholamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine allowing other Rx to work properly. Clients who take Comtan may experience anxiety, depression, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea. It is best to perform abdominal massage to help relieve constipation. Offer a calming environment and positive reinforcement in actions and words.
Enter/o
Intestines (usually small intestine)  
Enternal medications
Medications that enter the body through the digestive system.  
Entrainment
A coordination or synchronization to an internal or external rhythm, especially when a person responds to certain patterns by moving in a coordinated manner to those patterns.  
Entrapment
To be caught (trapped) within a vehicle, room, or container with no way out or to have a limb or other body part trapped.  
Envenomation
The act of injecting venom.  
Enzymes
A substance formed by living cells that acts as a catalyst in bodily chemical reactions; catalysts designed to speed up the rate of specific biochemical reactions.  
EO-EQ
 
Eoain/o
Red; Rosy; Dawn-Colored  
Eosinophils
Granular white blood cells whose granules readily take up a stain called eosin  
Epi-
Above; Upon; On  
Epicardium
A serous membrane that tightly hugs the external surface of the heart and is actually part of the heart wall; also called visceral pericardium  
Epicondyle
A bony projection above a condyle  
Epidemic
Occurs when new cases of a disease occur in a human population and substantially exceed what is "expected," based on recent experience.  
Epidermis
The outer or top layer of skin composed of sublayers called strata. The epidermis contains no nerves or blood vessels; the outer layers of the skin; epithelium; the outer layer of skin that acts as a watertight protective covering.  
Epididym/o
Epididymis  
Epididymis
That portion of the male duct system in which sperm mature; empties into the ducts, or vas deferens  
Epidural hematoma
An accumulation of blood between the skull and the dura mater.  
Epiglott/o
Epiglottis  
Epiglottis
The elastic cartilage at the back of the throat; covers the glottis during swallowing; a thin, leaf-shaped valve that allows air to pass into the trachea but prevents food and liquid from entering.  
Epiglottitis
A disease in which the epiglottis becomes inflamed and enlarged and may cause an upper airway obstruction.  
Epilepticus
A continuous seizure  
Epilepsy
A group of neurologic disorders characterized by recurrent episodes of convulsive seizures, sensory disturbances, unusual behavior, loss of consciousness, or all of these; uncontrolled electric discharge from the nerve cells of the cerebral cortex.  
Epimysium
The sheath of fibrous connective tissue surrounding a muscle  
Epinephrine
A catecholamine released by the nervous system and involved in fight-or-flight responses such as dilation of a blood vessels to the skeletal muscles. Epinephrine is classified as a hormone when secreted by the adrenal gland; a substance produced by the body (commonly called adrenaline), and a drug produced by phamacuetical companies that increases pulse rate and blood pressure; the drug of choice for an anaphylactic reaction.  
Epineurium
A tough, fibrous sheath that binds together the fascicles in a nerve  
Epi-Pen
Autoinjector that contains epinephrine used subcutaneously to counteract the effects of histamine.  
Epiphysis
The end of a long bone  
Episi/o
Vulva  
Epistaxis
A nosebleed.  
Epitheli/o
Skin; Epithelium  
Epithelial tissues
A specialized group of tissues that cover and protect the surface of the body and its parts, line body cavities, and form glands. Epithelial tissue usually is found in areas that move substances into and out of the body during secretion, absorption, and excretion.  
Epithelium
One of the primary tissues; covers the surface of the body and lines the body cavities, ducts, and vessels.  
Equi-
Equality, Equal  
Equilibrium
Balance; a state when opposite reactions or forces counteract each other exactly.  
Equin/o
Horse  
ER-EU
 
-Er
One Who  
Erg/o
Work  
Erethism/o
Irritation  
Erythem/o
Flushed; Redness  
Erythr/o
Red  
Erythrocytes
Red blood cells that contain hemoglobin and function to transport oxygen to the cells and carbon dioxide away from the cells.  
Erythropoiesis
The process of erythrocyte formation.  
Eschar/o
Scab  
Escitalopram oxalate (Rx)
Brand name; Lexapro. Generic name; Escitalopram oxalate. Classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) and Antidepressant. It relieves depression and anxiety and is used for treatment of Stress. It works by helping to restore the balance of serotonin in the brain. Clients who take Lexapro may experience cardiac complications, abdominal pain, abnormal dreams, dizziness, migraine, sedation, heartburn, indigestion, and gas. It is best not to let the client fall asleep. Position for gastric distress. Alter positioning and help client on/off the table if needed.
-Esis
Action; Condition; State of  
Eso-
Inward  
Esophag/o
Esophagus  
Esophagus
A collapsible tube that extends from the pharynx to the stomach; contractions of the muscle in the wall of the esophagus propel food and liquids through it to the stomach.  
Essential tremor
A chronic tremor that does not proceed from any other pathologic condition.  
Esthes/o
Nervous Sensation  
Esthesi/o
Nervous Sensation  
-Esthesia
Nervous Sensation  
Estr/o
Female  
Estrogen
Hormones that stimulate female secondary sex characteristics; female sex hormones.  
Etanercept (Rx)
Brand name; Enbrel. Generic name; Etanercept. Classified as an Antirheumatic. It relieves signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis used for treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis. It works by controlling the body's defensive response by blocking the action of TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor a cytokine involved with inflammation) used by the immune system. Clients who take Enbrel may experience abdominal pain, dizziness, or headache. It is best to elevate the head and help client on/off the table, if needed.
Ethical congruence
Making decisions that are consistent, or in alignment with the ethical values that apply to each situation.  
Ethical dilemma
A situation in which two or more duties, rights, or a combination of duties and rights are in conflict. As a result, regardless of what action is taken, something of value will be compromised.  
Ethics
The philosophy of right and wrong, of moral duties, and of ideal professional behavior.  
Ethm/o
Sieve  
Ethnocentrism
When a person considers his or her own cultural values as more important when interacting with people of a different culture.  
Eti/o
Cause  
Etiology
The study of the factors involved in the development of disease, including the nature of the disease and the susceptiblility of a person.  
Etiquette
A code of behavior that delineates expectations. Professional etiquette concerns behaviors that fall under the heading of good manners: cancellation notification and being punctual; hygiene; and personal habits.  
Eu-
Good; Normal  
Eupnea
Easy, normal breathing.  
-Eurysm
Widening  
Eustachian tube
Tube that connects the middle ear and the pharynx; allows pressure to be equalized on both sides of the ear drum; also called the Pharyngotympanic (auditory) tube; a branch of the internal auditory canal that connects the middle ear to the oropharynx.  
EV-EZ
 
Evaporation
Conversion of water or another fluid from a liquid to a gas.  
Eversion
Movement of the sole of the foot outward away from the midline; special movement of the foot achieved by turning the sole laterally.  
Evisceration
The displacement of organs outside of the body.  
Ex-
Out; Away from  
Exanthemat/o
Rash  
Exchange reaction
A chemical reaction in which bonds are both made and broken; atoms become combined with different atoms.  
Excitability
The ability of a muscle to receive and respond to a stimulus.  
Excretion
The elimination of waste products from the body.  
Exhalation
The passive part of the breathing process in which the diaphram and the intercostal muscles relax, forcing air out of the lungs.  
Exo-
Out; Away from  
Exocrine gland
A gland that secretes hormones through ducts directly into specific areas. Exocrine glands are part of the endocrine system; glands that have ducts through which their secretions are carried to a body surface, skin or mucosa.  
Exocytosis
The movement of substances out of a cell.  
Expiration
The act of expelling air from the lungs; exhalation.  
Expiratory reserve volume
The amount of air that can be exhaled following a normal exhalation; average volume is about 1,200 mL.  
Exposure
A situation in which a person has had contact with blood, body fluids, tissues, or airborne particles in a manner that suggests disease transmission may occure.  
Expressed consent
A type of consent in which a patient gives express authorization for provision of care or transport.  
Extend
To straighten.  
Extensibility
The ability of a muscle to be stretched or extended.  
Extension
A movement that increases the angle between two bones, usually moving the body part back toward the anatomic position; e.g., straightening a flexed knee; the straightening of a joint.  
External auditory canal
The ear canal; leads to the tympanic membrane.  
External jugular IV
IV access established in the external jugular vein of the neck.  
External respiration
The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and the bloodstream; the actual exchange of gases between the alveoli and the blood (pulmonary gas exchange); the exchange of gases between the lungs and the blood cells in the pulmonary capillaries; also called pulmonary respiration.  
External rotation
Rotary movement around the longitudinal axis of a bone away from the midline of the body. Also known as rotation laterally, outward rotation, and lateral rotation.  
Externship
Learning programs similar to internships, offered by educational institutions to give students short practical experiences in their field of study. They are generally shorter than internships and last approximately a few weeks to months.  
Extra-
Outside  
Extracellular
Outside a cell.  
Extracellular matrix
Nonliving material in connective tissue consisting of ground substance and fibers that separate the living cells.  
Extracellular fluid
Fluid within the body but outside the cells.  
Extremity lift
A lifting technique that is used for patients who are supine or in a sitting position with no suspected extremity or spinal injuries.  
Extraction
Removal of a patient from entrapment or a dangerous situation or position, such as removal from a wrecked vehicle, industrial accident, or building collapse.  
Extrication supervisor
In incident command, the person appointed to determine the type of equipment and resources needed for a situation involving extraction or special rescue; also called the rescue officer.  
Extubation
Removal of a tube after it has been placed.  
Eyes-forward position
A head position in which the patient's eyes are looking straight ahead and the head and torso are in line.  
 
 
Info Link
F-FH
 
Facet
A smooth small plane or concave surface on a bone.
Faci/o
Face  
-Facient
To cause, make happen  
Facilitated diffusion
The transport of substances by carriers to which the substance binds to move the substance into a cell along the concentratoin gradient without energy.
Fair use
A doctrine that allows limited reproduction of copyrighted works for educational and research purposes.  
Fallopian tube
The oviduct, the tube through which the ovum is transported to the uterus; also called uterine tube; the tube that connect each ovary with the uterus and are the primary location for fertilization of the ovum.
False imprisonment
The confinement of a person without legal authority or the person's consent.
Fasci/o
Fascia  
Fascia
A general term for a layer or layers of loose or dense fibrous connective tissue. A fibrous membrane covering, supporting, stabilizing, enclosing, and separating muscles; the substance tissue that connects the skin to the muscles; the fiberlike connective tissue that covers arteries, veins, tendons, and ligaments.
Fascicle
A bundle of muscle fibers; a bundle of nerve or muscle fibers bound together by connective tissue.
Fatty acid
A building block of fats.
Febr/i
Fever  
Febrile
Pertaining to elevated body temperature; a body temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit commonly is considered febrile.
Febrile seizures
Seizures that result from sudden high fevers, particularly in children.
Feces
Material discharged from the bowel composed of food residue, secretions, and bacteria.
Federal Communication Commission (FCC)
The federal agency that has jurisdiction over interstate and international telephone and telegraph services and satellite communications, all of which may involve EMS activity.
Feedback
The transmission of evaluative or corrective information about an action, event, or process.  
Feedback loop
A self-regulated control system in the body that receives information, integrates that information, and provides a response to maintain homeostasis. Negative feedback reverses the original stimulus, whereas positive feedback enhances and maintains the stimulus.
Feldenkrais method
A movement therapy that seeks to re-educate the body and mind through movements that tap into the nervous system's own innate processes to change and refine functioning. Developed by Moshe Feldenkrais.  
Femor/o
Femur  
Femoral
Pertaining to the thigh.
Femoral artery
The principal artery of the thigh, a continuation of the external iliac artery; supplies blood to the lower abdominal wall, external genitalia, and legs; palpated in the groin area.
Femoral head
The proximal end of the femur, articulating with the acetabulum to form the hip joint.
Femur
The thighbone; the longest and one of the strongest bones in the body.
-Ferent
To carry (efferent- away from center/afferent- toward center)  
Ferr/i, Ferr/o
Iron  
Fertilization
Fusion of nuclear material of an egg and a sperm.
Fet/o
Fetus  
Fetal alcohol syndrome
A condition of infants who are born to women who consume alcohol during pregnancy; characterized by growth and physical problems, mental retardation, and a variety of congenital abnormalities.
Fetus
The unborn young; in humans the period from the third month of development until birth; the developing, unborn infant inside the uterus.
Feverall (Rx)
Brand names; Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol. Generic name; Acetaminophen. Classified as a Nonopioid pain reliever. It reduces fever and is a mild analgesic used in the treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), frozen shoulder, migraine headache, tension headache, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains and strains, tendinosis, and transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). It works by elevating the body's overall pain threshold so you feel less pain. It also eliminates excess heat for fever reducing. Clients who take Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol may experience liver damage from prolonged use. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Fexofenadine hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Allegra. Generic name; Fexofenadine hydrochloride. Classified as an Antihistamine. It relieves seasonal allergy symptoms, used for treatment of seasonal allergies. It works by reducing the effects of histamine, a natural chemical that the body releases to tackle allergens by producing sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose. Clients who take Allegra may experience fatigue or drowsiness. It is best to not position prone, and help client on/off table if needed.
FI-FK
 
Fibr/o
Fiber  
Fibrillation
Irregular, uncoordinated contraction of muscle cells, particularly of the heart musculature.
Fibrin
The fibrous insoluble protein that is converted to fibrin during blood clotting.
Fibrinogen
A blood protein that is converted to fibrin during blood clotting.
Fibrocartilage
A connective tissue that permits little motion in joints and structures, is found in places such as the intervertebral disks, and forms our ears.
Fibromyalgia
A syndrome with symptoms of widespread pain or aching, persistent fatigue, generalized morning stiffness, nonrestorative sleep, and multiple tender points. A disrupted sleep pattern, coupled with the dysfunction of myofascial repair mechanisms, seems to be a factor.
Fibros/o
Fibrous connective tissue  
Fibrous joint
A joint in which the components are connected by fibrous tissue. An articulation in which fibrous tissue connects bone directly to bone; bones joined by fibrous tissue; no joint cavity is present. A synarthrotic or immovable joint such as the sutures in the skull.
Fibrous protein
A strandlike protein that appears most often in body structures; they are very important in binding structures together and for providing strength in certain body tissues.
Fibul/o
Fibula  
Fibula
The outer and smaller bone of the two bones of the lower leg.
Fibular
Pertaining to the area of the fibula, the lateral bone of the lower leg.
-Fication
Process of making  
-Fida
Split  
Fiduciary
A legal or ethical relationship of trust between two or more parties.  
Fil/i, Fil/o, Filament/o
Thread or threadlike  
Filtration
The passage of a solvent and dissolved substances through a membrane or filter.
Finance
In incident command, the position in an incident responsible for accounting of all expenditures.
First-responder vehicles
Specialized vehicles used to transport EMS equipment and personnel to the scene of medical emergencies.
Fissure
A groove or cleft; the deepest depression or inward folds on the brain.
Fistula
A tract that is open at both ends through which abnormal connection occurs between two surfaces.
Five
Pent-, penta-, quinque-  
Five Element Shiatsu
This method identifies a pattern of disharmony through use of the four examinations and to harmonize patterns with an appropriate treatment plan. Radial pulse, palpation of the back and/or abdomen and a detailed verbal history serve to confirm the assessment.  
Fixator
One of the stabilizing muscles surrounding a joint or body part that contracts to fixate, or stabilize, the area, enabling another limb or body segment to exert force and move; muscle acting to immobilize a joint or a bone; fixes the origin of a muscle so that muscle actions can be exerted at the insertion.
FL-FN
 
Flaccid
A term used to describe a muscle with decreased or absent tone; soft; flabby; relaxed.
Flagella
Long, whiplike extensions of the cell membrane of some bacteria and of sperm; serve to propel the cell.
Flail chest
A condition in which two or more ribs are fractured in two or more places or in association with a fracture of the sternum so that a segment of the chest wall is effectively detached from the rest of the thoracic cage.
Flame burn
A burn caused by an open flame.
Flank
The posterior region below the margin of the lower rib cage.
Flashback
The experience of reliving or re-experiencing a traumatic event as if it is occurring or is imminent.  
Flash burn
A burn caused by exposure to very intense heat, such as in an explosion.
Flav/o
Yellow  
Flex/o
To bend  
Flex
To bend.
Flexeril (Rx)
Brand name; Flexeril. Generic name; Cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride. Classified as a Skeletal muscle relaxant. It relieves muscle spasm in the treatment of Degenerative disc disease (DDD), Fibromyalgia, and muscle spasm. It works by blocking nerve impulses (or pain sensations) that are trying to be sent to the brain. Clients who take Flexeril may experience tachycardia, drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to use deep tissue massage techniques with caution. Abdominal massage might relieve constipation. Offer water during session and help the client on/off the table.
Flexibility
The ability to readily adapt to changes in position or alignment; may be expressed as normal, limited, or excessive.
Flexible stretcher
A stretcher that is a rigid carrying device when secured around a patient but can be folded or rolled when not in use.
Flexion
A movement that decreases the angle between two bones as the body part moves out of the anatomic position; bending; the movement that decreases the angle between bones; the bending of a joint.
Fluor/o
Luminous  
Fluoxetine hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Prozac. Generic name; Fluoxetine hydrochloride. Classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). It relieves obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and is an antidepressant used for treatment of Fibromyalgia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It works by affecting chemicals in the brain that become unbalanced. Clients who take Prozac may experience insomnia, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. It is best to use abdominal massage to help constipation. Help client on/off the table, and do not let client fall asleep (may disrupt sleep patterns).
Flutter valve
A one-way valve that allows air to leave the chest cavity but not return; formed by taping three sides of an occlusive dressing to the chest wall, leaving the fourth side open as a valve.
FO-FR
 
Focus
Creation of a sharp image by the lens.
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.
Follicle
Structure in an ovary consisting of a developed egg surrounded by follicle cells; colloid-containing structure in the thyroid gland.
Follicul/o
Follicle; small sac  
Fontanels
Areas of the skull of an infant in which the bone formation is incomplete. The frontanels allow for compression of the skull as the infant travels through the birth canal and expansion as the brain grows; the fibrous membranes in the skull where bone has not yet formed; babies "soft spot"; areas where the infant's skull has not fused together; usually disappear at approximately 18 months of age.
Foodborne transmission
The contamination of food or water with an organism that can cause disease.
Foramen
A hole or opening in a bone or between body cavities, such as the foramen magnum of the skull.
Foramen magnum
A large opening at the base of the skull through which the brain connects to the spinal cord.
Force
Any push or pull on an object in an attempt to affect motion or shape.
Forcible restraint
The act of physically preventing an individual from initiating any physical action.
Fore-
Before, in front  
Forearm
The portion of the upper limb between the elbow and wrist joints.
-Form
Resembling; In the shape of  
Formed elements
Cellular portion of the blood.
Fossa
A depression in the surface or at the end of a bone; often an articular surface.
Four
Quadri, tetra-  
Four-person log roll
The recommended procedure for moving a patient with a suspected spinal injury from the ground to a long backboard.
Fovea/o
Small pit or depression  
Fovea
A pit
Fracture
A break in the continuity of a bone.
Framework
The logistics by which practitioners define themselves as professional and create a safe atmosphere for clients. Framework includes the way we present ourselves in advertising, the preparation of the physical setting, policies on fees and time, and such ground rules as keeping the focus on the client.  
Franchise systems
Business models in which a company with a successful product or business system allows other businesses to operate in a particular territory under their trade name for a fee.  
Fraud
A criminal act of intentional deception by false representation of a matter of fact, made for personal gain or to damage another individual.  
Freelancing
When individual units or different organizations make independent and often inefficient decisions about the next appropriate action.
Free nerve endings
Sensory recptors that detect itch and tickle sensations.
Freight bills
The shipping papers used for transport of chemicals along roads and highways; also referred to as bills of lading.
Frig/o, Frigid/o
Cold  
Frontal (coronal) axis

A horizontal line dividing left and right and is formed by the intersection of the frontal or coronal and transverse planes.

Frontal (coronal) plane
A vertical plane perpendicular to the sagittal plane dividing the body into anterior and posterior (front and back) portions, also called the coronal plane about which movements of ABduction and ADduction take place; a longitudinal plane that divides the body or an organ into anterior and posterior parts. The terms anterior and posterior relate to the frontal plane.
Frostbite
Damage to tissues as the result of exposure to cold; frozen or partially frozen body parts are frostbitten.
FS-FZ
 
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.
Full-thickness (third-degree) burns
Burns that affects all skin layers and may affect the subcutaneous layers, muscle, bone, and internal organs, leaving the area dry, leathery, and white, dark brown, or charred.
Funct/o
Performance  
Functional disorder
A disorder in which there is no known physiologic reason for the abnormal functioning of an organ or organ system.
Functional protein
A protein whose functional structure is basically spherical, also referred to as globular protein; includes hemoglobin enzymes and some hormones.
Fundus
The base of an organ; that part farthest from the opening of the organ; the dome-shaped top of the uterus.
Fung/i
Fungus; Mushroom (organism lacking chlorophyll)  
Furc/o
Forking; Branching  
Fusc/o
Dark brown  
-Fusion
To pour; To come together  
Fuzeon (Rx)
Brand name; Fuzeon. Generic name; Enfuvirtide. Classified as an Anti-HIV and Antiviral. It controls symptoms of HIV infection used for treatment of HIV/AIDS. It works by decreasing the amount of HIV in the body so the immune system can work better. Clients who take Fuzeon may experience peripheral neuropathy, depression, bruising, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea. Deep tissue techniques are contraindicated. Gentle abdominal massage may help relieve constipation. Perform neuropathy protocol and be supportive in actions and words.
 
Info Link
G-GD
 
G agents
Early nerve agents that were developed by German scientists in the period after World War I and into World War II. There are three such agents: sarin, soman, and tabun.
Gabapentin (Rx)
Brand name; Neurontin. Generic name; Gabapentin. Classified as an Anticonvulsant. It prevents and treats partial seizures, and relieves neuralgia. Is also used for treatment of Chronic fatigue syndrome and neuropathy. It works by affecting chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the causing of seizures. Clients who take Neurontin may experience amnesia, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, and constipation. It is best to place a reminder call the day before the appointment. Abdominal massage my help relieve constipation, help client on/off the table if needed.
Gabitril (Rx)
Brand name; Gabitril. Generic name; Tiagabine hydrochloride. Classified as an Anticonvulsant. It prevents partial seizures and is used for treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is believed to affect the neurotransmitters in the brain that slow down communication between nerves. Clients who take Gabitril may experience dizziness, drowsiness, language problems, and abdominal pain. It is best to avoid prone position depending on comfort, help client on/off the table, and speak slowly.
Gag reflex
A normal reflex mechanism that causes retching; activated by touching the soft palate or the back of the throat.
Gait
The rhythmic and alternating motions of the legs, trunk, and arms resulting in the propulsion of the body.
Gait cycle
Subdivided into the stance phase and swing phase, this cycle begins when the heel of one foot strikes the floor and continues until the same heel strikes the floor again.
Galact/o
Milk  
Gallbladder
A small 3 to 4 inch sac that stores and concentrates bile; the sac beneath the right lobe of the liver used for bile storage; a sac on the undersurface of the liver that collects bile from the liver and discharges it into the duodenum through the common bile duct.
Gallstones
Particles of hardened cholesterol or calcium salts that are occasionally formed in the gallbladder and bile ducts.
Gamete
Male or female sex cell; sperm/egg.
Gametogenesis
The formation of gametes.
Gamma (x-ray)
A type of energy that is emitted from a strong radiologic source that is far faster and stronger than alpha and beta rays; these rays easily penetrate through the human body and require lead or several inches of concrete to prevent penetration.
Ganglion/o
Ganglion; Collection of nerve bodies  
Ganglion
Cystic, round, usually nontender swellings located along tendon sheaths or joint capsules; a group of nerve cell bodies located in the peripheral nervous system.
Gastr/o
Stomach  
Gastric distention
A condition in which air fills the stomach, often as a result of high volume and pressure during artificial ventilation.
Gastric tube
An advanced airway adjunct that provides a channel directly into a patient's stomach, allowing for removal of gas, blood, and toxins and for instilling medications and nutrition.
Gastrin
A hormone that stimulates gastric secretion, especially hydrochloric acid release.
Gauge
A measure of the interior diameter of the catheter; it is inversely proportional to the true diameter of the catheter.
GE-GH
 
Ge/o
Earth, soil  
Gel/o
To freeze, congeal  
Gel
A semiliquid substance that is administered orally in capsule form or through plastic tubes.
Gemell/o
Twins  
-Gen
Substance that produces  
Gender identity
The personal concept of self as male, female, or neither. Most people develop an identity that matches their biological sex. However, some experience their gender identity as different from their biological or assigned sex.  
Gene
Biological unit of heredity located in chromatin; transmits hereditary information.
General adaptation syndrome
The method the body uses to mobilize different defense mechanisms when threatened by actual or preceived harmful stimuli; the body's response to stress that begins with an alarm response, followed by a stage of reaction and resistance, and then recovery or, if the stress is prolonged, exhaustion.
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.
Generalized seizure
A seizure characterized by severe twitching of all of the body's muscles that may last several minutes or more; formerly known as a grand mal seizure.
Generalized tonic-clonic seizure
A seizure that features rhythmic back-and-forth motion of an extremity and body stiffness.
Generic name
The original chemical name of a medication (in contrast with one of its "trade names"); the name is not capitalized.
-Genesis
Producing; forming  
Genetics
The science of heredity.
-Genic
Produced by or in  
Geni/o
Chin  
Genit/o
Reproduction  
Genital system
The reproductive system in males and females.
Genitalia
The external sex organs.
Genu valgum
"Knock-knees," defined as a lateral displacement of the distal end of the distal bone in the joint.
Genu Varum
"Bowlegs," defined as a medial displacement of the distal end of the distal bone in the joint.
Geotagging
The process of adding location-based metadata to any media, such as photos or videos, to social networking posts.  
Ger/o
Old age  
Geriatrics
The assessment and treatment of disease in someone who is 65 years or older.
Germ layers
The initial or primary tissues formed in the embryo (ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm) from which all body tissues arise.
Germinal layer
The deepest layer of the epidermis where new skin cells are formed.
Geront/o
Old age  
Gesalt theory
This psychological theory emphasizes the organized character of human experience and behavior. It views boundaries from an interactive perspective that are described as existing in relationships between individuals.  
Gest/o
Pregnancy  
Gestation
The period of fetal growth from conception until birth.
Gestational diabetes
Diabetes that develops during pregnancy in women who did not have diabetes before pregnancy.
Gester/o
Pregnancy  
GI-GN
 
Gibbus
An angular deformity of a collapsed vertebra, the causes of which include metastatic cancer and tuberculosis of the spine.
Gigant/o
Huge  
Gingiv/o
Gum  
Gingiva
The gums.
Gland
An organ specialized to secrete or excrete substances for further use in the body or for elimination.
Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)
Standardized rating system used to evaluate the degree of consciousness impairment based on eye opening, motor response, and verbal response; points are scored for the patient's best response in each of the three categories; 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.
Glauc/o
Gray  
Glaucoma
An abnormal increase of the pressure within the eye.
Glenoid fossa
The part of the scapula that joins with the humeral head to form the glenohumeral joint.
Gli/o
Glial cells; Neuroglial cells  
Glia
The nonneuronal tissue of the central nervous system that performs supportive and other functions; also called neuroglia.
Gliding joints
Known also as synovial planes, gliding joints allow only a gliding motion in various planes.
Globe
The eyeball.
-Globin
Protein  
Globular protein
A protein whose functional structure is basically spherical, also referred to as functional protein; includes hemoglobin enzymes and some hormones.
-Globulin
Protein  
Glomerul/o
Glomerulus  
Glomerular capsule
Walled cuplike end of a renal tubule; encloses a glomerulus; also called Bowman's capsule.
Glomerulus
A knot of coiled capillaries in the kidney; forms filtrate.
Gloss/o
Tongue  
Glottis
The opening between the vocal cords in the larynx; the space in between the vocal cords that is the narrowest portion of the adult's airway; also called the glottic opening.
Gluc/o
Glucose; Sugar  
Glucose
Simple sugar used by the cell for energy; derived from the digestion of complex carbohydrates that are eaten, from the breakdown of glycogen in the liver, or by conversion of protein in the liver; the principal sugar in the blood; a monosaccharide; one of the basic sugars; it is primary fuel, in conjunction with oxygen, for cellular metabolism.
Glyc/o
Glucose; Sugar  
Glycerol
A sugar alcohol; one of the building blocks of fats.
Glycogen/o
Glycogen; Animal starch  
Glycogen
The main carbohydrate stored in animal cells; a polysaccharide.
Glycogenesis
Formation of glycogen from glucose.
Glycogenolysis
Breakdown of glycogen to glucose.
Glycolysis
Breakdown of glucose to pyruvic acid; an anaerobic process.
Glycos/o
Glucose; Sugar  
Gnath/o
Jaw  
Gnos/o
Knowledge  
GO-GZ
 
Goblet cells
Individual cells (simple glands) that produce mucus.
Goiter
A benign enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Golden Period
The time from injury to definitive care, during which treatment of shock and traumatic injuries should occur because survival potential is best.
Gon/o
Seed  
Gonad/o
Sex glands  
Gonads
Organs producing gametes; ovaries or testes.
Goni/o
Angle  
Gonorrhea
A sexually transmitted disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Good air exchange
A term used to distinguish the degree of distress in a patient with a mild airway obstruction. With good air exchange, the patient is still conscious and able to cough forcefully, although wheezing may be heard.
Good Samaritan laws
Statutory provisions enacted by many states to protect citizens from liability for errors and omissions in giving good faith emergency medical care, unless there is wanton, gross, or willful negligence.
Governmental immunity
If your service is covered by immunity, it may mean that you cannot be sued or it may limit the amount of the monetary judgment that the plaintiff may recover; generally applies only to EMS services that are operated by municipalities or other governmental entities.
Graafian follicle
A mature ovarian follicle; also called Vesicular follicle.
-Grade
To go  
Graded potential
A local change in membrane potential that varies directly with the strength of the stimulus, declines with distance.
Graded response
A local change in membrane response that varies directly with the strength of the stimulus.
-Gram
Record  
Granul/o
Granule(s)
-Graph
Instrument for recording  
Graph/o
Writing  
-Graphy
Process of recording  
Gravid/o
Pregnancy  
-Gravida
Pregnant women  
Gray matter
Unmyelinated nervous tissue, particularly found in the central nervous system (CNS); the gray area of the (CNS) central nervous system; contains unmyelinated nerve fibers and nerve cell bodies.
Greater trochanter
A bony prominence on the proximal lateral side of the thigh, just below the hip joint.
Groin
The junction of the thigh and the trunk; the inguinal area.
Gross anatomy
The study of body structures visible to the naked eye.
Gross negligence
Conduct that constitutes a willful or reckless disregard for a duty or standard of care.
Ground substance
The medium in which the cells and protein fibers are suspended. Ground substance is usually clear and colorless and has the consistency of thick syrup.
Grunting
An "uh" sound heard during exhalation; reflects the child's attempt to keep the alveoli open; a sign of increased work of breathing.
Guarding
Involuntary muscle contractions (spasms) of the abdominal wall in an effort to protect an inflamed abdomen; a sign of peritonitis.
Gustation
Taste.
Gynec/o
Woman; Female  
Gyr/o
Circle, spiral  
Gyrus
An outward fold of the surface on the cerebral cortex.
 
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H-HD
 
Hair follicles
The small organs that produce hair.
Half
Demi, hemi, semi  
Half-life
The amount of time required for half of a hormone to be eliminated from the bloodstream.
Hallucin/o
Hallucination  
Hallucinogens
Agents that produce false perceptions in any one of the five senses.
Hamstring muscles
The posterior thigh muscles; the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus.
Hapl/o
Simple, single  
Harassment
The act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and disturbing actions of one party or a group, including threats, pressure, intimidation, and demands.  
Hay fever
An allergic response usually to outdoor airborne allergens such as pollen or sometimes indoor allergens such as dust mites or pet dander; also called allergic rhinitis.
Hazardous material
Any substance that is toxic, poisonous, radioactive, flammable, or explosive and causes injury or death with exposure.
Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT)
Chemical substances (solid, gas, or liquid) that are toxic to humans; unprotected exposure to these chemicals may result in severe illness or death; they may be poisonous, flammable, explosive, carcinogenic, or environmentally pollutant; HAZMAT is the part of emergency services that handles these field situations.
Hazardous Materials (HazMat) incident
Any incident in which a hazardous material is no longer properly contained and isolated.
HE-HEH
 
Head tilt-Chin lift maneuver
A combination of two movements to open the airway by tilting the forehead back and lifting the chin; not used for trauma patients; maneuver that opens the airway of unconscious patients; the neck is extended with one hand on the forehead and one hand under the chin.
Healing Touch
A holistic energy therapy that uses gentle, noninvasive touch to influence and support the human energy system within and surrounding the body. The goal of healing Touch is to restore harmony, energy, and balance within the human energy system.
Health
A condition of homeostasis resulting in a state of physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.
Health care directive
Written documentation that specifies medical treatment for a competent patient should the patient become unable to make decisions; also called a living will or advance directive.
Health care proxies
A type of advance directive executed by a competent adult that appoints another individual to make medical treatment decisions on his or her behalf in the event that the person making the appointment loses decision making capacity; also known as a durable power of attorney for health care.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
This act addresses the use and disclosure of individuals' health information, the rights granted to individuals, and breach notification requirements. Federal legislation passed in 1996; its main effect in bodywork or EMS is in limiting availability of patients' health care information and personalizing violations of patient privacy.
Heart
The pump of the cardiovascular system; the heart is hollow, cone-shaped, and about the size of a fist and is located in the mediastinum of the thoracic cavity. The myocardium is the heart muscle itself, the endocardium is the thin inner lining, and the epicardium is the outer membrane; a hollow muscular organ that pumps blood throughout the body.
Heart block
Impaired transmission of impulses from atrium to ventricle.
Heart murmur
An abnormal heart sound, usually resulting from valve problems.
Heart rate
The number of cardiac cycles in 1 minute. In the average, healthy person the rate works out to be 60 to 70 cycles or beats per minute; the number of heartbeats during a specific time.
Heart sounds
The two main sounds resulting from the closure of the valves. Murmurs are extra sounds, such as those resulting from faulty valves.
Heart valves
Four sets of valves that keep the blood flowing in the correct direction through the heart.
Heat cramps
Painful, brief muscle cramps, occur during exercise or work in a hot environment, can occur a few hours later; painful muscle spasms usually associated with vigorous activity in a hot environment.
Heat exhaustion
Dehydration that occurs after being exposed to high temperatures for several days, profuse sweating and pale skin; water depletion= excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and loss of consciousness; salt depletion= nausea and vomiting, frequent muscle cramps, and dizziness; a form of heat injury in which the body loses significant amounts of fluid and electrolytes because of heavy sweating; also called heat prostration or heat collapse.
Heatstroke
A life-threatening condition of severe hyperthermia caused by exposure to excessive natural or artificial heat, marked by warm, dry skin; severely altered mental status; and often irreversible coma; the failure of the heat-regulating ability of an individual under heat stress; results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures, usually in combination with dehydration; a core body temperature greater than 105 degrees, red, hot and dry skin, lack of sweating; nausea, seizures, confusion, disorientation, and sometimes loss of consciousness or coma can occur; also called sunstroke.
Heat syncope
Fainting as a result of overheating, inadequate water or salts.
Heimlich maneuver
The preferred method to dislodge a severe airway obstruction in adults and children; also called the Abdominal-thrust maneuver.
Helc/o
Ulcer  
-Helminth
Worm  
Helper T cells
The type of T lymphocyte that orchestrates cellular immunity by direct contact with other immune cells and by releasing chemicals called lymphokines; also helps to mediate the humoral response by interacting with B cells.
HEM-HEO
 
Hem/o
Blood  
Hemat/o
Blood  
Hematemesis
Vomited blood.
Hematocrit
The percentage of erythrocytes to total blood volume.
Hematology
The study and prevention of blood-related disorders.
Hematoma
A mass of blood in the soft tissues beneath the skin.
Hematopoiesis
Formation of blood cells.
Hematuria
Blood in the urine.
Hemi-
Half  
Hemiparesis
Partial paralysis that affects only one side of the body; weakness on one side of the body.
Hemiplagia
Total paralysis that affects only one side of the body.
Hemocytoblasts
Stem cells that give rise to all the formed elements of the blood.
Hemoglobin/o
Hemoglobin  
Hemoglobin
The oxygen-carrying, red-colored molecule in the blood; the oxygen-transporting pigment of erythrocytes.
Hemolysis
The rupture of erythrocytes.
Hemolytic crisis
A rapid destruction of red blood cells that occurs faster that the body's ability to create new cells.
Hemophilia
An inherited clotting defect caused by absence of a bloodclotting factor; a congenital abnormality in which the body is unable to produce clots, which results in uncontrollable bleeding.
Hemopneumothorax
The accumulation of blood and air in the pleural space of the chest.
Hemoptysis
Coughing up blood.
Hemorrhage
The severe passage of blood outside of the cardiovascular system; the loss of blood from the vessels by flow through ruptured walls; bleeding.
Hemorrhagic stroke
One of the two main types of stroke; occurs as a result of bleeding inside the brain.
Hemothorax
A collection of blood in the pleural cavity.
HEP-HN
 
Hepat/o
Liver  
Hepatic portal system
The circulation in which the hepatic portal vein carries dissolved nutrients from the digestive tract to the liver for processing.
Hepatitis
Inflammation of the liver; caused by a viral infection, that causes fever, loss of appetite, jaundice, fatigue, and altered liver function.
Heredo-
Heredity  
Hering-Breuer reflex
A protective mechanism that terminates inhalation, thus preventing overexpansion of the lungs.
Herni/o
Hernia  
Hernia
Weakness in a muscle or structure that allows for protrusion of a muscle, organ, or structure through the resulting opening; the protrusion of a loop of an organ or tissue through an abnormal body opening.
Herpes simplex
A DNA virus that causes painful blisters and small ulcers in and around the mouth and on the genital area; virus caused by human herpesviruses 1 and 2, characterized by small blisters whose location depends on the type of virus, Type 2 results in blisters on the genital area, while Type 1 results in blisters in nongenital areas.
-Hexia
Habit  
Hidr/o
Sweat  
High-energy bonds
Covalent bonds created in specific organic substrates in the presence of enzymes.
High-level disinfection
The killing of pathogenic agents by using potent means of disinfection.
Hilum / Hilus
A depressed area where vessels enter and leave an organ.
Hinge joint
Joint that allows flexion and extension in one direction, changing the angle of the bones at the joint, like a door hinge; joints that can bend and straighten but cannot rotate; they restrict motion to one plane.
Hirsut/o
Hairy  
Hirund/i
Leech  
Hist/o
Tissue  
Histamine
Substance released by the immune system in allergic reactions that are responsible for many of the symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as vasodilation; a neurotransmitter that is considered a stimulant; histamine is released by the mast cells as part of the inflammatory process and can cause itching; a substance that causes vasodilation and increased vascular permeability.
Histi/o
Tissue  
Histology
The branch of anatomy dealing with the microscopic structure of tissues.
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.
HO-HT
 
Hollow organs
Structures through which materials pass, such as the stomach, small intestines, large intestines, ureters, and bladder.
Holo-
Entire, complete  
Home/o
Sameness; unchanging; constant  
Homeostasis
The relatively constant state of the internal environment of the body that is maintained by adaptive responses; specific control and feedback mechanisms are responsible for adjusting body systems to maintain this state; a state of body equilibrium or stable internal environment of the body; a balance of all systems of the body.
Homologous
Parts or organs corresponding in structure but not necessarily in function.
Horizontal ABduction
Movement of the humerus in the horizontal plane away from the midline of the body. Also known as the horizontal extension or transverse ABduction.
Horizontal ADduction
Movement of the humerus in the horizontal plane toward the midline of the body. Also known as the horizontal flexion or transverse ADduction.
Hormon/o
Hormone  
Hormones
Responsible for specific regulatory effects on certain parts or organs; chemical messengers secreted by endocrine glands; substances formed in specialized organs or glands and carried to another organ or group of cells in the same organism; hormones regulate many body functions, including metabolism, growth, and body temperature.
Host
The organism or individual that is attacked by the infecting agent.
Hot zone
The area immediately surrounding a hazardous materials spill/incident site that is directly dangerous to life and health. All personnel working in the hot zone must wear complete, appropriate protective clothing and equipment. Entry requires approval by the incident commander or other designated officer.
HU-HYO
 
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by HIV, which damages the cells in the body's immune system so that the body is unable to fight infection or certain cancers.
Humer/o
Humerus  
Humerus
The supporting bone of the upper arm.
Humoral immunity
Immunity provided by antibodies released by sensitized B cells and their plasma cell progeny; also called antibody-mediated immunity.
Hyaline
Glassy; transparent
Hyaline cartilage
The thin covering of articular connective tissue on the ends of the bones in freely movable joints in the adult skeleton. Hyaline cartilage forms a smooth, resilient, low-friction surface for the articulation of one bone with another, distributes forces, and helps absorb some of the pressure imposed on the joint surface.
Hydro
Water  
Hydrochloric acid
HCl; acids protein digestion in the stomach; produced by parietal cells.
Hydrogen bond
Weak bond in which a hydrogen atom forms a bridge between two electron-hungry atoms; an important intramolecular bond.
Hydrolysis
The process in which water is used to split a substance into smaller particles.
Hydroplaning
A condition in which the tires of a vehicle may be lifted off the road surface as water "piles up" under them, making the vehicle feel as though it is floating.
Hydrostatic pressure
The pressure of water against the walls of its container.
Hydroxychloroquine sulfate (Rx)
Brand name; Plaquenil. Generic name; Hydroxychloroquine sulfate. Classified as an Antimalarial and Anti-inflammatory. It reduces inflammation and is used for treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis (auto-immune disease). No explanation as to how it works. Clients who take Plaquenil may experience irritability, fatigue, anorexia, and abdominal cramps. It is best to be patient with mood swings.
Hydroxyzine embonate (Rx)
Brand name; Atarax. Generic name; Hydroxyzine embonate. Classified as an Antihistamine, sedative, and antispasmodic. It promotes calmness and reduces nausea or vomiting. It is used for the treatment of stress and allergies. It works by blocking histamine. Clients who take Atarax may experience drowsiness or dry mouth. It is best to use deep tissue techniques with caution, and offer water.
Hygr/o
Moisture  
Hymen/o
Hymen  
Hymenoptera
A family of insects that includes bees, wasps, ants, and yellow jackets.
HYP-HYPN
 
Hyper-
Above; Excessive  
Hyperalgesia
An increased sensitivity to pain.
Hyperarousal
A state of constant alertness to danger experienced by the survivor of trauma. It is also described as a chronic state of fight or flight.  
Hypercarbia
Increased carbon dioxide level in the bloodstream.
Hyperextension
A movement that takes the body part further in the direction of the extension, further out of anatomic position.
Hyperglycemia
An abnormally high glucose level in the blood.
Hyperglycemic crisis
A state of unconsciousness resulting from several problems, including ketoacidosis, dehydration because of excessive urination, and hyperglycemia.
Hypermobility
A range of motion of a joint greater than would be permitted normally by the structure. Hypermobility results in instability.
Hyperopia
Farsightedness.
Hyperplasia
An uncontrolled increase in the number of cells of a body part.
Hypersecretion
The excessive release of a hormone
Hypertension
Abnormally high blood pressure; a risk factor for atherosclerosis, stroke, and other vascular events. An increase in systolic and diastolic pressure; blood pressure that is higher than the normal range.
Hypertensive emergency
An emergency situation created by excessively high blood pressure, which can lead to serious complications such as stroke or aneurysm.
Hyperthermia
A condition in which the body core temperature rises to 101 degrees F (38.3 degrees C) or more.
Hypertonic
Excessive, above normal, tone or tension.
Hypertrophy
An increase in the size of a cell, which results in an increase in the size of a body part or organ; an increase in the size of a tissue or organ independent of the body's general growth.
Hyperventilation
Abnormally deep or rapid breathing in excess of physical demands. Process in which minute ventilation is increased above normal; purposely done for patients with head injuries or prolonged apnea; rapid or deep breathing that lowers the blood carbon dioxide level below normal.
Hypervigilance
An enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors or an overfocused narrowing of attention onto one idea, one part of the body, or a particular sensation or feeling. This is usually accompanied by increased anxiety.  
Hyperventilation syndrome (panic attack)
This syndrome occurs in the absence of other physical problems. The respirations of a person who is experiencing hyperventilation syndrome may be as high as 40 shollow breaths/min or as low as only 20 very deep breaths/min.
Hypn/o
Sleep  
Hypnotic
A sleep-inducing effect or agent.
HYPO
 
Hypo-
Deficient; below; under; less then normal  
Hypoglycemia
A condition characterized by a low blood glucose level.
Hypoglycemic crisis
Severe hypoglycemia resulting in changes in mental status.
Hypoperfusion
A condition that occurs when the level of tissue perfusion decreases below that needed to maintain normal cellular functions; also called shock.
Hypophys/o
Pituitary gland  
Hypomobility
A range of motion of a joint less than what would be permitted normally by the structure.
Hyposecretion
The insufficiant release of a hormone.
Hypotension
A decrease in systolic and diastolic pressures. Hypotension is an important manifestation of shock, which causes inadequate blood supply to vital organs; low blood pressure; blood pressure that is lower than the normal range.
Hypothalam/o
Hypothalamus  
Hypothalamus
The region of the diencephalon forming the floor of the third ventricle of the brain.
Hypothermia
Subnormal body temperature; a condition in which the internal body temperature falls below 95 degrees F (35 degrees C), usually as a result of prolonged exposure to cool or freezing temperatures.
Hypotonic
Below normal tone or tension.
Hypovolemic shock
A condition in which low blood volume, due to massive internal or external bleeding or extensive loss of body water, results in inadequate perfusion.
Hypoxia
A dangerous condition in which inadequate oxygen is available to the body tissues and cells.
Hypoxic drive
A "backup system" to control respiration; senses drops in the oxygen level in the blood.
Hypsi-
High  
Hyster/o
Uterus; womb  
 
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I-IM
 
-Ia
Condition  
-Iac
Pertaining to  
-Iasis
Abnormal condition  
Iatr/o
Physician; treatment  
Ibuprofen (Rx)
Brand name; Advil or Motrin. Generic name; Ibuprofen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It reduces fever, is an anti-inflammatory, and an analgesic used for treatment of whiplash, transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), sprains and strains, scoliosis, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, muscle spasm, multiple sclerosis, hyperkyphosis, migraine headache, fibromyalgia, delayed-onset muscle soreness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Clients who take Advil or Motrin may experience upset stomach, ringing in the ears, or headache. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
-Ic
Pertaining to  
-Ical
Pertaining to  
Ichthy/o
Dry; scaly  
-Ician
Specialist  
-Icle
Small  
Ide/o
Idea, mental images  
Idi/o
Unknown; individual; distinct  
Ile/o
Ileum  
Ileostomy
A surgical procedure to create an opening between the small intestine and the surface of the body.
Ileum
The terminal part of the small intestine; between the jejunum and the cecum of the large intestine.
Ileus
Paralysis of the bowel, arising from any one of several causes; stops contractions that move material through the intestine.
Ili/o
Ilium  
Ilium
One of three bones that fuse to form the pelvic ring.
Imipramine hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Tofranil-PM. Generic name; Imipramine hydrochloride (HCL). Classified as a Tricyclic Antidepressant. It relieves depression and is used for treatment of depression and neuropathy. It works by restoring balance to the neurotransmitters in the brain. Clients who take Tofranil-PM may experience cardiac complications, confusion, dry mouth, drowsiness, and constipation. An abdominal massage may help relieve constipation. Offer water, be patient, and help client on/off table if needed.
Imitrex (Rx)
Brand name; Imitrex. Generic name; Sumatriptan succinate. Classified as an Antimigraine. It relieves acute migraine pain and is used for treatment of Migraine headaches. It activates specific receptor subtypes in the cranial arteries and veins acting as an agonist to reduce vascular inflammation. Clients who take Imitrex may experience cardiovascular abnormalities, drowsiness, and abdominal discomfort. It is best to avoid prone position depending on comfort, and help client on/off the table.
Immun/o
Immune; protection; safe  
Immune
The body's ability to protect itself from acquiring a disease.
Immune response
Antigen-specific defenses mounted by activated lymphocytes; T cells and B cells; the body's response to substance perceived by the body as foreign.
Immune system
The body system that includes all the structures and processes designed to mount a defense against foreign substances and disease-causing agents.
Immunity
Resistance to disease provided by the body through specific or nonspecific immunity; the immune system is a functional system rather than an organ system in the anatomic sense; the most important immune cells are lymphocytes and macrophages; the key to immunity is the ability of the body to distinguish self from nonself; the ability of the body to resist many agents, both living and nonliving that can cause disease.
Immunology
The study of the body's immune system.
Immunocompetence
The ability of the body's immune cells to recognize (by binding) specific antigens; reflects the presence of plasma membrane-bound receptors.
Immunodeficiency disease
Disease resulting from the deficient production or function of immune cells or certain molecules (complement, antibodies, and so on) required for normal immunity.
Immunoglobulin
A protein molecule, released by plasma cells, that mediates humoral immunity; an antibody.
Immunomodulator
A subtance that affects the functioning of the immune system.
Impedance Threshold Device (ITD)
A valve device placed between the endotracheal tube and a bag-mask device that limits the amount of air entering the lungs during the recoil phase between chest compressions.
Impermeable
The quality of not permitting entry of a substance.
Impingement
An encroachment on the space occupied by soft tissue, such as nerve or muscle.
Implied consent
Type of consent in which a patient who is unable to give consent is given treatment under the legal assumption that he or she would want treatment.
IN-INE
 
In-
In; into; not  
-In
A substance; chemical; chemical compound  
In loco parentis
Refers to the legal responsibility of a person or organization to take on some of the functions and responsibilities of a parent.
Incident action plan
An oral or written plan stating general objectives reflecting the overall strategy for managing an incident.
Incident Command System (ICS)
System of control of the emergency scene that is set up by predetermined procedures for effective control of complex emergency operations, such as extrication operations; the origins of ICS can be traced to the fire service, but it has now been adapted for use in almost any situation requiring management of complex events; 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.
Incident commander (IC)
The overall leader of the incident command system to whom commanders or leaders of incident command system divisions report.
Incision
A sharp, smooth cut.
Incontinence
The inability to control urination or defecation, most often because of weak pelvic floor muscles; loss of bowel and/or bladder control; may be the result of a generalized seizure.
Incubation
The period of time from a person being exposed to a disease to the time when symptoms begin.
Index of suspicion
Awareness that unseen life-threatening injuries may exist when determining the mechanism of injury.
Indications
The therapeutic uses for a specific medication.
Indirect contact
Exposure or transmission of disease from one person to another by contact with a contaminated object.
-Ine
Pertaining to  
Inertia
The reluctance of matter to change its state of motion.
INF
 
Infancy
The first year of life.
Infants
Persons who are from 1 month to 1 year of age.
Infarct
A region of dead, deteriorating tissue resulting from lack of blood supply.
Infection
The abnormal invasion of a host or host tissues by organisms such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites, with or without signs or symptoms of disease.
Infection control
Procedures to reduce transmission of infection among patients and health care personnel.
Infectious disease
A medical condition caused by the growth and spread of small, harmful organisms within the body.
Inferior
Away from the head; pertaining to a position near the tail end of the long axis of the body; also known as caudal; the part of the body or any body part nearer to the feet.
Inferior vena cava
One of the two largest veins in the body; carries blood from the lower extremities, the pelvic and abdominal organs to the heart.
Infiltration
The escape of fluid into the surrounding tissue when the IV catheter is not in the vein.
Inflammation
A protective response of the tissues to irritation or injury that may be chronic or acute; the four primary signs are redness, heat, swelling, and pain; a physiological response of the body to tissue injury; includes dilation of blood vessels and increased vessel permeability.
Inflammatory response
A sequence of events that involves chemical and celluar activation that destroys pathogens and aids in repairing tissues.
Influenza Type A
Virus that has crossed the animal/human barrier and has infected humans, recently reached a pandemic level with the H1N1 strain.
Informed consent
The process of getting a client's permission before proceeding with a healthcare treatment. The client must be fully advised and have a clear understanding of the procedures, alternative approaches, benefits, and potential consequences or contraindications. This information must be presented in a form the client or the client's guardian can understand and consent must be given without coercion.  
Infra-
Below; inferior to; beneath  
Infraction
Death of a body tissue, usually caused by interruption of its blood supply.
ING-INS
 
Ingestion
Taking food into the mouth; swallowing; taking a substance by mouth.
Inguin/o
Groin  
Inguinal
Pertaining to the groin region.
Inhalation
Breathing into the lungs; a medication delivery route.
Inner cell mass
A cluster of cells in the blastocyst from which the embryo develops.
Innervation
The supply of nerves to a body part.
Inorganic compounds
Chemical structures that do not have carbon and hydrogen atoms as the primary structure; a compound that lacks carbon.
Insertion
The distal attachment of a muscle; the part of a muscle that attaches farthest from the midline, or center, of the body; the more mobile attachment site of a muscle to bone; the opposite end is the origin.
Insider trading
Financial gains that individuals may make based on information about company stock not available to the public.  
Inspiration
The drawing of air into the lungs; inhalation.
Inspiratory reserve volume
The amount of air that can be inhaled after a normal inhalation; the amount of air that can be inhaled in addition to the normal tidal volume.
Insulin/o
Insulin  
Insulin
A hormone produced by the islets of Langerhans (endocrine gland located throughout the pancreas) that enables glucose in the blood to enter cells; used in synthetic form to treat and control diabetes mellitus.
Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
Condition characterized by an inability to metabolize carbohydrates (sugar) because of a lack of insulin.
INT-INU
 
Integrated memory
A memory that may have been painful at one time but has been remembered, understood, and accepted.  
Integrative Eclectic Shiatsu
This method utilizes Japanese Shiatsu techniques, traditional Chinese Medical theory and Western methods of soft tissue manipulation. Dietary and herbal methods are also included to create a comprehensive integrated treatment method.  
Integrity
The quality or state of being complete; unbroken condition; wholeness; honesty; and sincerity. People who possess integrity behave ethically, honor confidences, and keep their word. The three major levels of integrity are: keeping one's agreements; being true to one's principles; and the highest level is being true to oneself.  
Integument
The skin and its appendages: hair, sebaceous and sweat glands, nails, and breasts.
Integumentary system
The skin and its accessory organs.
Intellectual property
A legal concept which refers to creations of the mind (e.g., inventions, literary works, artistic works, designs, images) for which exculsive rights are recognized. Common types of intellectual property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents, and industrial design rights.  
Intended effect
The effect that a medication is expected to have on the body.
Inter-
Between  
Interactive boundary
The theory that views boundaries as existing in relationships between individuals.  
Interactive speaking
A three-step communication process of speaking, invite, and reflect.  
Intercellular
Between the body cells.
Intercellular matrix
The material between adjoining cells; especially important in connective tissue.
Interferon Beta-1A (Rx)
Brand name; Rebif or Avonex. Generic name; Interferon Beta-1A, recombinant. Classified as an Antiviral, Antiproliferative, and immunomodulator. It reduces symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and is used for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It works by using the protein Interferon (not a cure) to help decrease balance problems, weakness, numbness, and slow the disease. Clients who take Avonex or Rebif may experience liver problems, depression, and flu-like symptoms. It is best to never perform deep treatment work, use caution around injection site, and never massage the day of, or day after injection.
Interferon Beta-1B (Rx)
Brand name; Betaseron. Generic name; Interferon Beta-1B, recombinant. Classified as an Antiviral, immunomodulator. It decreases Multiple Sclerosis exacerbations and is used for treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It works by decreasing the number of attacks of weakness and slow the worsening of the disease with the protein interferon. Clients who take Betaseron may experience anxiety, flu-like symptoms, depression, hemorrhage, or dizziness. It is best to never perform deep treatment work. Use caution around injection site, never massage the day of, or day after injection. Help client on/off table if needed.
Intermodal tanks
Shipping and storage vessels that can be either pressurized or nonpressurized.
Internal respiration
The exchange of gases between the tissues and blood; the use of oxygen by body cells; also called cellular respiration; the exchange of gases between the blood cells and the tissues.
Internal rotation
Medial rotary movement of a bone. Also known as rotation medially, inward rotation, and medial rotation.
International terrorism
Terrorism that is carried out by people in a country other than their own; also known as cross-border terrorism.
Interneurons
Complete the pathway between afferent and efferent neurons; also called association neurons.
Internship
A short-term program (usually less than one year) that combines on-the-job training with academic instruction for those entering the field.  
Interphase
The period during which a cell grows and carries on its activities.
Interrogatories
Written questions that the defense and plaintiff send to one another.
Interstitial
The space within an organ or tissue.
Interstitial fluid
The fluid that surrounds the cells.
Interstitial space
The space in between the cells.
Intervention model
A communication model developed by Daphne Chellos, for practitioners to use when verbal or nonverbal communication from a client is unclear or when practitioners feel their boundaries are being violated.
Intervertebral discs/disk
The discs of fibrocartilage between the vertebrae; the cushion that lies between two vertebrae.
Intimacy
A close association with, detailed knowledge of, or deep understanding of, a person.  
Intra-
Within; into  
Intracellular
Within a cell.
Intracellular fluid
Fluid within a cell.
Intracerebral hematoma
Bleeding within the brain tissue (parenchyma) itself; also referred to as an intraparenchymal hematoma.
Intracranial pressure (ICP)
The pressure within the cranial vault.
Intractable pain
The continuation of chronic pain without active disease present or when chronic pain persists even with treatment.
Intramuscular (IM) injection
An injection into a muscle; a medication delivery route.
Intranasal (IN)
A delivery route in which a medication is pushed through a specialized atomizer device called a mucosal atomizer device (MAD) into the naris.
Intraosseous (IO)
Into the bone; a medication delivery route.
Intraosseous (IO) needles
Rigid, boring catheters placed into a bone to provide intravenous fluids.
Intrapulmonary shunting
Bypassing of oxygen-poor blood past non-functional alveoli to the left side of the heart.
Intravenous (IV)
A sterile solution or drug that is injected into the body by
venipuncture.
Intravenous Cannulation
The placement of a catheter into a vein.
Intravenous (IV) injection
An injection directly into a vein; a medication delivery route.
Intravenous (IV) therapy
The delivery of medications directly into a vein.
Intrinsic factor
A substance produced by the stomach that is required for B12 absorption.
Intrusion
When information that is related to the theme of a certain memory, but wasn't actually a part of the original episode, becomes associated with the event.  
INV-IR
 
Invert
To turn inward.
Inversion
Movement of the sole of the foot inward toward the midline.
Involuntary activities
Actions of the body that are not under a person's conscious control.
Involuntary muscle
The muscle over which a person has no conscious control; it is found in many automatic regulating systems of the body.
Iod/o
Iodine  
Ion/o
Ion; to wander  
-Ion
Process  
Ion
An atom with a positive or negative electric charge
Ion pumps
Carriers that transport substances into or out of a cell using energy.
Ionic bond
Bond formed by the complete transfer of electron(s) from one atom to another (or others); the resulting charged atoms, or ions, are oppositely charged and attract each other.
Ionizing radiation
Energy that is emitted in the form of rays, or particles.
-Ior
Pertaining to  
Ipsi-
Same  
Ipsilateral
Situated on the same side.
Ir-
In  
Ir/o
Iris  
Irid/o
Iris  
Iris
The pigmented, involuntary muscle that acts as the diaphragm of the eye; the muscle and surrounding tissue behind the cornea that dilate and constrict the pupil, regulating the amount of light that enters the eye; pigment in the tissue gives the eye its color.
Irreversible shock
The final stage of shock, resulting in death.
Irritability
Ability to respond to a stimulus; see also responsiveness.
IS-IZ
 
Is/o
Same; equal  
Isch/o
To hold back; back  
Ischemia
A temporay deficiency or decreased supply of blood to a tissue; a local decrease in blood supply; a lack of oxygen that deprives tissues of necessary nutrients, resulting from partial or complete blockage of blood flow; potentially reversible because permanant injury has not yet occurred.
Ischemic stroke
One of the two main types of stroke; occurs when blood flow to a particular part of the brain is cut off by a blockage (eg., a clot) inside a blood vessel.
Ischi/o
Ischium  
Ischium
One of three bones that fuse to form the pelvic ring.
-Ism
Process; condition  
Isometric contraction
The action of the prime mover that occus when tension develops within the muscle but no appreciable change in the joint angle or the length of the muscle. Movement does not occur.
Isometric
Increase in tension without change in muscle length; of the same length.
Isotonic
Increase in tension with change in muscle length (shortening); concentric contraction; having a uniform tension; of the same tone.
Isotonic contraction (dynamic)
A concentric or eccentric contraction of a muscle; a muscle contraction performed with movement. The action of the prime mover that occurs when tension develops in the muscle while it shortens or lengthens.
Isotonic crystalloids
Intravenous solutions that do not cause a fluid shift into or out of the cell; examples include normal saline and lactated Ringer's solutions.
Isotope
Different atomic form of the same element; isotopes vary only in the number of neutrons they contain.
-Ist
Specialist  
-Ithy
Erect; straight  
-Itis
Inflammation  
-Ium
Structure; tissue  
Ixod/i
Ticks  
 
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J
 
Jaund/o
Yellow  
Jaundice
An accumulation of bile pigments in the blood producing a yellow color of the skin; yellow skin or sclera that is caused by liver disease or dysfunction.
Jaw-thrust maneuver
Technique to open the airway by placing the fingers behind the angle of the jaw and bringing the jaw forward; used for patients who may have a cervical spine injury; maneuver for opening the airway in unconscious patients; enables cervical spine stabilization and is often used with trauma patients.
Jejun/o
Jejunum  
Jejunum
The part of the small intestine between the duodenum and the ileum.
Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure™
This technique combines gentle yet deep finger pressure on acupoints with simple body focusing techniques, to help release physical and emotional tension. It promotes a pleasurable trance state during which the recipient can get in touch with the body and access feelings or emotions related to the physical condition.  
Joint
The junction of two or more bones; an articulation; the place where two bones come into contact.
Joint capsule
A connective tissue structure that indirectly connects the bony components of a joint; the fibrous sac that encloses a joint.
Joint information center
An area designated by the incident commander, or a designee, in which public information officers from multiple agencies disseminate information about the incident.
Joint play
The involuntary movement that occurs between articular surfaces are separate from the range of motion of a joint produced by muscles. Joint play is an essential component of joint motion and must occur for normal functioning of the joint.
Jugular vein distention
A visual bulging of the jugular veins in the neck that can be caused by fluid overload, pressure in the chest, cardiac tamponade, or tension pneumothorax.
Jump kit
A portable kit containing items that are used in the initial care of the patient.
JumpSTART triage
A sorting system for pediatric patients younger than 8 years or weighing less than 100 lb. There is a minor adaptation for infants since they cannot ambulate on their own.
Juxta-
Near  
 
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K
 
Kal/i
Potassium  
Kary/o
Nucleus  
Kehr sign
Left shoulder pain caused by blood in the peritoneal cavity.
Kel/o
Tumor; fibrous growth  
Kendrick Extrication Device (KED)
Specially designed devices used in removing automobile crash patients; it is composed of the body sling with straps and handles, chin and head straps, and a space filler pad.
Kerat/o
Cornea; hard; horny tissue  
Keratin
The fibrous protein produced in the epidermis that protects our skin and makes it waterproof; a tough, insoluble protein found in tissue such as hair, nails, and epidermis of the skin.
Keraun/o
Lightning  
Kern-
Nucleus (collection of nerve cells in the brain)  
Ket/o
Ketones; acetones  
Keton/o
Ketones; acetones  
Kickback
A form of negotiated bribery in which a commission of money, goods, or services is paid to the bribe-taker in return for a business favor.  
Kidnapping
The seizing, confining, abducting, or carrying away of a person by force, including transporting a competent adult for medical treatment without his or her consent.
Kidney stones
Solid crystalline masses formed in the kidney, resulting from an excess of insoluble salts or uric crystallizing in the urine; may become trapped anywhere along the urinary tract.
Kidneys
Two retroperitoneal organs that excrete the end products of metabolism as urine and regulate the body's salt and water content.
Killer T cell
Effector T cell that directly kills foreign cells; also called a cytotoxic T cell.
Kilocalories (kcal)
Unit used to measure the energy value of food.
Kinematics
A branch of mechanics that involves the time, space, and mass aspects of a moving system.
Kines/o
Movement  
Kinesi/o
Movement  
-Kinesis
Movement  
Kinesiology
The study of movement that combines the fields of anatomy, physiology, physics, and geometry, and relates them to human movement.
Kinetic chain
An integrated functional unit. The kinetic chain is made up of the myofascial system (muscle, ligament, tendon, and fascia), articular (joint) system, and nervous system. Each of these systems works interdependently to allow structural and functional efficiency in all three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal, and transverse.
Kinetic energy
Energy of motion; the energy of a moving object.
Kinetics
Those forces causing movement in a system.
King LT
A disposal supraglottic airway used as an alternative to tracheal or mask ventilation.
Kinins
Group of polypeptides that dilate arterioles, increase vascular permeability, and induce pain.
Klept/o
To steal  
Koil/o
Hollow; concave; depressed  
Kraur/o
Dry  
Krebs cycle
The aerobic pathway occurring within the mitochondria, in which energy is liberated and CO2 is produced, during metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids.
Kussmaul respirations
Deep, rapid breathing; usually the result of an accumulation of certain acids when insulin is not available in the body.
Kym/o
Waves  
Kyph/o
Humpback  
Kyphosis
A condition characterized by an abnormally increased convexity in the curvature of the thoracic spine as viewed from the side (exaggeration of the thoracic curve); a forward curling of the back caused by an abnormal increase in the curvature of the spine.
 
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LA-LAQ
 
Labia
Lips.
Labia majora
Medical term used by EMT personnel to describe the outer fleshy "lips" covered with pubic hair that protect the vagina.
Labia minora
Medical term used by EMT personnel to describe the outer fleshy "lips" devoid of pubic hair that protect the vagina.
Labi/o
Lip  
-Labile
Unstable; perishable  
Labored breathing
Breathing that requires greater than normal effort; may be slower or faster than normal and usually requires the use of accessory muscles.
Labyrinth
Bony cavities and membranes of the inner ear that house the hearing and equilibrium receptors.
Laceration
A jagged, open wound; break in the skin of varying depths resulting from a forceful impact with a sharp object; deeper injury than is seen in abrasions, with larger blood vessels involved and more bleeding.
Lacrim/o
Tear; tear duct; lacrimal duct  
Lacrimal
Pertaining to tears.
Lacrimal glands
The glands that produce fluids to keep the eye moist; also called tear glands.
Lact/o
Milk  
Lactation
The production and secretion of milk.
Lacteal
Special lymphatic capillaries of the small intestine that take up lipids.
Lactic acid
The product of anaerobic metabolism, especially in muscle; a metabolic end product of the breakdown of glucose that accumulates when metabolism proceeds in the absence of oxygen.
Lacuna
A little depression or space; in bone or cartilage, lacunae are occupied by cells.
Lal/o, -Lalia
Speech; babble  
Lamin/o
Lamina  
Lamina
A thin layer or flat plate; the portion of a vertebra between the transverse process and the spinous process.
Lampr/o
Clear  
Lapar/o
Abdominal wall; abdomen  
-Lapse
To slide; fall; sag  
LAR-LD
 
Large intestine
The portion of the digestive tube that encircles the abdomen around the small bowel, consisting of the cecum, the colon, and the rectum. It helps regulate water balance and eliminate solid waste.
Laryng/o
Larynx  
Laryngeal maske airway
An advanced airway device that is blindly inserted into the mouth to isolate the larynx for direct ventilation; consists of a tube and a mask or cuff that inflates to seal around the laryngeal opening. Also known as the voice box.
Laryngitis
An inflammation of the larynx.
Laryngoscope
An instrument used to give a direct view of the patient's vocal cords during endotracheal intubation.
Larynx
A complex structure formed by many independent cartilaginous structures that all work together; where the upper airway ends and the lower airway begins; the cartilaginous organ located between the trachea and the pharynx; also called the voice box.
Late adults
Persons who are 61 years old or older.
Later/o
Side  
Lateral
Away from the midline of the body; in anatomy, parts of the body that lie farther from the midline; also called outer structures.
Lateral flexion (side bending)
Movement of the head or trunk laterally away from the midline. ABduction of the spine.
Lateral recumbency (side lying)
Lying horizontally on the right or left side.
Lateral tilt
Pelvic tilt in which the crest of the ilium is higher on one side than the other.
Laws
Codified rules of conduct set forth by a society, generally based on shared ethical or moral principles.  
LD50
The amount of an agent or substance that will kill 50% of people who are exposed to this level.
LE-LH
 
Learning styles
A person's preferred method to take in information. The three most common are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.  
Lecith/o
Yolk; ovum  
Leg
The portion of the lower extremity between the knee and ankle joints.
Legal entity
In business, a legal entity is a legal construct through which the law allows a group of people to act as if they are a single person.  
Lei/o
Smooth  
Leimy/o
Smooth; visceral muscle  
-Lemma
Sheath; covering  
Lens
The elastic, doubly convex structure in the eye that focuses the light entering the eye on the retina; the transparent part of the eye through which images are focused on the retina.
Lepid/o
Plakes; scales  
Lepr/o
Leprosy  
-Lepsy
Seizure  
Lept/o
Thin; slender  
-Leptic
To seize; take hold of  
Lesion
A tissue injury or wound.
Lesser trochanter
The projection on the medial/superior portion of the femur.
Leth/o
Death  
Leuk/o
White  
Leukemia
A cancerous condition in which there is an excessive production of immature leukocytes.
Leukocytes
White blood cells that protect the body from pathogens and remove dead cells and substances.
Leukotrienes
Chemical substances that contribute to anaphylaxis; released by the immune system in allergic reactions.
Level of Consciousness (LOC)
Indirect measurement of cerebral oxygenation.
Lever
A solid mass, such as a crowbar or a person's arm, that rotates around a fixed point called the fulcrum. The rotation is produced by a force applied to a lever at some distance from the fulcrum.
Levo-
Left  
Lewisite (L)
A blistering agent that has a rapid onset of symptoms and produces immediate, intense pain and discomfort on contact.
Lex/o
Word; phrase  
Lexapro (Rx)
Brand name; Lexapro. Generic name; Escitalopram oxalate. Classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) and Antidepressant. It relieves depression and anxiety and is used for treatment of Stress. It works by helping to restore the balance of serotonin in the brain. Clients who take Lexapro may experience cardiac complications, abdominal pain, abnormal dreams, dizziness, migraine, sedation, heartburn, indigestion, and gas. It is best not to let the client fall asleep. Position for gastric distress. Alter positioning and help client on/off the table if needed.
Lexia
Word; phrase  
LI-LN
 
Liaison officer
In incident command, the person who relays information, concerns, and requests among responding agencies.
Libel
Libel or defamation is false and damaging information about a person's reputation that is communicated by written/printed words, images, pictures, or broadcast via radio, television, or film. Also referred to as slander.
Licensure
The process whereby a competent authority, usually the state, allows individuals to perform a regulated act. The most restrictive form of regulation, yet it provides the greatest level of public protection. Licensing programs typically involve the completion of a prescribed educational program, passing an examination that measures a minimal level of competency, and usually requires the licensee to adhere to a code of ethics or professional conduct.
Lien/o
Spleen  
Life expectancy
The average amount of years a person can be expected to live.
Ligament/o
Ligament  
Ligament
Dense bundles of parallel connective tissue fibers, primarily collagen, that connect bone to bone that also strengthen and stabilize the joint; a cord or fibrous tissue that connects bones; a band of fibrous tissue that connects bones to bone; supports and strengthens a joint.
Ligat/o
Binding; tying  
Lightening
A sensation felt by a pregnant patient when the fetus positions itself for delivery.
Lim/o
Hunger  
Limb leads
The four leads used with a 4-lead ECG; placed on or close to the right arm, left arm, right leg, and left leg.
Limb presentation
A delivery in which the presenting part is a single arm, leg, or foot.
Linear skull fractures
Account for 80% of skull fractures; also referred to as nondisplaced skull fractures; commonly occur in the temporal-parietal region of the skull; not associated with deformities to the skull.
Lingu/o
Tongue  
Lioresal (Rx)
Brand name; Lioresal. Generic name; Baclofen. Classified as a Skeletal muscle relaxant. It relieves muscle spasm in the treatment of Cerebral palsy. It works by helping to relax the muscles. Clients who take Lioresal may experience constipation or drowsiness. It is best to note that deep tissue techniques are contraindicated. Abdominal massage might relieve constipation.
Lip/o
Fat; lipid  
Lipids
Fats and oils; organic compounds that have carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms but in a different proportion than that of carbohydrates; organic compound formed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; examples are fats and cholesterol.
-Lipsis
Omit; fail  
List
A literal tilt of the spine.
-Listhesis
Condition of stones  
Lith/o
Stone; calculus  
-Lithotomy
Incision for removal of a stone  
Liver
A large solid organ that lies in the right upper quadrant (RUQ) immediately below the diaphragm; it produces bile, stores glucose for immediate use by the body, and produces many substances that help regulate immune responses.
Living will
Written documentation that specifies medical treatment for a competent patient should the patient become unable to make decisions; also called an advance directive or health care directive.
LO-LT
 
Lob/o
Lobe  
Locomotion
Moving from one place to another; walking.
Load-distributing band (LDB)
A circumferential chest compression device composed of a constricting band and backboard that is either electrically or pneumatically driven to compress the heart by putting inward pressure on the thorax.
Log/o
Study  
Logad/o
Whites of eyes  
-Logist
Specialist  
Logistics
In incident command, the position that helps procure and stockpile equipment and supplies during an incident.
-Logy
Study; process of study  
Longitudinal axis
A vertical line extending in a cranial/caudal direction about which movement of rotation take place.
Long spine board
Device to immobilize the entire body as a single unit (also called a longboard).
Loose-packed position
The position of a synovial joint in which the joint capsule is most lax. Joints tend to assume this position when inflammation occurs to accommodate the increased volume of synovial fluid.
Loph/o
Ridge  
Lorazepam (Rx)
Brand name; Ativan. Generic name; Lorazepam. Classified as a Benzodiazepine anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic. It relieves anxiety, promotes calmness, and sleep. it is used for treatment of stress. It works by enhancing the effects of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) a natural chemical made in the brain that blocks brain signals (neurotransmissions). Clients who take Ativan may experience restlessness, drowsiness, and dry mouth. It is best to use deep tissue massage techniques with caution. Offer a calming environment and water.
Lord/o
Curve; swayback  
Lordosis
An abnormally increased concavity in the curvature of the lumbar spine as viewed from the side. A condition of exaggeration of the normal lumbar curve.
Lower respiratory tract
The larynx, trachea, bronchi, and alveoli.
Lox/o
Oblique; slanting  
LU-LZ
 
-Lucent
To shine  
Lumb/o
Lower back; loin  
Lumbar
The portion of the back between the thorax and pelvis.
Lumbar spine
The lower part of the back, formed by the lowest five nonfused vertebrae; also called the dorsal spine.
Lumen
The space inside a tube; blood vessel, or hollow organ; the inside diameter of an artery or other hollow structure.
Lumin/o
Light  
Lungs
The primary organs of respiration, the lungs are soft, spongy, highly vascular structures separated into the left and right lungs by the mediastinum. Each lung is separated into lobes. The right lung has three lobes: an upper, middle, and lower; the left, two lobes: an upper and lower.
Lute/o
Yellow  
Lux/o
To slide  
Ly/o
To dissolve; loosen  
Lymph/o
Lymph  
Lymph
A clear interstitial tissue fluid that bathes the cells; lymph contains lymphocytes, which provide immune response; returns plasma proteins that have leaked out through capillary walls; and transports fats from the gastrointestinal system to the bloodstream; fluid in the lymph vessels collected from the tissue spaces.
Lymph nodes
Small, round structures distributed along the network of lymph vessels that provide a filtering system for removing waste products and transferring them to the bloodstream for removal of the spleen, intestines, and kidneys for detoxification; lymph nodes are centers for lymphocyte production; main function is to prevent bacteria and viruses from gaining access to the bloodstream; generally clustered at the joints for assistance in pumping when the joint moves, they are especially numerous in the axillae, groin, and neck and along certain blood vessels of the pelvis, abdominal, and thoracic cavities; a mass of lymphatic tissue; the area of the lymphatic system where infection-fighting cells are housed.
Lymphaden/o
Lymph gland; lymph node  
Lymphangi/o
Lymph vessel  
Lymphatic
Pertains to the system of vessels involved with drainage of bodily fluids (lymph).
Lymphatic system
A system of lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, and other lymphoid organs and tissues; a passive circulatory system that transports a plasmalike liquid called lymph, a thin fluid that bathes the tissues of the body.
Lymphocytes
Agranular white blood cells formed in the bone marrow that mature in the lymphoid tissue.
Lymphoid organs
Refers to organs in the lymphatic system including lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, spleen, and tonsils; see lymphatic system.
Lymphokines
Proteins involved in cell-mediated immune responses that enhance the immune and inflammatory responses.
Lyrica (Rx)
Brand name; Lyrica. Generic name; Pregabalin. Classified as an Anticonvulsant. It decreases neuropathic pain and is used for treatment of Fibromyalgia, and neuropathy. It works by calming the damaged or overactive nerves that cause pain. Clients who take Lyrica may experience dizziness, blurred vision, drowsiness, and easy bruising. It is best to perform light treatment work, help client on/off the table, and elevate head when needed.
-Lysis
Breakdown; seperation; destruction; loosening  
Lysosome
Cell organelle that is part of the intracellular digestive system; organelles that originate from the Golgi apparatus and contain strong digestive enzymes.
Lysozyme
An enzyme found in sweat, saliva, and tears that is capable of destroying certain kinds of bacteria.
-Lytic
To reduce; destroy; separate; breakdown  
 
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MA-MD
Macro-
Large  
Macrobiotic Shiatsu
This method supports a natural lifestyle and heightened instincts for improving health. Treatment involves non-invasive touch and pressure using hand and barefoot techniques and stretches to facilitate the flow of Qi (energy) and to strengthen the body-mind.  
Macrodrip set
An administration set named for the large orifice between the piercing spike and the drip chamber; allows for rapid fluid flow into the vascular system.
Macrophage
Cell particularly abundant in lymphatic and connective tissues; important in the immune response as an antigen-presenter to T cells and B cells.
Mal-
Bad  
-Malacia
Softening  
Malignant
Life threatening; pertains to neoplasms that spread and lead to death, such as cancer.
Malleol/o
Malleolus  
Malpractice
Improper, negligent treatment, or incompetent treatment of a patient/client resulting in injury, damage, or loss.  
Mamm/o
Breast  
Mammary glands
Milk-producing glands of the breasts.
Mandibul/o
Mandible  
Mandible
The bone of the lower jaw.
-Mania
Obsessive preoccupation  
Manual Cervical Immobilization
Type of spinal immobilization in which the cervical spine is immobilized by hand until further devices can be applied.
Manual therapists
Trained professionals who touch the physical or energetic body of the client or who use a method of movement to affect the body of a client for the purpose of facilitating awareness, health, and well-being. As used here, the term is interchangeable with somatic practitioners and includes massage therapists, bodyworkers, movement educators, practitioners of Asian methods, and practitioners who work primarily with energy fields.
Manually triggered ventilation device
A fixed flow/rate ventilation device that delivers a breath every time its button is pushed; also referred to as a flow-restricted, oxygen-powered ventilation device.
Manubrium
The upper quarter of the sternum.
Mark 1 Nerve Agent Antidote Kit (NAAK)
A nerve agent antidote kit containing two auto-injectors containing atropine and pralidoxime chloride.
-Masesis
Mastication; chewing  
Mass or Multiple Casualty Incident (MCI)
Commonly accepted definition of any incident involving one or more patients that cannot be handled by the first responding units to a scene; an emergency situation involving three or more patients that can place great demand on the equipment or personnel of the EMS system or has the potential to produce multiple casualties.
Mast/o
Breast  
Mastermind groups
A focused group setting where the individuals in the group create specific goals for their business/career and provide each other with support and inspiration for achieving those goals.  
Mastication
The act of chewing.
Mastoid/o
Mastoid process  
Mastoid Process
The prominent bony mass at the base of the skull about 1" posterior to the external opening of the ear.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
A form, provided by manufacturers and compounders (blenders) of chemicals, containing information about chemical composition, physical and chemical properties, health and safety hazards, emergency response, and waste disposal of a specific material.
Matrix
The basic substance between the cells of a tissue. Matrix is composed of amorphous ground substance consisting of molecules that expand when water molecules and electrolytes bind them. Up to 90% of connective tissue is ground substance. Fibers make up the other components of matrix.
Matter
Anything that occupies space and has mass.
Maxill/o
Maxilla  
Maxillae
The upper jawbones that assist in the formation of the orbit, the nasal cavity, and the palate and hold the upper teeth.
Maximal stimulus
The point at which all motor units of a muscle have been recruited and the muscle is unable to increase in strength.
ME-MEH
Meat/o
Meatus  
Meatus
The external opening of a canal.
Mechanical energy
Energy from directly involved in putting matter into motion.
Mechanical piston device
A device that depresses the sturnum via a compressed gas-powered plunger mounted on a backboard.
Mechanical receptors
Sensory receptors that detect changes in pressure, movement, temperature, or other mechanical forces.
Mechanics
The branch of physics dealing with the study of forces and motion produced by their actions.
Mechanism of Injury (MOI)
Manner in which injuries occur; actions or objects that cause trauma injury to a patient; the way in which traumatic injuries occur; the forces that act on the body to cause damage.
Mechanoreceptors
Receptors sensitive to mechanical pressures such as touch, sound, or contractions.
Meconium
A dark green material in the amniotic fluid that can indicate distress or disease in the newborn; the meconium can be aspirated into the infant's lungs during delivery; the infant's first bowel movement.
MED channels
VHF and UHF channels that the Federal Communications Commission has designated exclusively for EMS use.
Medi/o
Middle  
Medial
Towards the midline of the body; parts of the body that lie closer to the midline; also called inner structures.
Mediastin/o
Mediastinum  
Mediastinum
The region of the thoracic cavity between the two lungs; space within the chest that contains the heart, major blood vessels, vagus nerve, trachea, major bronchi, and esophagus.
Mediation
This has become a very common form of dispute resolution where a third party (mediator) works with disputants to agree on a fair result. It is less costly and less time consuming over the long term and can be the way to finding innovative, mutually beneficial solutions. However, mediation does not always result in a settlement.  
Medic/o
To heal; healing  
Medical control
Physician instructions that are given directly by radio or cell phone (online/direct) or indirectly by protocol/guidelines (off-line/indirect), as authorized by the medical director of the service program.
Medical direction
The physician who authorizes or delegates to the EMT the authority to provide medical care in the field; various duties that a physician provides in support of an EMS system; includes protocols, case reviews, educational programming, etc.
Medical emergencies
Emergencies that require EMS attention because of illnesses or conditions not caused by an outside force.
Medical incident command
A branch of operations in a unified command system, whose three designated sector positions are triage, treatment, and transport.
Medical Qigong
This process is based on meridian and point theory that makes use of: breath training, psychosomatic exercises, meditation and guided visualization that direct the practitioners to create a place of health and balance in their clients.  
Medication
A chemical substance that is used to treat or prevent disease or relieve pain. (Rx)
Medicolegal
A term relating to medical jurisprudence (law) or forensic medicine.
Medivac
Medical evacuation of a patient by helicopter.
Medull/o
Medulla; middle; soft; marrow  
Medulla
The central portion of certain organs.
Medulla oblongata
Nerve tissue that is continuous inferiorly with the spinal cord; serves as a conduction pathway for ascending and desending nerve tracts; coordinates heart rate, blood vessel diameter, breathing, swallowing, vomiting, caughing, and sneezing.
Mega-
Large  
-Megaly
Enlargement  
MEI-MER
 
Meiosis
A type of cell division in which each daughter cell receives half the normal number of chromosomes, forming two reproductive cells; the two successive cell divisions in gamete formation producing nuclei with half the full number of chromosomes (haploid).
Mel/o
Limb; limbs  
Melan/o
Black  
Melanin
The pigment that colors our skin and works as a natural sunscreen to protect us from ultraviolet rays by darkening our skin; the dark pigment synthesized by melanocytes; responsible for skin color.
Melanocyte
A cell that produces melanin.
Melena
Black, foul-smelling, tarry stool containing digested blood.
Memory cell
Member of T cell and B cell clones that provides for immunologic memory.
Membrane
A thin, sheetlike layer of tissue that covers a cell, an organ, or some other structure; that lines a tube or cavity; or that divides or separates one part from another.
Men/o
Menses; menstruation  
Menarche
Establishment of menstrual function; the first menstrual period.
Mening/o
Meninges  
Meninges
The membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord; three layers of tissue that surround and protect the brain and the spinal cord within the skull and the spinal canal.
Meningi/o
Meninges  
Meningitis
An infection or inflammation of the meninges, highly vascular membranes that separate the skull from the brain; inflammation of the meninges of the brain or spinal cord; an inflammation of the meningeal coverings of the brain and spinal cord; it is usually caused by a virus or a bacterium.
Meningococcal meningitis
An inflammation of the meningeal coverings of the brain and spinal cord; can be highly contagious.
Menopause
The physiological end of menstrual cycles.
Menses
Monthly discharge of blood from the uterus; menstruation.
Menstruation
The periodic, cyclic discharge of blood, secretions, tissue, and mucus from the mature female uterus in the absence of pregnancy.
Ment/o
Mind  
Mentor
A trusted colleague who provides guidance and education. Mentors are usually helpful in advising on both the details of establishing oneself as a professional and the broader general aspects of taking on a professional role or of taking on the role of a particular kind of bodywork or massage practitioner.  
Mentoring
A professional relationship in which a more experienced practitioner shares information, skills, and insights with a less-experienced practitioner to provide encouragement and support.  
Mer/o
Part  
MES-MH
 
Mesentery
The double-layered membrane of the peritoneum that supports most organs in the abdominal cavity.
Meso-
Middle  
Meta-
Change; beyond  
Metabolic rate
The energy expended by the body per unit time.
Metabolism (cellular respiration)
Chemical processes in the body that convert food and oxygen into energy to support growth, distribution of nutrients, and elimination of waste; the sum total of the chemical reactions that occur in the body; the biochemical processes that result in production of energy from nutrients within the cells.
Metabolites
Molecules synthesized or broken down inside the body by chemical reactions.
Metabolize
To transform substances into energy or materials the body can use or store by means of anabolism or catabolism.
Metacarp/o
Metacarpals  
Metacarpals
The five bones in the palm of the hand between the carpals and phalanges of the hand.
Metastasis
The spead of cancer from one body part or organ into another not directly connected to it.
Metatars/o
Metatarsals  
Metatarsals
The five bones between the tarsus and phalanges of the foot.
-Meter
Measure  
Metered-dose inhaler (MDI)
A miniature spray canister used to direct medications through the mouth and into the lungs.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
A bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body and is often resistant to commonly used antibiotics; can be found on the skin, in surgical wounds, in the bloodstream, lungs, and urinary tract.
Method/o
Procedure; technique  
Metr/o
Uterus; womb; measure  
Metri/o
Uterus  
-Metry
Process of measuring  
MI-MN
 
Mi/o
Smaller; less  
Micro-
Small  
Microdip set
An administration set named for the small orifice between the piercing spike and the drip chamber; allows for carefully controlled fluid flow and is ideally suited for medication administration.
Microorganisms
Small life forms that may be damaging to the body or interfere with its function.
Microvilli
Small projections of the cell membrane that increase the surface area of the cell; the tiny projections on the free surfaces of some epithelial cells; increase surface area for absorption.
Micturition
The clinical term for urination or voiding; emptying the bladder.
Midbrain
The part of the brain that is responsible for helping to regulate the level of consciousness.
Middle adults
Persons who are 41 to 60 years of age.
Midsagittal (median) section
Specific sagittal plane that lies exactly in the midline.
Midsagittal plane (midline)
An imaginary vertical line drawn from the middle of the forehead through the nose and the umbilicus (naval) to the floor.
Mid airway obstruction
Occurs when a foreign body partially obstructs the patient's airway; the patient is able to move adequate amounts of air, but also experiences some degree of respiratory distress.
Migranal (Rx)
Brand name; Migranal. Generic name; Dihydroergotamine mesylate. Classified as a Cranial vasoconstrictor. It reduces symptoms of migraine and cluster headaches in the treatment of Migraine headache. It works by narrowing the blood vessels in the brain. Clients who take Migranal may experience anxiety, sweating, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to adjust for temperature needs, and create a calming environment.
-Mimesis
Imitation; simulation  
Mimetic
Mimic; copy  
Minerals
The inorganic chemical compounds found in nature.
Minute ventilation
The volume of air moved through the lungs in 1 minute minus the dead space; calculated by multiplying tidal volume (minus dead space) and respiratory rate; also referred to as minute volume.
Minute volume
The amount of air moved through the lungs in 1 minute minus the dead space; calculated by multiplying tidal volume (minus dead space) and respiratory rate; also referred to as minute ventilation.
Miosis
Excessively constricted pupil; often bilateral after exposure to nerve agents.
Miscarriage
The passage of the fetus and placenta before 20 weeks; spontaneous abortion.
-Mission
To send  
Mitochondria
Cell organelles of rod or oval shape; the rod-like cytoplasmic organelles responsible for ATP generation.
Mitosis
Cell division in which the cell duplicates its DNA and divides into two identical daughter cells; the division of the cell nucleus; often followed by division of the cytoplasm of the cell.
Mixed nerves
Nerves that contain sensory and motor axons; nerves containing the processes of motor and sensory neurons; their impulses travel to and from the central nervous system (CNS).
-Mnesia
Memory  
MO-MT
 
Mobile data terminals (MDT)
Small computer terminals inside ambulances that directly receive data from the dispatch center.
Mogi-
Difficult  
Mole
Also known as a nevus, a mole is a benign pigmented skin growth formed of melanocytes.
Molecule
A combination of two or more atoms; a molecule is the smallest portion of a substance that can exist seperately without losing the physical and chemical properties of the substance; particle consisting of two or more atoms held together by chemical bonds.
Mon/o
One; single  
Monoclonal antibodies
Pure preparations of identical antibodies that exhibit specificity for a single antigen.
Monocyte
Large single-nucleus white blood cell; agranular leukocyte.
Monosaccharide
Literally, one sugar; the building block of carbohyreates; examples include glucose and fructose.
Monoplegia
Paralysis of a single limb or a single group of muscles.
Mons pubis
The fatty eminence over the pubic symphysis in the female.
Morality
A code of conduct that can be defined by society, religion, or a person, affecting character, conduct, and conscience.
Morals
Standards by which behaviors and character traits are judged as right or wrong.  
Morgue supervisor
In incident command, the person who works with area medical examiners, coroners, and law enforcement agencies to coordinate the disposition of dead victims.
Morph/o
Shape; form  
Moro reflex
An infant reflex in which, when an infant is caught off guard, the infant opens his or her arms wide, spreads the fingers, and seems to grab at things.
Mort/o
Death  
-Mortem
Death  
-Motor
Movement  
Motor nerves
Nerves that carry information from the central nervous system to the muscles of the body.
Motor point
The location where the motor neuron enters the muscle and where a visible contraction can be elicited with a minimal amount of stimulation. Motor points most often are located in the belly of the muscle.
Motor unit
A motor neuron and all of the muscle fibers it controls; a motor neuron and all the muscle cells it supplies.
Motrin (Rx)
Brand name; Advil or Motrin. Generic name; Ibuprofen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It reduces fever, is an anti-inflammatory, and an analgesic used for treatment of whiplash, transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), sprains and strains, scoliosis, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, muscle spasm, multiple sclerosis, hyperkyphosis, migraine headache, fibromyalgia, delayed-onset muscle soreness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Clients who take Advil or Motrin may experience upset stomach, ringing in the ears, or headache. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
MU-MX
 
Muc/o
Mucus  
Mucos/o
Mucous membrane  
Mucosal atomizer device (MAD)
A device that is used to change a liquid medication into a spray and push it into a nostril.
Mucous membrane (mucosa)
Membrane that forms the linings of body cavities open to the exterior, examples include digestive, respiratory, urinary, and reproductive tracts; the lining of the body cavities and passages that communicate directly or indirectly with the environment outside the body.
Mucus
A sticky, thick fluid, secreted by mucous glands and mucous membranes, that keeps the free surface of membranes moist; the opaque, sticky secretion of the mucous membranes that lubricates the body openings.
Multi-
Many  
Multigravida
A women who has had previous pregnancies.
Multilumen airways
Advanced airway devices, such as the esophageal tracheal Combitube and the pharyngeotracheal lumen airway, that have multiple tubes to aid in ventilation and will work whether placed in the trachea or esophagus.
Multiple intelligences
Howard Gardner's theory that people possess a variety of different intellectual capacities that operate relatively independently of one another. Nine learning styles; Visual-Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, and Realia.
Multisystem trauma
Trauma that affects more than one body system.
Muscle
An organ composed of one of three types of muscle tissue (skeletal, cardiac or visceral), specialized for contraction.
Muscle compliance
An intrinsic property of muscle and the quality of yeilding to pressure without disruption. Tension within the muscle increases during lengthening without a change in the neural drive (nerve-based motor command) to the muscle.
Muscle contraction
An increase of tension in the muscle caused by activation of the contractile mechanism of the muscle.
Muscle fibers
Muscle cells.
Muscle spasticity
A motor disorder characterized by velocity-dependent hypertonia (an excessive resistance to passive stretch, accompanies other medical disorders and diseases) and accentuated tendon reflexes.
Muscle spastic paresis
Infers the presence of spasticity and muscle paresis (weakness).
Muscle spindle
Encapsulated sensory receptor found in skeletal muscle that is sensitive to stretch.
Muscle stiffness
The intrinsic property of muscle and the magnitude of force necessary to cause tissue displacement (the inverse of muscle compliance).
Muscle tissue
A specialized form of tissue that contracts and shortens to provide movement, maintain posture, and produce heat.
Muscle tone
Sustained partial contraction of a muscle in response to stretch receptor inputs; keeps the muscle healthy and ready to react; a muscle's resistance to passive stretch, reflects the relative influences of the mechanical-elastic characteristics of muscular and connective tissues, and the reflexive drive to the muscle.
Muscle twitch
A single rapid contraction of a muscle followed by relaxation.
Muscul/o
Muscle  
Muscular dystrophy
A progressive disorder marked by atrophy and stiffness of the muscles.
Muscular system
Organ system consisting of skeletal muscles and their connective tissue attachments.
Musculoskeletal system
The bones and voluntary muscles of the body.
Mut/a
Genetic change  
Mutagen/o
Causing genetic change  
Mutagen
A substance that mutates, damages, and changes the structures of DNA in the body cells.
Mutual aid response
An agreement between neighboring EMS systems to respond to mass-casualty incidents or disasters in each other's region when local resources are insufficient to handle the response.
MY-MZ
 
My/o
Muscle  
Myasthenia gravis
A disorder that usually affects muscles in the face, lips, tongue, neck and throat, which are innervated by the cranial nerves, but that can affect any muscle group.
Myc/o
Fungus  
Mydr/o
Wide  
Myel/o
Spinal cord; bone marrow  
Myelin
A white, fatty, insulating subsctance formed by the Schwann cells that surrounds some axons; also produced in the central nervous system (CNS) by oligodendrocytes; a white, fatty lipid substance.
Myelinated fibers
Axons (projections of a nerve cell) covered with myelin.
Myocardi/o
Myocardium or heart muscle  
Myocardial contractility
The ability of the heart muscle to contract.
Myocardial contusion
A bruise of the heart muscle.
Myocardial Infraction (MI)
Condition in which part of the heart muscle (myocardium) dies because of inadequate supply of oxygen and nutrients; may be caused by a thrombosis, coronary artery spasm, or emboli; also called a heart attack; a condition characterized by dead tissue areas in the myocardium caused by interruption of blood supply to the area.
Myocardium
The cardiac muscle layer of the heart wall; the heart muscle.
Myofascial
Pertains to skeletal muscles ensheathed by fibrous connective tissue.
Myofibrils
Contractile organelles found in the cytoplasm of the muscle cells.
Myofilament
Filaments composing the myofibrils; of two types: actin and myosin.
Myom/o
Muscle Tumor  
Myometrium
The thick uterine musculature.
Myopia
Nearsightedness.
Myos/o
Muscle  
Myosin
One of the principle contractile proteins found in muscle.
Myotome
A skeletal muscle or group of skeletal muscles that receives motor axons from a particular spinal nerve.
Myring/o
Tympanic Membrane or Eardrum  
Myx/o
Mucus  
 
Info Link
NA-ND
Naprelan (Rx)
Brand name; Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn. Generic name; Naproxen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It is an Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, fever reducer used for treatment of whiplash, tendinosis, bursitis, neuropathy, ankylosing spondylosis, osteoarthritis, migraine headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and delayed-onset muscle soreness. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain. Clients who take Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, or Naprosyn may experience headache, ringing in the ears, and upset stomach. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Naprosyn (Rx)
Brand name; Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn. Generic name; Naproxen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It is an Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, fever reducer used for treatment of whiplash, tendinosis, bursitis, neuropathy, ankylosing spondylosis, osteoarthritis, migraine headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and delayed-onset muscle soreness. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain. Clients who take Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, or Naprosyn may experience headache, ringing in the ears, and upset stomach. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Naproxen (Rx)
Brand name; Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn. Generic name; Naproxen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It is an Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, fever reducer used for treatment of whiplash, tendinosis, bursitis, neuropathy, ankylosing spondylosis, osteoarthritis, migraine headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and delayed-onset muscle soreness. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain. Clients who take Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, or Naprosyn may experience headache, ringing in the ears, and upset stomach. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Narc/o
Numbness; stupor; sleep  
Nares
The nostrils; the external openings of the nostrils. A single nostril opening is called a naris.
Nas/o
Nose  
Nasal
Pertaining to the nose.
Nasal Cannula
Device used to deliver low concentrations of oxygen to patients who need supplemental oxygen but who are not in acute respiratory distress; an oxygen-delivery device in which oxygen flows through two small, tubelike prongs that fit into the patient's nostrils; delivers 24% to 44% supplemental oxygen, depending on the flow rate.
Nasal flaring
Flaring out of the nostrils, indicating that there is an airway obstruction.
Nasopharyngeal (nasal) airway
Airway adjunct inserted into a nostril of an unresponsive patient, or patient with an altered level of consciousness who is unable to maintain airway patency independently; designed to prevent airway obstruction by the tongue.
Nasopharynx
The nasal cavity; formed by the union of facial bones and protects the respiratory tract from contaminants.
Nat/i
Birth  
National EMS Scope of Practice Model
A document created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that outlines the skills performed by various EMS providers.
National Incident Management System (NIMS)
A department of Homeland Security system designed to enable federal, state, local governments, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to effectively and efficiently prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity, including acts of catastrophic terrorism.
National Provider Identifier (NPI)
Under HIPAA guidelines, each practitioner who transmits electronically must obtain an assigned NPI.
Natr/o
Sodium  
Nature of illness (NOI)
The general type of illness a patient is experiencing.
NE-NET
Necr/o
Death  
Necrosis
The death or disintegration of a cell or tissues caused by disease or injury.
Nect/o
To bind; tie; connect  
Negative feedback system
A control mechanism that provides a stimulus to decrease a function, such as a fire alarm, which causes a series of reactions that work to reduce the fire; feedback that causes the stimulus to decline or end.
Neglect
Refusal or failure on the part of the caregiver to provide life necessities.
Negligence per se
A theory that may be used when the conduct of the person being sued is alleged to have occurred in clear violation of a statute.
Negligence
Failure to provide the same care that a person with similar training would provide. Careless, not intentional, harm caused by conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm.
Neisseria meningitides
A form of bacterial meningitis characterized by rapid onset of symptoms, often leading to shock and death.
Neo-
New  
Neonate
Persons who are birth to 1 month of age.
Neoplasm
The abnormal growth of new tissue; also called a tumor, a neoplasm may be benign or malignant; an abnormal growth of cells.
Nephr/o
Kidney  
Nephrons
Structural and functional units of the kidney; the basic filtering units in the kidneys.
Nerve
A bundle of axons or dendrites or both; bundle of neuronal processes (axons) outside the central nervous system.
Nerve agents
A class of chemical called organophosphates; they function by blocking an essential enzyme in the nervous system, which causes the body's organs to become overstimulated and burn out.
Nerve fiber
Axon of a neuron.
Nerve impulse
A self-propagating wave of depolarization; also called an action potential.
Nervous system
Fast-acting control system that employs nerve impulses to trigger muscle contraction or gland secretion; the system that controls virtually all activities of the body, both voluntary and involuntary.
Nervous tissue
A specialized tissue that coordinates and regulates body activity and can develop more excitablity and conductivity than other types of tissue.
NEU-NN
Neupro (Rx)
Brand name; Neupro. Generic name; Rotigotine. Classified as a Dopamine agonist. It reduces symptoms of early stage Parkinson's Disease and is used for treatment of Parkinson's Disease. It works by helping to restore the balance of dopamine in the brain. Clients who take Neupro may experience fatigue, joint pain, dry mouth, and constipation. It is best to not massage around patch. Abdominal massage may help relieve constipation.
Neur/o
Nerve  
Neurilemma
The outer cell membrane of a Schwann cell that is essential in the regeneration of injured axons; the thin membrane spirally wraps the myelin layers of certain fibers, especially of peripheral nerves, or the axons of certain unmyelinated nerve fibers. Also called Schwann's membrane, sheath of Schwann, and endoneural membrane.
Neurogenic shock
Circulatory failure caused by paralysis of the nerves that control the size of the blood vessels, leading to widespread dilation; seen in patients with spinal cord injuries.
Neuroglia
Specialized connective tissue cells that support, protect, and hold neurons together; the nonneuronal tissue of the central nervous system (CNS) that performs supportive and other functions; also called glia.
Neuromuscular junction
The region where a motor neuron comes into close contat with a skeletal muscle cell.
Neurons
Nerve cells that conduct impulses; cells of the nervous system specialized to transmit messages throughout the body.
Neurontin (Rx)
Brand name; Neurontin. Generic name; Gabapentin. Classified as an Anticonvulsant. It prevents and treats partial seizures, and relieves neuralgia. Is also used for treatment of Chronic fatigue syndrome and neuropathy. It works by affecting chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the causing of seizures. Clients who take Neurontin may experience amnesia, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, and constipation. It is best to place a reminder call the day before the appointment. Abdominal massage my help relieve constipation, help client on/off the table if needed.
Neuropathy
A group of conditions in which the nerves leaving the spinal cord are damaged, resulting in distortion of signals to or from the brain.
Neurotoxins
Biologic agents that are the most deadly substances known to humans; they include botulinum toxin and ricin.
Neurotransmitters
Chemical compounds that generate action potentials when released in the synapses from presynaptic cells; chemical released by neurons that may, upon binding to receptors of neurons or effector cells, stimulate or inhibit them.
Neutr/o
Neither; neutral; neutrophil  
Neutral fats
Compounds composed of fatty acids and glycerol; fats and oils; also called triglycerides.
Neutralization
A chemical reaction that occurs between an acid and a base; blockage of the harmful effects of bacterial exotoxins or viruses by the binding of antibodies to their functional sites.
Neutron
Subatomic particle; found in the atomic nucleus.
Neutron radiation
The type of energy that is emitted from a strong radiologic source; neutron particles are among the most powerful forms of radiation. Neutrons easily penetrate through lead and require several feet of concrete to stop them.
Neutrophils
The most abundant of the white blood cells.
Nid/o
Nest  
Nine
Noni-  
Nitroglycerin
Medication that dilates blood vessels and decreases the workload on the heart; often used to treat angina pectoris; a medication that increases cardiac perfusion by causing arteries to dilate; you may be allowed to help the patient self-administer the medication.
NO-NT
Noci-
To cause harm; injury or pain  
Nociceptors
Sensory receptors that detect painful or intense stimuli.
Noct/o
Night  
Nod/o
Knot  
-Noia
Mind; will  
Noise
Anything that dampens or obscures the true meaning of a message. Interference of the transfer of information.
Nom/o
Custom; law  
Nomen-
Name  
Nonbulk storage vessels
Any container other than bulk storage containers such as drums, bags, compressed gas cylinders, and cryogenic containers. Nonbulk storage vessels hold commonly used commercial and industrial chemicals such as solvents, industrial cleaners, and compounds.
Nondisplaced fracture
A simple crack in the bone that has not caused the bone to move from its normal anatomic position; also called a hairline fracture.
Non-Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
A diabetic condition that usually occurs in individuals over 40 years of age and usually can be controlled by diet and oral insulin.
Nonmaleficence
The principle of "Do no harm." The partinent ethical issue is whether the benefits outweigh the burdens.  
Nonrebreather mask
Device used to deliver high concentrations of oxygen to patients in acute respiratory distress; has a reservoir bag and a one-way valve to prevent rebreathing.
Nonrebreathing mask
A combination mask and reservoir bag system that is the preferred way to give oxygen in the prehospital setting; delivers up to 90% inspired oxygen and prevents inhaling the exhaled gases (carbon dioxide).
Nonverbal communication
Communication in which people reveal clues to unspoken intentions or feelings through their physical behaviors, such as posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. Also known as body language.  
Norepinephrine
A catecholamine primarily involved in emotional responses. Norepinephrine is found in the central nervous system (CNS) and the sympathetic (SNS) division of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and causes constriction of blood vessels in the skeletal muscles; a neurotransmitter and drug sometimes used in the treatment of shock; produces vasoconstriction through its alpha-stimulator properties.
Norm/o
Rule; order  
Normal sinus rhythm
A rhythm that has consistant P waves, consistent P-R intervals, and a regular heart rate of between 60 and 100 beats/min.
Nos/o
Disease  
NU-NZ
Nuad Bo ‘Rarn
This utilizes hand techniques and an unique approach to passive movement and stretching in order to open up the veins or energy passages and release chronic tension from the body.  
Nuchal cord
An umbilical cord that is wrapped around the infant's neck.
Nucle/o
Nucleus  
Nucleic acids
The two types of nucleic acid are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA); class of organic molecules that includes DNA and RNA.
Nucleoli
Small spherical bodies in the cell nucleus; function in ribosome synthesis.
Nucleotide
Building block of nucleic acids.
Nucleus
A dense central body in most cells containing the genetic material of the cell.
Nulli-
None  
Nutri/o, Nutrit/o
To nourish  
Nutrients
Essentail elements and molecules obtained from the diet that are required by the body for normal body function.
Nutrition
The use of food for growth and maintenance of the body.
Nyct/o
Night  
  Info Link
OA-OE
 
Obesity
A condition in which a person has an excessive amount of body fat.  
Obstetr/o
Pregnancy; birth  
Obstructive shock
Shock that occurs when there is a block to blood flow in the heart or great vessels, causing an insufficiant blood supply to the body's tissues.  
Occipital
Pertaining to the area at the back of the head.  
Occipital condyles
Elongated oval facets on the undersurface of the occipital bone on either side of the foramen magnum, which articulate with the atlas vertebra.  
Occiput
The most posterior portion of the cranium.  
Occlusion
Closure or obstruction; a blockage, usually of a tubular structure such as a blood vessel.  
Occlusive dressing
A dressing made of Vaseline-impregnated gause, aluminum foil, or plastic that protects a wound from air and bacteria.  
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
The federal regulatory compliance agency that develops, publishes, and enforces guidelines concerning safety in the workplace.  
Ocul/o
Eye  
Odont/o
Tooth  
Odontoid process (Dens)
A process projecting upward from the body of the axis vertebra around which the atlas rotates.  
Odyn/o
Pain  
OF-OQ
 
Off-gassing
The emitting of an agent after exposure, for example from a person's clothes that have been exposed to the agent.  
-Oid
Resembling; dirived From  
-Ole
Little; small  
Ole/o
Oil  
Olecran/o
Olecranon process; elbow  
Olfaction
Smell.  
Olig/o
Scanty  
Om/o
Shoulder  
-Oma
Tumor; mass; fluid collection  
Omphal/o
Umbilicus; navel  
Onc/o
Tumor  
Oncotic pressure
The pressure of water to move, typically into the capillary, as the result of the presence of plasma proteins.  
-One
Hormone  
One
Mono; uni  
One and a Half
Bi; di  
Online discussion forums
There are many free online discussion and support groups (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn) for various practitioners wherein you can ask questions and get answers from many others in the same or similar careers.  
On-line medical direction
Clinical type of medical direction that involves real-time direction of prehospital providers in the delivery of emergency care; also known as direct medical direction.  
Onych/o
Finger or toe nail  
O/o
Egg  
Oogenesis
The process of formation of the ova.  
Oophor/o
Ovary  
-Opaque
Obscure  
Open abdominal injury
An injury in which there is a break in the surface of the skin or mucous membrane, exposing deeper tissue to potential contamination.  
Open chest injury
An injury to the chest in which the chest wall itself is penetrated by a fractured rib or, more frequently, by an external object such as a bullet or knife.  
Open-ended questions
Questions for which the patient must provide detail to give an answer.  
Open fracture
Any break in a bone in which the overlying skin has been damaged.  
Open head injury
Injury to the head often caused by a penetrating object in which there may be bleeding and exposed brain tissue.  
Open injuries
Injuries in which there is a break in the surface of the skin or the mucous membrane, exposing deeper tissue to potential contamination.  
Open Kinematic chain
A position in which the ends of the limbs or parts of the body are free to move without causing motion at another joint.  
Open pneumothorax
An open or penetrating chest wall wound through which air passes during inspiration and expiration, creating a sucking sound; also referred to as a sucking chest wound.  
Operations
In incident command, the position that carries out the orders of the commander to help resolve the incident.  
Ophry/o
Eyebrow  
Ophthalm/o
Eye  
Ophthalmic
Pertaining to the eye.  
-Opia
Vision condition  
Opioids
Any drug or agent with actions similar to morphine.  
Opisth/o
Backward; behind  
Opportunistic pathogens
Organisms that cause disease only when the immunity is low in a host.  
Opposition
Movement of the thumb across the palmar aspect to make contact with the fingers; the action by which the thumb is used to touch the tips of the other fingers on the same hand; this unique action makes the human hand such a fine tool for grasping and manipulating things.  
OPQRST
Acronym for assessing the complaint, signs, and symptoms of a patient (Onset, Provocation, Quality, Radiation, Severity, Time); an abbreviation for key terms used in evaluating a patient's pain: Onset, Provocation or Palliation, Quality, Region/radiation, Severity, and Timing of pain.  
-Opsy
View of  
Opt/o
Eye; vision  
Optic/o
Eye; vision  
Optic
Pertaining to the eye.  
Optic chiasma
The partial crossover of fibers of the optic nerves.  
Optic nerve
A cranial nerve that transmits visual information to the brain.  
OR
 
-Or
One who  
Or/o
Mouth  
Oral
Relating to the mouth; by mouth; a medication delivery route.  
Oral glucose
A simple sugar that is readily absorbed by the bloodstream; it is carried on the EMS unit.  
Orbit
The eye socket, made up of the maxilla and zygoma.  
Orbital
Eye area.  
Orch/o
Testis  
Orchi/o
Testis  
Orchid/o
Testis  
Orencia (Rx)
Brand name; Orencia. Generic name; Abatacept. Classified as an immunosuppressant. It reduces symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, used in the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis. It works by weakening your immune system and decreasing inflammation. Clients who take Orencia may experience dizziness, headache, or mild pain at injection site. It is best to use caution around injection site.
-Orexia
Appetite  
Organ/o
Organ  
Organ
A part of the body formed of two or more tissues that performs a specialized function.  
Organ system
A group of organs that work together to perform a vital body function; e.g., nervous system.  
Organelles
The basic components of a cell that perform specific functions within the cell; specialized structures in a cell that perform specific metabolic functions.  
Organic brain syndrome
Temporary or permanent dysfunction of the brain, caused by a disturbance in the physical or physiologic functioning of the brain tissue.  
Organic compounds
Substances that have carbon and hydrogen as part of their basic structure; a compound containing carbon; examples include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.  
Organism
An individual living thing.  
Orientation
The mental staus of a patient as measured by memory of person (name), place (current location), time (current year, month, and approximate date), and event (what happended).  
Oriented
Describes a patient who can state name, current location, date, etc.  
Origin
The more proximal attachment of a muscle; the part that attaches closest to the midline (center) of the body; the least movable part of a muscle; the more stationary attachment site of a muscle to a bone; the opposite end is the insertion; attachment of a muscle that remains relatively fixed during muscular contraction.  
Oropharygneal (oral) Airway
Airway adjunct designed to prevent airway obstruction by the tongue in unconscious patients; inserted upside down and rotated 180 degrees; airway adjunct inserted into the mouth of an unresponsive patient to keep the tongue from blocking the upper airway and to facilitate suctioning the airway, if necessary.  
Orotracheal
Forms the posterior portion of the oral cavity, which is bordered superiorly by the hard and soft palates, laterally by the cheeks, and inferiorly by the tongue.  
Orotracheal intubation
Endotracheal intubation through the mouth.  
Orth/o
Straight  
Orthopedic stretcher
A stretcher that is designed to be spilt into two or four sections that can be fitted around a patient who is lying on the ground or other relatively flat surface; also called an scoop stretcher.  
OS-OU
 
Osche/o
Scrotum  
-Ose
Full of; pertaining to; sugar  
-Osis
Condition; usually abnormal  
-Osmia
Smell  
Osmoreceptor
A structure sensitive to osmotic pressure or concentration of a solution.  
Osmosis
Diffusion of water from a region of lower concentration of solution to a region of higher concentration of solution across the semipermeable membrane of a cell; the diffusion of a solvent through a membrane from a diluted solution into a more concentrated one.  
Osphresi/o
Sense of smell  
Ossicul/o
Ossicle; small bone  
Ossicles
The three bones of the middle ear: hammer, anvil, and stirrup.  
Oste/o
Bone  
Osteoblasts
Bone-forming cells.  
Osteoclasts
Large cells that resorb or break down bone matrix.  
Osteocyte
A mature bone cell.  
Osteokinematics
The movement of bones as opposed to the movement of articular surfaces; also known as range of motion (ROM).  
Osteon
A system of interconnecting canals in the microscopic structure of adult compact bone; unit of bone.  
Osteoporosis
A disorder of the bones in which a lack of calcium and other minerals and a decrease in bone protein leaves the bone soft. fragile, and more likely to break; an increased softening of the bone resulting from a gradual decrease in rate of bone formation; a common condition in older people; a generalized bode disease, commonly associated with postmenopausal women, in which there is a reduction in the amount of bone leading to fractures after minimal trauma in either sex.  
-Ostosis
Condition of the bone  
Ot/o
Ear  
-Otia
Ear condition  
Otic
Pertaining to the ear.  
Otolith
One of the small calcified mases in the utricle and saccule of the inner ear.  
-Ous
Pertaining to  
OV-OZ
 
Ov/o
Egg  
Ovari/o
Ovary  
Ovarian cycle
The monthly cycle of follicle development, ovulation, and corpus luteum formation in an ovary.  
Ovaries
The primary female reproductive organs that produce an ovum, or egg, that, if fertilized, will develop into a fetus.  
Ovary
The female sex organ in which ova (eggs) are produced.  
Overdose
An excessive quantity of a drug which, when taken or administered, can have toxic or lethal consequences.  
Over-the counter (OTC) medications
Medications that may be purchased directly by a patient without a prescription.  
Ovul/o
Egg  
Ovulation
The release of an ovum (or oocyte) from the ovary; the process in which an ovum is released by a follicle.  
Ovum
The female gamete (germ cell); an egg.  
Ox/o
Oxygen  
-Oxia
Oxygen  
Oxidation
The process of substances combining with oxygen or the removal of hydrogen.  
Oxy-
Swift; sharp; acid  
Oxycodone hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; OxyContin. Generic name; Oxycodone hydrochloride. Classified as an Opioid analgesic. It reduces moderate to severe pain used for treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), and other degenerative conditions. It works as a controlled-release opioid agonist (increasing analgesic effects) pain reliever. Clients who take OxyContin may experience sedation, dry mouth, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception. Abdominal massage may help relieve constipation. Offer water and help client on/off table when needed. Ensure client's alertness for the drive home.
OxyContin (Rx)
Brand name; OxyContin. Generic name; Oxycodone hydrochloride. Classified as an Opioid analgesic. It reduces moderate to severe pain used for treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), and other degenerative conditions. It works as a controlled-release opioid agonist (increasing analgesic effects) pain reliever. Clients who take OxyContin may experience sedation, dry mouth, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception. Abdominal massage may help relieve constipation. Offer water and help client on/off table when needed. Ensure client's alertness for the drive home.
Oxygen
A gas that all cells need for metabolism; the heart and brain, especially, cannot function without oxygen.  
Oxygenation
The process of delivering oxygen to the blood by diffusion from the alveoli following inhalation into the lungs.  
Oxygen debt
The extra amount of oxygen that must be taken in to convert lactic acid to glucose or glycogen; the volume of oxygen required after exercise to oxidize the lactic acid formed during exercise.  
Oxyhemoglobin
Hemoglobin combined with oxygen.  
Oxysm/o
Sudden  
 
  Info Link
PA-PAQ
 
Pachy-
Heavy; thick  
Packaging
Preparing the victim for transfer from the vehicle to the ambulance.  
Paging
The use of a radio signal and a voice or digital message that is transmitted to pagers ("beepers") or desktop monitor radios.  
-Pagus
Conjoined twins  
Pain
An unpleasant sensation. Pain is a complex, private experience with physiologic, psychologic, and social aspects. Because pain is subjective, it is often difficult to explain or describe.  
Palat/o
Palate  
Palate
Roof of the mouth.  
Pale/o
Old  
Pali-
Recurrence, repetition  
Palliat/o
To soothe; relieve  
Palmar
Toward the palm; the forward facing part of the hand in the anatomic position.  
Palmar grasp
An infant reflex that occurs when something is placed in the infant's palm; the infant grasps the object.  
Palpable
Touchable, accessible.  
Palp/o, Palpat/o
To touch gently  
Palpate
To examine or explore by touching (organ or area of the body), usually as a diagnostic aid; to examine by touch.  
Palpation
Examination by touch.  
Palpebr/o
Eyelid  
Palpit/o
Flutter; throbbing  
Pan-
All  
Panadol (Rx)
Brand names; Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol. Generic name; Acetaminophen. Classified as a Nonopioid pain reliever. It reduces fever and is a mild analgesic used in the treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), frozen shoulder, migraine headache, tension headache, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains and strains, tendinosis, and transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). It works by elevating the body's overall pain threshold so you feel less pain. It also eliminates excess heat for fever reducing. Clients who take Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol may experience liver damage from prolonged use. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Pancreas
Gland posterior to the stomach, between the spleen and the duodenum; produces both endocrine and exocrine secretions; a flat, solid organ that lies below the liver and the stomach; it is a major source of digestive enzymes and produces the hormone insulin.  
Pancreat/o
Pancreas  
Pancreatic juice
A secretion of the pancreas containing enzymes for digestion of all food categories.  
Pancreatitis
Inflammation of the pancreas.  
Pandemic
An outbreak that occurs on a global scale.  
Pant/o
All; whole  
Papill/o
Nipple-like; optic disc  
Papilla
Small nipplelike projection.  
Papillary muscles
Cone-shaped muscles found in the heart ventricles.  
Papul/o
Papule; pimple  
PAR
 
Par-
Other than; abnormal  
Para-
Near; beside; abnormal; apart from; along side of  
-Para
To bear; bring forth (live births)  
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.  
Paralysis
The loss of muscle function.  
Paramedic
An individual who has extensive training in advanced life support, including endotracheal intubation, emergancy pharmacology, cardiac monitoring, and other advanced assessment and treatment skills.  
Paraplegia
Paralysis of the lower portion of the body and of both legs.  
Parasit/o
Parasite  
Parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)
The energy conservation and restorative system associated with what commonly is called the relaxation or rest and digest response of the autonomic nervous system (ANS); it is opposite of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) fight-or-flight response that activates and constricts the functions of the body when under stress; a division of the autonomic nervous system; also referred to as the craniosacral division; a subdivision of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), involved in control of involuntary, vegetative functions, mediated largely by the vagus nerve through the chemical acetylcholine.  
Parathyroid/o
Parathyroid glands  
Parathyroid glands
Small endocrine glands located on the posterior aspect of the thyroid gland; produce the parathyroid hormone (PTH); controls the amount of calcium in the blood and within the bones.  
Parathyroid hormone (PTH)
Hormone released by the parathyroid glands that regulates blood calcium level.  
Paravertebrals
Alongside or near the vertebral column.  
Parenteral medications
Medications that enter the body by a route other than the digestive tract, skin, or mucous membranes.  
-Paresis
Weakness  
-Pareunia
Sexual intercourse  
Parietal
Pertaining to the walls of a cavity.  
Parietal pleura
Thin membrane that lines the chest cavity.  
Parietal regions
The areas between the temporal and occipital regions of the cranium.  
Parotid
Located near the ear.  
-Parous
To bear; bring forth  
Paroxetine hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Paxil. Generic name; Paroxetine hydrochloride. Classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). It is an Antidepressant, relieves obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and is used for treatment of Fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It works by effecting chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced. Clients who take Paxil may experience abdominal pain, insomnia, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and sexual dysfunction. It is best to perform an abdominal massage to help relieve constipation, keep client awake to avoid disrupting sleep patterns.
Partial pressure
The term used to describe the amount of gas in air or dissolved in fluid, such as blood.  
Partial seizure
A seizure affecting a limited portion of the brain.  
Partial-thickness (second-degree) burns
Burns affecting the epidermis and some portion of the dermis but not the subcutaneous tissue; characterized by blisters and skin that is white to red, moist, and mottled.  
Partnership
A legal relationship between two or more persons in which each agrees to furnish a part of the capital and labor for a business enterprise, and by which each shares a fixed proportion of profits and losses.  
-Partum
Birth; labor  
PAS-PD
 
Passive immunity
Short-lived immunity resulting from the introduction of "borrowed antibodies" obtained from an immune animal or human donor; immunological memory is not established.  
Passive language
Communicates a lack of self-confidence or self-esteem. The tone of voice may be whiny, hesitant, or self-deprecating. Passive statements are generally ambiguous, failing to clearly specify what the practitioner wants or expects to have happen and what the consequences will be if the client does not comply.  
Passive transport
Transportation of a substance across the cell membrane without the use of energy; membrane transport processes that do not require cellular energy (ATP); e.g., diffusion, which is drivin by kinetic energy.  
Past medical history
Significant past medical illnesses or traumatic injury that the patient has experienced.  
Patell/a
Petella  
Patell/o
Patella  
Petella
The kneecap; a specialized bone that lies within the tendon of the quadriceps muscle.  
Patent
Open, clear of obstruction.  
Patent airway
An open, unblocked airway.  
Path/o
Disease  
Pathogen
Disease-causing microorganism; e.g., some bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc.; microorganisms capable of producing disease in a susceptible host.  
Pathogenesis
The development of a disease.  
Pathogenicity
The ability of the infectious agent to cause disease in a susceptible host.  
Pathogens
Microorganisms capable of producing disease.  
Pathologic range of motion
The amount of motion at a joint that fails to reach the normal physiologic range or exceeds normal anatomic limits or motion of that joint.  
Pathology
The study of disease as observed in the structure and function of the body.  
Pathophysiology
The study of how normal physiologic processes are affected by disease.  
-Pathy
Disease; emotion  
Patient autonomy
The right of a patient to make informed choices regarding his or her health care.  
Patient care report (PCR)
The legal document used to record all patient care activities. This report has direct patient care functions but also administrative and quality control functions. PCRs are also known as prehospital care reports.  
Patient-assisted medication
When the EMT assists the patient with the administration of his or her own medication.  
Paxil (Rx)
Brand name; Paxil. Generic name; Paroxetine hydrochloride. Classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). It is an Antidepressant, relieves obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and is used for treatment of Fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It works by effecting chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced. Clients who take Paxil may experience abdominal pain, insomnia, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and sexual dysfunction. It is best to perform an abdominal massage to help relieve constipation, keep client awake to avoid disrupting sleep patterns.
Payer discrimination
Charging insurance companies higher rates than clients who do not utilize insurance coverage.  
PE-PEQ
 
Pector/o
Chest  
Pectoral
Pertaining to the chest.  
Pectoral girdle
Composite of two bones, scapula and clavicle, that attach the upper limb to the axial skeleton; also called shoulder girdle.  
Ped/o
Child; foot  
Pediatric Assessment Triangle (PAT)
A structured assessment tool that allows you to rapidly form a general impression of the infant or child without touching him or her; consists of assessing appearance, work of breathing, and circulation to the skin.  
Pediatric resuscitation tape measure
A tape used to estimate an infant or child's weight on the basis of length; appropriate drug doses and equipment sizes are listed on the tape.  
Pediatrics
A specialized medical practice devoted to the care of the young.  
Pedicul/o
Louse  
Peduncle
A stalk of fibers that connect the cerebellum to the pons, midbrain, and medulla oblongata.  
Peer-assisted medication
When the EMT adminsters medication to him or herself or to a partner.  
Peer group
A group of colleagues who meet regularly to discuss common issues related to their professional lives, to share information and strategies, and to receive emotional support.  
Peer support groups
The process of working with a group of practitioners whose main goal is to listen to each other in a way that provides support for the many challenges that arise during the course of dealing with clients.  
Pelvic binders
Used to splint the bony pelvis to reduce hemorrhage from bone ends, venous disruption, and pain.  
Pelvic girdle
The two hip bones; incomplete bony basin formed by two coxal bones that secures the lower limbs to the sacrum of the axial skeleton.  
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
An infection of the fallopian tubes and the surrounding tissues of the pelvis.  
Pelv/i
Pelvis; hip region  
Pelv/o
Pelvis; hip region  
Pelvic tilt
An anterior (forward), a posterior (backward) or a lateral (vertical) tilt of the pelvis from neutral position.  
Pelvis
Composed of the two hip bones, sacrum and coccyx; a basin-shaped structure; lower portion of the skeleton of the body trunk.  
Pend/o
To hang  
Penetrating trauma
Injury caused by objects, such as knives and bullets, that pierce the surface of the body and damage internal tissues and organs.  
Penetrating wound
An injury resulting from a sharp, pointed object.  
-Penia
Dificiency  
Penis
The male organ of copulation and urination.  
-Pepsia
Digestion  
Pepsin
An enzyme capable of digesting proteins in an acid pH.  
Peptic ulcer disease
An abrasion of the stomach or small intestine.  
PER-PG
 
Per/o
Deformed; maimed  
Per-
Through  
Percuss/o
To tap  
Peri-
Surrounding  
Perine/o
Perineum  
Peritone/o
Peritoneum  
Perone/o
Fibula  
Per os (PO)
Through the mouth; a medication delivery route; same as oral.  
Per rectum (PR)
Through the rectum; a medication delivery route.  
Perfusion
State of adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues; ability of the circulatory system to distribute blood containing nutrients and oxygen to the tissues; circulation of blood within an organ or tissue in adequate amounts to meet the current needs of the cells.  
Pericardium
A double membranous, serous sac surrounding the heart. The pericardium secrets a lubricating fluid to prevent friction from the movement of the heart; the membranous sac enveloping the heart; the fibrous sac that surrounds the heart.  
Perimysium
The connective tissue enveloping bundles of muscle fibers.  
Perineum
That region of the body extending from the anus to the scrotum in males and from the anus to the vulva in females; the area of skin between the vagina and the anus.  
Perineurium
Course connective tissue wrapping that binds groups of fibers in a nerve, forming fascicles, or fiber bundles.  
Periosteum
The thin fibrous membrane of connective tissue which surrounds the surface of the bones except at articulations; double-layered connective tissue that covers and nourishes the bone.  
Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
The system of somatic and autonomic neurons outside the central nervous system (CNS); the peripheral nervous system comprises the Afferent (sensory) division and the Efferent (motor) division; a system of nerves that connects the outlying parts of the body with the central nervous system (CNS); the part of the nervous system that consists of 31 pairs of spinal nerves and 12 pairs of cranial nerves; peripheral nerves may be sensory, motor, or connecting nerves.  
Peripheral resistance
The resistance to blood flow offered by the systemic blood vessels; a measure of the amount of friction encountered by blood.  
Peristalsis
Rhythmic contraction of smooth muscles that propel products of digestion along the tract from the esophagus to the anus; the waves of contraction seen in tubelike organs; propels substances along the tract; the wavelike contraction of smooth muscle by which the ureters or other tubular organs propel their contents.  
Peritoneal cavity
The abdominal cavity.  
Peritoneum
The mucous membrane that lines the abdominal cavity to prevent friction from the organs; the serous membrane lining the interior of the abdominal cavity and covering the surfaces of the abdominal organs; the membrane lining the abdominal cavity (parietal peritoneum) and covering the abdominal organs (visceral peritoneum).  
Peritonitis
An inflammation of the peritoneum.  
Permeability
That property of membranes that permits passage of molecules and ions.  
Permeable boundary
A permeable boundary allows information and feelings to flow easily in and out without barriers.  
Peroneal
Pertaining to the lateral aspect of the leg.  
Persistency
Term used to describe how long a chemical agent will stay on a surface before it evaporates.  
Personal boundary model
The theory that views the nature of boundaries as a continuum of permeable to ridgid. The degree of permeability also represents vulnerability.  
Personal profile
Personal information used to register on social media websites.  
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Clothing or specialized equipment that provides protection to the wearer.  
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) levels
Measures of the amount and type of protective equipment that an individual needs to avoid injury during contact with a hazardous material.  
Perspir/o
Breathe through  
Pertinent negative
Absence of a sign or symptom that helps substantiate or identify a patient's condition; negative findings that warrant no care or intervention.  
Pertinent positive
Presence of a sign or symptom that helps substantiate or identify a patient's condition.  
Pertussis (whooping cough)
An airborne bacterial infection that affects mostly children younger than 6 years. Patients will be feverish and exhibits a "whoop" sound on inspiration after a coughing attack; highly contagious through droplet infection.  
Petrissage
From the French word "Petrir" meaning to knead; this massage technique is used after the tissue is warmed, because of the focused work; includes muscle (mm) squeezing, mm stripping, wringing, picking up, skin rolling, and a veriety of kneading techniques.  
Petr/o
Stone; petrous region of temporal bone  
-Pexy
Fixation; to put in place  
PH
 
pH
The symbol for hydrogen ion concentration; a measure of the relative acidity or alkalinity of a solution.  
Phac/o
Lens of eye  
Phag/o
Eat; swallow  
-Phage
Eat; swallow  
-Phagia
Eating; swallowing  
Phagocyte
A cell capable of engulfing and digesting particles or cells harmful to the body.  
Phagocytosis
The process of endocytosis followed by digestion of the vesicle contents by enzymes present in the cytoplasm; the ingestion of solid particles by cells.  
Phak/o
Lens of eye  
Phalang/o
Phalanges  
Phalanges
The bones of the fingers or toes.  
Phall/o
Penis  
Phaner/o
Visible; apparent  
Phantom pain
A form of pain or other sensation experienced in the missing extremity after a limb amputation.  
Pharmac/o
Drug  
Pharmaceut/o
Drug  
Pharmacodynamics
The process by which a medication works on the body.  
Pharmacology
The study of the properties and effects of medications.  
Pharyng/o
Throat  
Pharyngeotracheal lumen airway
A multilumen airway that consists of two tubes, two masks, and a bite block.  
Pharyngotympanic (auditory) tube
Tube that connects the middle ear and the pharynx; allows pressure to be equalized on both sides of the ear drum; also called the Eustachian tube.  
Pharynx
The throat; the muscular tube extending from the posterior of the nasal cavities to the esophagus.  
Phas/o
Speech  
-Phasia
Speech  
Phe/o
Dusky; dark  
-Pheresis
Removal  
Phil/o
Like; love; attraction to  
-Phil
Attraction for  
-Philia
Attraction for  
Phim/o
Muzzle  
Phleb/o
Vein  
Phlebitis
Inflammation of a vein; often associated with a clot in the vein.  
Phob/o
Fear  
-Phobia
Fear  
Phon/o
Voice; sound  
-Phonia
Voice; sound  
Phor/o
To bear  
-Phoresis
Carrying; transmission  
-Phoria
To bear; carry; feeling- mental state  
Phosgene
A pulmonary agent that is a product of combustion, such as might be produced in a fire at a textile factory or house or from metalwork or burning Freon; a very potent agent that has a delayed onset of symptoms, usually hours.  
Phosgene Oxime (CX)
A blistering agent that has a rapid onset of symptoms and produces immediate, intense pain and discomfort on contact.  
Phosphat/o
Phosphate  
Phospholipid
A modified triglyceride containing phosphorus.  
Phospholipid bilayer
Cell membrane made up of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins.  
Phot/o
Light  
Photoreceptors
Specialized receptor cells that respond to light energy.  
Phren/o
Diaphragm; mind  
Phrenic nerve
Nerve that innervates the diaphragm; necessary for adequate breathing to occur.  
-Phthisis
Wasting away  
-Phylaxis
Protection  
Phyl/o
Race; species; type  
Physiologic range of motion
The amount of motion available to a joint determined by the nervous system from information provided by joint sensory receptors. This information usually prevents a joint from being positioned so that injury could occur.  
Physi/o
Nature; function  
Physic/o
Physical; natural  
Physiology
The study of the processes and functions of the body involved in supporting life; the science of the functioning of living organisms.  
-Physis
To grow  
Phys/o
Air; gas  
Phyt/o
Plant  
-Phyte
Plant  
PI-PK
 
Picr/o
Bitter  
Piercing spike
The hard, sharpened plastic spike on the end of the administration set designed to pierce the sterile membrane of the intravenous bag.  
Pies/i, -Piesis
Pressure  
Piezoelectric
The quality of bones that allows them to deform slightly and vibrate when electrical currents pass through them. Bone formation patterns follow lines of stress load directed by the piezoelectric currents.  
Pil/o
Hair  
Pimel/o
Fat; fatty  
Pin/o
To drink  
Pin
Common term used to describe posts on the social media site Pinterest - www.pinterest.com  
Pineal/o
Pineal gland  
Pin-indexing system
A system established for portable cylinders to ensure that a regulator is not connected to a cylinder containing the wrong type of gas.  
Pinna
The external, visible part of the ear.  
Pinocytosis
The engulfing of extracellular fluid by cells.  
Pituitar/o
Pituitary Gland  
Pituitary gland
The neuroendocrine gland located beneath the brain that serves a variety of functions including regulation of the gonads, thyroid, adrenal cortex, water balance, and lactation.  
Pivot joint
A bony projection from one bone fits into a "ring" formed by another bone and ligament structure to allow rotation around its own axis.  
PL-PM
 
Placards
Signage required to be placed on all four sides of highway transport vehicles, railroad tank cars, and other forms of hazardous materials transportation; the sign identifies the hazardous contents of the vehicle, using a standardization system with 10 3/4-inch diamond-shaped indicators.  
Placenta
The temporary organ that provides nutrients and oxygen to the developing fetus, carries away wastes, and produces the hormones of pregnancy; the tissue attached to the uterine wall that nourishes the fetus through the umbilical cord.  
Placenta previa
A condition in which the placenta develops over and covers the cervix.  
-Plakia
Plaque  
Plan/o
Flat; level; wandering  
Planes of Movement
With the body in the standard anatomical posistion, standing erect with palms facing forward, it can be divided into three imaginary planes that can clarify and specify movements. The three planes are the Sagittal Plane, Frontal or Coronal Plane, and the Transverse Plane.
Planning
In incident command, the position that ultimately produces a plan to resolve any incedent.  
Plant/o
Sole of foot  
Plantar
Pertaining to the sole of the foot; the bottom surface of the foot.  
Plantar flexion
An extension movement of the ankle that results in the foot and toes moving away from the body.  
Plaquenil (Rx)
Brand name; Plaquenil. Generic name; Hydroxychloroquine sulfate. Classified as an Antimalarial and Anti-inflammatory. It reduces inflammation and is used for treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis (auto-immune disease). No explanation as to how it works. Clients who take Plaquenil may experience irritability, fatigue, anorexia, and abdominal cramps. It is best to be patient with mood swings.
Plas/o
Development; formation  
-Plasia
Development; formation  
-Plasm
Formation; structure  
Plasma
A thick, straw-colored fluid that makes up about 55% of the blood; the fluid portion of the blood; a sticky, yellow fluid that carries the blood cells and nutrients and transports cellular waste material to the organs of excretion.  
Plasma cell
Member of a B cell clone; specialized to produce and release antibodies.  
Plasma membrane
Membrane that encloses cell contents; outer limiting membrane.  
-Plastic
Pertaining to formation  
Plastic range
The range of movement of connective tissue that is taken beyond the elastic limits. In this range the tissue permanently deforms and connot return to its original state.  
-Plasty
Surgical repair  
Platelets
Tiny, disk-shaped elements that are much smaller than the cells; they are essential in the initial formation of a blood clot, the mechanism that stops bleeding; one of the irregular cell fragments of blood; involved in clotting.  
Platy-
Broad; flat  
Ple/o
More; many  
-Plegia
Paralysis; palsy  
-Plegic
Paralysis; palsy  
Pleur/o
Pleura  
Pleura
The serous membrane covering the lungs and lining the thoracic cavity, completely enclosing a potential space known as the pleural space.  
Pleural effusion
A collection of fluid between the lung and chest wall that may compress the lung.  
Pleural space
The potential space between the parietal pleura and the visceral pleura. It is described as "potential" because under normal conditions, the space does not exist.  
Pleurisy
Inflammation of the pleurae, making breathing painful.  
Pleuritic chest pain
Sharp, stabbing pain in the chest that is worsened by a deep breath or other chest wall movement; often caused by inflammation or irritation of the pleura.  
Plex/o
Plexus; network  
Plexus
A network of intertwinning nerves that innervates a particular region of the body; a network of interlacing nerves, blood vessels, or lymphatics.  
Plica
A fold.  
-Pnea
Breathing  
Pneum/o
Lung; air; gas  
Pneumon/o
Lung; air; gas  
Pneumonia
An inflammation/infection of the lung from a bacterial, viral, or fungal cause.  
Pneumonic plague
A lung infection, also known as plague pneumonia, that is the result of inhalation of plague-causing bacteria.  
Pneumonitis
Inflammation of the lung.  
Pneumotaxic (pontine) center
A portion of the pons that assists in creating shorter, faster respirations.  
Pneumothorax
The presence of air or gas in a pleural cavity; a partial or complete accumulation of air in the pleural space.  
PO-PQ
 
Pod/o
Foot  
-Poiesis
Formation  
-Poietin
Substance that forms  
Poikil/o
Varied; irregular  
Point tenderness
Tenderness that is sharply localized at the site of the injury, found by gently palpating along the bone with the tip of one finger.  
Point of Distribution (PODs)
Existing facilities that are established in a time of need for the mass distribution of antibiotics, antidotes, vaccinations, and other medications and supplies.  
Poison
A substance whose chemical action could damage structures or impair function when introduced into the body.  
Pol/o
Extreme  
Polar body
A minute cell produced during meiosis in the ovary.  
Polar molecules
Nonsymmetrical molecules that contain electrically unbalanced atoms.  
Polarity Therapy
In the bodywork part of this therapy, the practitioner works with the client's energy field- electromagnetic patterns expressed in mental, emotional, and physical experience- to facilitate greater health. Developed by Dr. Randolph Stone.
Polarized
The state of an unstimulated neuron or muscle cell in which the inside of the cell is relatively negative in comparison to the outside; the resting state.  
Policy
A statement of intent that defines expectations and is implemented as a procedure or protocol.  
Polio-
Grey matter  
Polio (poliomyelitis)
A viral infection that affects the nerves that control skeletal movement.  
Poly-
Many; much  
Polycythemia
Presence of an abnormally large number of erythrocytes in the blood.  
Polydipsia
Excessive thirst that persists for long periods, despite reasonable fluid intake; often the result of excessive urination.  
Polyp/o
Polyp; small growth  
Polypeptide
A chain of amino acids.  
Polyphagia
Excessive eating; in diabetes, the inability to use glucose properly can cause a sense of hunger.  
Polypharmacy
The simultaneous use of multiple medications as typically seen in elderly people.  
Polysaccharide
Literally, many sugars; a polymer of linked monosaccharides; examples include starch and glycogen.  
Polyuria
The passage of an unusually large volume of urine in a given period; in diabetes, this can result from the wasting of glucose in the urine.  
Pons
Any bridgelike structure or part; the brain area connecting the medulla with the midbrain, providing linkage between upper and lower levels of the central nervous system (CNS); an organ that lies below the midbrain and above the medulla and contains numerous important nerve fibers, including those for sleep, respiration, and the medullary respiratory center.  
Pont/o
Pons  
Poor air exchange
A term used to describe the degree of distress in a patient with a mild airway obstruction. With poor air exchange, the patient often has a weak, ineffective cough, increased difficulty breathing, or possible cyanosis and may produce a high-pitched noise during inhalation (stridor).  
Por/o, -Pore
Opening; passageway  
-Porosis
Condition of pores or spaces  
Portable stretcher
A stretcher with a strong rectangular tubular metal frame and rigid fabric stretched across it.  
-Posia
Drinking  
Posit/o
Arrangement; place  
Position of function
A hand position in which the wrist is slightly dorsiflexed and all finger joints are moderately flexed.  
Positive feedback
Feedback that tends to cause a variable to change in the same direction as the initial change; enhances the stimulus.  
Positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP)
Mechanical maintenance of pressure in the airway at the end of expiration to increase the volume of gas remaining in the lungs.  
Post-
After; behind  
Post
A public display or notice, can also commonly be referred to as status updates when sharing information on the internet.  
Postconventional reasoning
A type of reasoning in which a child bases decisions on his or her conscience.  
Poster/o
Back; behind  
Posterior
Toward the back or dorsal surface; in anatomy, the back surface of the body; the side away from you in the standard anatomic position.  
Posterior pelvic rotation
Posterior movement of the upper pelvis; the iliac crest tilts backward in a sagittal plane.  
Posterior tibial artery
The artery just behind the medial malleolus; supplies blood to the foot.  
Posterior tilt of pelvis
Tilt in which the vertical plane through the anterior superior iliac spines (ASIS's) are posterior to the vertical plane through the pubic symphysis.  
Postganglionic (postsynaptic) neuron
A neuron of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) having its cell body in a ganglion and its axon extending to an organ or tissue.  
Postical state
A period following a seizure that lasts between 5 and 30 minutes; characterized by labored respirations and some degree of altered mental status.  
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A delayed stress reaction to a prior incident, this delayed reaction is often the result of one or more unresolved issues concerning the incident. A type of anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing a very traumatic or life-threatening event. It can cause flashbacks; sleep problems; nightmares; hypervigilance; feelings of isolation, guilt, and paranoia; and sometimes panic attacks.  
Potential energy
The product of mass, gravity, and height, which is converted into kinetic energy and results in injury, such as from a fall.  
Power differential
The role difference between a practitioner and client, in which the client is vulnerable and the practitioner has more power by virtue of training and experience.  
Power grip
A technique in which the litter or backboard is gripped by inserting each hand under the handle with the palm facing up and the thumb extended, fully supporting the underside of the handle on the curved palm with the fingers and thumb.  
Power lift
A lifting technique in which the EMT's back is held upright, with legs bent, and the patient is lifted when the EMT straightens the legs to raise the upper body and arms.  
PR
 
-Prandial
Meal  
-Praxia
Action  
Pre-
Before; in front of  
Precedence
Basing current action on lessons, rules, or guidelines derived from previous similar experiences.  
Precipitation
Formation of insoluble complexes that settle out of solution.  
Preconventional reasoning
A type of reasoning in which a child acts almost purely to avoid punishment to get what he or she wants.  
Preeclampsia
A condition of late pregnancy that involves headache, visual changes, and swelling of the hands and feet; also called pregnancy-induced hypertension.  
Prefix
A word element added to the beginning of a root to change the meaning of the word.  
Pregabalin (Rx)
Brand name; Lyrica. Generic name; Pregabalin. Classified as an Anticonvulsant. It decreases neuropathic pain and is used for treatment of Fibromyalgia, and neuropathy. It works by calming the damaged or overactive nerves that cause pain. Clients who take Lyrica may experience dizziness, blurred vision, drowsiness, and easy bruising. It is best to perform light treatment work, help client on/off the table, and elevate head when needed.
Preganglionic (presynaptic) neuron
A neuron of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) having its cell body in the brain or spinal cord and its axon terminating in a ganglion.  
Pregnancy-induced hypertension
A condition of late pregnancy that involves headache, visual changes, and swelling of the hands and feet; also called preeclampsia.  
Prehospital Care Report (PCR)
Official or formal documentation of the physical assessment and care provided to a particular patient; may either be in a written or computer-based format.  
Prejudice
An adverse, preconceived judgment or opinion formed without sufficient knowledge or examination of the facts. It is usually not based on reason or actual experience.  
Preload
The precontraction pressure in the heart as the volume of blood builds up.  
Presby/o
Old age  
Presbycusis
An age-related condition of the ear that produces progressive bilateral hearing loss that is most noted at higher frequencies.  
Preschoolers
Persons who are 3 to 6 years of age.  
Prescription medications
Medications that are distributed to patients only by pharmacists according to a physician's order.  
Presentation
The position in which an infant is born; the part of the infant that appears first.  
Pressoreceptor
A nerve ending in the wall of the carotid sinus and aortic arch sensitive to vessel stretching.  
Pressure
The amount of force on a specific area.  
Pressure gradient
Difference in hydrostatic (fluid) pressure that drives filtration.  
Pressure point
A point where a blood vessel lies near a bone.  
Primary assessment
A step within the patient assessment process that identifies and initiates treatment of immediate and potential life threats.  
Primary blast injury
Injuries caused by an explosive pressure wave on the hollow organs of the body.  
Primary (direct) injury
An injury to the brain and its associated structures that is a direct result of impact to the head.  
Primary (immune) response
The initial response of the immune system to an antigen; involves clonal selection and establishes immunological memory.  
Primary prevention
Efforts to prevent an injury or illness from ever occurring.  
Primary Service Area (PSA)
The designated area in which the EMS service is responsible for the provision of prehospital emergency care and transportation to the hospital.  
Primary triage
A type of patient sorting used to rapidly categorize patients; the focus is on speed in locating all patients and determining an initial priority as their conditions warrant.  
Prime mover
A muscle that carries out an action; muscle whose contractions are primarily responsible for a particular movement; agonist.  
Primi-
First  
Primigravida
A woman who is experiencing her first pregnancy.  
Principles
An individual's rules or laws of behavior that enables them to behave with integrity.  
Privacy
The expectation that the collection and sharing of personal data is safeguarded.  
Pro-
Before; forward  
Pro Bono
A Latin phrase meaning work done without compensation for the public good.  
Proactive discussions
Conversations where boundaries are set in the initial phases of working with clients, with the objective of preventing boundary crossings and violations from occurring.  
Process
A outgrowth, or prominent bony growth that projects out from a bone; a prominence or projection; a series of actions for a specific purpose.  
Prochlorperazine (Rx)
Brand name; Compazine. Generic name; Prochlorperazine. Classified as an Antipsychotic, Antiemetic, and anxiolytic. It relieves signs and symptoms of psychosis, reduces anxiety, and relieves nausea and vomiting. Is also used for treatment of Migraine headache, and headaches. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain. Clients who take Compazine may experience constipation and dry mouth. It is best to offer water. Abdominal massage may help with constipation.
Proct/o
Anus; rectum  
Professionalism
The behaviors and qualities that mark an individual as a reliable, competent, trustworthy, and polished professional person.  
Professional therapeutic relationship
A relationship between client and practitioner that is focused on the well-being of the client and is contractual.  
Projectile
Any object propelled by force, such as a bullet by a weapon.  
Projection
A defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously rejects his or her own unacceptable attributes, thoughts, or feelings by ascribing them to objects or other people.  
Prolapse of the umbilical cord
A situation in which the umbilical cord comes out of the vagina befor the infant.  
Pronation
Internal rotary movement of the radius on the ulna that results in the hand moving from the palm-up to the palm-down postion; the inward rotation of the forearm causing the radius to cross diagonally over the ulna; palms face posteriorly.  
Prone
Lying horizontal with the face down.  
Proprioceptors
Sensory receptors that provide the body with information about position, movement, muscle tension, joint activity, and equilibrium; a receptor located in a muscle or tendon; concerned with locomotion, pressure, and muscle tone.  
Pros-
Before; forward  
Pros/o
Forward; anterior  
Prosop/o
Face  
Prostat/o
Prostate gland  
Prostate gland
A small gland that surrounds the male urethra where it emerges from the urinary bladder; it secretes a fluid that is part of the ejaculatory fluid.  
Prot/o
First  
Prote/o
Protein  
Protected Health Information (PHI)
Any information about health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care that can be linked to a specific individual. This is interpreted rather broadly and includes any part of a patient's medical record or payment history. Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.  
Proteins
Substances formed from amino acids; a complex nitrogenous substance; the main building material of cells.  
Proteinuria
The passage of proteins in the urine.  
Protraction
Forward movement remaining in a horizontal plane.  
Protocol
A detailed plan of a therapeutic treatment or procedure.  
Protocols
Written or printed instructions or plans for carrying out an activity; in EMS, a protocol is a document that describes, usually in a step-by-step manner, the method that is used to deal with a particular set of symptoms or conditions; written documents, signed by the EMS system's medical director, that outline specific directions, permissions, and sometimes prohibitions regarding patient care; also called standing orders.  
Proton
Subatomic particle that bears a positive charge; located in the atomic nucleus.  
Proxemics
The study of space between people and its effects on communication.  
Proxim/o
Near  
Proximal
Nearer to the center or midline of the body; located toward the center of the body; situated next to or near the point of attachment or origin or a central point; toward the attached end of a limb or the origin of a structure; closer to the trunk.  
Proximal tibia
Anatomic location for intraosseous catheter insertion; the wide portion of the tibia located directly below knee.  
Proximate causation
When a person who has a duty abuses it, and causes harm to another individual; the EMT, the agency, and/or the medical director may be sued for negligence.  
Prozac (Rx)
Brand name; Prozac. Generic name; Fluoxetine hydrochloride. Classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). It relieves obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and is an antidepressant used for treatment of Fibromyalgia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It works by affecting chemicals in the brain that become unbalanced. Clients who take Prozac may experience insomnia, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. It is best to use abdominal massage to help constipation. Help client on/off the table, and do not let client fall asleep (may disrupt sleep patterns).
Prurit/o
Itching  
PS-PZ
 
Psamm/o
Sand; sand-like material  
Pseudo-
False  
Psor/o
Itching  
Psoriasis
A common, chronic skin disease characterized by reddened skin covered by dry, silvery scales. Psoriasis most often is found on the scalp, elbows, knees, back, or buttocks.  
Psych/o
Mind  
Psychiatric disorder
An illness with psychological or behavioral symptoms and/or impairment in functioning caused by a social, psychological, genetic, physical, chemical, or biologic disturbance.  
Psychiatric emergency
An emergency in which abnormal behavior threatens a person's own health and safety or the health and safety of another person, for example when a person becomes suicidal, homicidal, or has a psychotic episode.  
Psychogenic shock
Shock caused by a sudden, temporary reduction in blood supply to the brain that causes fainting (syncope).  
Psychosexual
The mental, emotional, and behavioral aspects of sexual development.  
Psychosis
A mental disorder characterized by the loss of contact with reality.  
Psychosocial
Involving both psychological and social environment aspects.  
Psychotherapy
The treatment of mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders by psychological methods.  
Psychr/o
Cold  
-Pterygium
Abnormality of the conjunctivia  
-Ptosis
Droop; sag; prolapse; protrude  
Ptyal/o
Saliva  
-Ptysis
Spitting  
Pub/o
Pubis  
Puberty
The period at which reproductive organs become functional.  
Pubic
Pertaining to the genital region.  
Pubic symphysis
A hard bony prominence that is found in the midline in the lower most portion of the abdomen.  
Pubis
One of three bones that fuse to form the pelvic ring.  
Public health
Focused on examining the health needs of entire populations with the goal of preventing health problems.  
Public Information Officer (PIO)
In incident command, the person who keeps the public informaed and relates any information to the press.  
Public safety access point
A call center, staffed by trained personnel who are responsible for managing requests for police, firefighting, and ambulance services.  
Pulmon/o
Lung  
Pulmonary
Pertaining to the lungs.  
Pulmonary artery
The major artery leading from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs; it carries oxygen-poor blood.  
Pulmonary blast injuries
Pulmonary trauma resulting from shortrange exposure to the detonation of explosives.  
Pulmonary circulation
System of blood vessels that carry blood to and from the lungs for gas exchange; the flow of blood from the right ventricle through the pulmonary arteries and all of their branches and capillaries in the lungs and back to the left atrium through the venules and pulmonary veins; also called the lesser circulation.  
Pulmonary contusion
Injury or bruising of lung tissue that results in hemorrhage.  
Pulmonary edema
A leakage of fluid into the air sacs and tissue of the lungs; a buildup of fluid in the lungs, usually as a result of congestive heart failure.  
Pulmonary embolism
Obstruction of blood flow to the lungs caused by a clot that has traveled from a deep leg vein to a branch of the pulmonary arteries; can cause acute dyspnea (difficulty breathing), hypoxia (lack of oxygen), and / or sudden death; A blood clot that breaks off from a large vein and travels to the blood vessels of the lung, causing obstruction of blood flow.  
Pulmonary trunk
The large artery that carries blood to the lungs to release carbon dioxide and take in oxygen.  
Pulmonary veins
The four veins from the lungs that bring oxygen-rich blood to the left atrium.; the four veins that return oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.  
Pulmonary ventilation
Breathing; consists of inspiration and expiration.  
Puls/o, Pulsat/o
To beat; beating  
Pulse
The rhythmic expansion and recoil of arteries resulting from heart contraction; can be felt from the outside of the body; 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.  
Pulseless Electrical Activity (PEA)
A condition where there is a rhythm noted on the monitor that should result in adequate perfusion, but the patient is pulseless and apneic.  
Punitive damages
Damages that are sometimes awarded in a civil suit when the conduct of the defendant was intentional or constituted a reckless disregard for the safety of the public.  
-Puncture
To pierce a surface  
Pupill/o
Pupil  
Pupil
An opening in the center of the iris through which light enters the eye; The circular opening in the middle of the iris that admits light to the back of the eye.  
Purkinje fibers
The modified cardiac muscle fibers of the conduction system of the heart.  
PurPur/i
Purple  
Purul/o
Pus  
Pus
The fluid product of inflammation composed of white blood cells, the debris of dead cells, and a thin fluid.  
Putrefacation
Decomposition of body tissues.  
Py/o
Pus  
Pycn/o
Thick; dense  
Pyel/o
Renal pelvis  
Pyelonephritis
An inflammation of the kidney pelvis and surrounding kidney tissues.  
Pyl/e
Portal vein  
Pylor/o
Pylorus; pyloric sphincter  
Pyloric region
The final portion of the stomach; joins with the duodenum.  
Pyr/o
Fever; fire  
Pyramid
Any cone-shaped structure of an organ.  
Pyret/o
Fever  
Pyrex/o
Fever  
Pyrogen
An agent or chemical substance that induces fever.  
 
 
Info Link
Q
Qi
Also known as Chi, Qi refers to the life force.
Quadrants
The way to describe the sections of the abdominal cavity. Imagine two lines intersecting at the umbilicus dividing the abdomen into four equal areas.
Quadri-
Four; square  
Quadriplegia
Paralysis or loss of movement of all four limbs.
Qual-
Quality; characteristic  
Quality control
The responsibility of the medical director to ensure that the appropriate medical care standards are met by EMT's on each call.
Quant-
How much  
Quasi-
To some degree; as if  
Quart-
Fourth; four  
Quer-
To seek; search  
Quercin
Oak  
Quid Pro Quo
A Latin term meaning an equal exchange or substitution; "this for that."  
Quint-
Fifth; five  
Quota-
How many  
 
Info Link
RA-RD
Rabid
Describes an animal that is infected with rabies.
Raccoon eyes
Bruising under the eyes that may indicate a skull fracture.
Rachi/o
Spinal column; vertebrae  
Radi/o
X-Rays; radioactivity; radius  
Radial artery
The major artery in the forearm; it is palpable at the wrist on the thumb side.
Radiant energy
Energy of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes heat, light, ultraviolet waves, infrared waves, and other forms.
Radiate
Diverge from a central point.
Radiation
The transfer of heat to colder objects in the environment by radiant energy, for example heat gain from a fire.
Radicul/o
Nerve root  
Radioactive material
Any material that emits radiation.
Radioactivity
The process of spontaneous decay seen in some of the heavier isotopes, during which particles or energy are emitted from the atomic nucleus; results in the atom becoming more stable.
Radioisotope
Isotope that exhibits radioactive behavior.
Radiologic Dispersal Device (RDD)
Any container that is designed to disperse radioactive material.
Radius
The bone on the thumb side of the forearm.
Rales
A crackling or bubbling sound in the lungs; a crackling, rattling breath sound that signals fluid in the air spaces of the lungs; also called crackles.
Ramus
A branch of a nerve, artery, vein, or bone.
Range of motion
The range, usually expressed in degrees, through which a joint can move or be moved (ROM).
Range of motion, active
The free movement across any joint of moving levers that is produced by contracting muscles (AROM).
Range of motion, passive
The free movement that is produced by external forces across any joint or moving levers (PROM).
Rape
Sexual intercourse inflicted forcibly on another person, against that person's will.
Rapid extraction technique
A technique to move a patient from a sitting position inside a vehicle to supine on a backboard in less than 1 minute when conditions do not allow for standing immobilization.
Rapport
A harmonious relationship marked by trust, openness, and mutual understanding that you build with your patient/client.
RE-REL
 
Re-
Back; again; backward  
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.
Rebif (Rx)
Brand name; Rebif or Avonex. Generic name; Interferon Beta-1A, recombinant. Classified as an Antiviral, Antiproliferative, and immunomodulator. It reduces symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and is used for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It works by using the protein Interferon (not a cure) to help decrease balance problems, weakness, numbness, and slow the disease. Clients who take Avonex or Rebif may experience liver problems, depression, and flu-like symptoms. It is best to never perform deep treatment work, use caution around injection site, and never massage the day of, or day after injection.
-Receptor; -Ceptor
Receiver  
Receptor
A peripheral nerve ending specialized for response to particular types of stimuli; molecule that binds specifically with other molecules, e.g., hormones and neurotransmitters.
Reciprocal inhibition
Stimulation of an antagonist muscle to inhibit action in the prime mover.
Reciprocal innervation
The circuitry of neurons that allows reciprocal inhibition to take place. One can use reciprocal innervation therapeutically to assist in muscle relaxation.
Recovery
The process of regaining strength, composure, and balance. Combating a disorder.  
Recovery position
A side-lying position used to maintain a clear airway in unconscious patients without injuries who are breathing adequately.
Rect/o
Rectum  
Rectum
The lowermost end of the colon.
Red blood cells
Cells that carry oxygen to the body's tissues; also called erythrocytes.
Reduce
Return a dislocated joint or fractured bone to its normal position; set.
Reduction
Return of the spinal column to the anatomic position from lateral flexion. ADduction of the spine; restoring broken bone ends (or a dislocated bone) to its original position.
Redundant messages
Communication that is so repetitious that the people on the receiving end tend to stop listening.  
Referred pain
Pain felt in a surface area far from the stimulated organ; pain felt in an area of the body other than the area where the cause of pain is located.
Reflection
A communication method in which the essence of a message is captured and relayed back by rephrasing what the other person said, rather than repeating it verbatim.  
Reflex
An automatic, involuntary reation to a stimulus.
Reflex arc
The pathway that a nerve impulse follows in a reflex action; neural pathway for reflexes.
Refract
Bend; usually refers to light.
Refractory period
The period of unresponsiveness to threshold stimulation.
Refusal of care
Declined treatment based on an informed consent.
Regional anatomy
The study of the structures of a particular area of the body.
Registration
A regulatory method by which a government agency keeps track of practitioners by informational recordkeeping. These types of programs can entail title protection and practice exclusivity.  
Rehabilitation area
The area that provides protection and treatment to fire fighters and other personnel working at an emergency. Here, workers are medically monitored and receive any needed care as they enter and leave the scene.
Rehabilitation supervisor
In incident command, the person who establishes an area that provides protection for responders from the elements and the situation.
Reiki
A form of energy healing. Reiki involves gentle touch that directs chi (Qi or Ki) for the purpose of strengthening the client's energy system. Qi or chi (in China) and Ki (in Japan) is the term used by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) or Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners meaning universal life force energy.
Relpax (Rx)
Brand name; Relpax. Generic name; Eletriptan hydrobromide. Classified as an Antimigraine. It relieves migraine headache symptoms used for the treatment of Migraine headaches. It works by narrowing blood vessels around the brain and reducing substances in the body that can trigger migraine symptoms such as headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound. Clients who take Relpax may experience palpitations, dizziness, flushing, or abdominal pain. It is best to create a calming environment, help client on/off the table, and alter positioning when needed.
REM-RES
 
Remission
A reversal of signs and symptoms in chronic disease that can be temporary or permanent.
Ren/o
Kidney  
Renal
Pertaining to the kidney.
Renal calculus
A kidney stone.
Renal pelvis
A cone-shaped collecting area that connects the ureter and the kidney.
Renin
A substance released by the kidneys that is involved with raising blood pressure.
Repeater
A special base station radio that receives messages and signals on one frequency and then automatically retransmits them on a second frequency.
Repolarization
Restoration of the membrane potential to the initial resting (polarized) state.
Repression
A defense mechanism in which feelings or memories that are too painful to bear are blocked from conscious awareness.  
Reproductive system
Organ system that functions to produce offspring.
Requip (Rx)
Brand name; Requip. Generic name; Ropinirole hydrochloride. Classified as an Antiparkinson medication. It increases physical mobility in Parkinson's patients and is used for treatment of Parkinson's Disease. It acts like dopamine (neurotransmitter in the brain), and a systemic chemical messenger. Clients who take Requip may experience cardiac complications, difficulty breathing, fatigue, weakness, impotence, and hallucinations. It is best to help the client on/off the table, adjust positioning for breathing difficulties, and be careful awakening if client falls asleep because abruptness may disorient them.
Res ipsa loquitor
When the EMT or an EMS service is held liable even when the plaintiff is unable to clearly demonstrate how an injury occurred.
Rescue supervisor
In incident command, the person appointed to determine the type of equipment and resources needed for a situation involving extrication or special rescue; also called the extrication officer.
Residual volume
The air that remains in the lungs after maximal expiration.
Respir/o
Breath  
Respiration
The movement of air in and out of the lungs, the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and blood, and the exchange between blood and body tissues; the process of exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Respiratory rate
The number of breaths in 1 minute.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
A virus that causes an infection of lungs and breathing passages; can lead to other serious illnesses that affect the lungs, or heart, such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia. RSV is highly contagious and spread through droplets.
Respiratory system
Organ system that carries out gas exchange; includes the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs; all structures of the body that contribute to the process of breathing, consisting of the upper and lower airways and their component parts.
Responsiveness
The ability to sense changes (stimuli) in the environment and then to react to them; see also irritability; the way in which a client responds to external stimuli, including verbal stimuli (sound), tactile stimuli (touch), and painful stimuli.
Resuscit/o
To revive  
RET-RH
 
Reticul/o
Network  
Reticular activating system
Located in the upper brain stem; responsible for maintenance of consciousness, specifically one's level of arousal.
Reticular fibers
Delicate, connective tissue fibers that occur in networks and support small structures, such as capillaries, nerve fibers, and basement membrane. Reticular fibers are made of a specialized type of collagen called reticulin.
Reticulum
A fine network.
Retin/o
Retina  
Retina
Light sensitive layer of the eye; contains rods and cones; the light-sensitive area of the eye where images are projected; a layer of cells at the back of the eye that changes the light image into electrical impulses, which are carried by the optic nerve to the brain.
Retinaculum
A network, usually pertaining to a band of connective tissue.
Retinal detachment
Separation of the retina from its attachments at the back of the eye.
Retraction
Backward movement in a horizontal plane.
Retractions
Movements in which the skin pulls in around the ribs durring inspiration.
Retro-
Behind; back; backward  
Retrograde amnesia
The inability to remember events leading up to a head injury.
Retroperitoneal
Behind the abdominal cavity.
Retroperitoneal space
The space between the abdominal cavity and the posterior abdominal wall, containing the kidneys, certain large vessels, and parts of the gastrointestinal tract.
Reverse triage
A triage process in which efforts are focused on those who are in respiratory and cardiac arrest, and different from conventional triage where such patients would be classified as deceased. Used in triage multiple victims of a lightning strike.
Revised Trauma Score (RTS)
A scoring system used for patients with head trauma.
Rhabd/o
Rod  
Rhabdomy/o
Striated or skeletal muscle  
Rhe/o
Flow; current; stream  
Rheumat/o
Watery flow  
Rhin/o
Nose  
Rhiz/o
Root  
Rhod/o
Red; rosy  
Rhonchi
Coarse, low-pitched breath sounds heard in patients with chronic mucus in the upper airways.
Rhythm/o
Rhythm  
Rhytid/o
Wrinkle  
RI-RZ
 
Ribonucleic acid (RNA)
Nucleic acids that transfer genetic information and control cellular chemical activities; the nucleic acid that contains ribose; acts in protein synthesis.
Ribosomes
Cytoplasmic organelles at which proteins are synthesized.
Ricin
A neurotoxin derived from mash that is left from the castor bean; causes pulmonary edema and respiratory and circulatory failure leading to death.
Right of refusal
The entitlement of both the client and the practitioner to end a session or to decline to receive or give a particular kind of manipulation or technique.  
Rights
What clients are entitled to receive. They are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.  
Rigid boundary
A boundary which is very firm and distinct. A rigid boundary severely limits the flow of information and feelings moving in or out.  
Rigor mortis
Stiffening of the body; a definitive sign of death.
Rods
One of the two types of photosensitive cells in the retina.
Roentgen/o
X-Rays  
Role-playing
Usually a structured exercise in which students or colleagues take a role- for instance, as client or practitioner- and act out a specific situation as a way of becoming more comfortable with handling the situation in real life.  
Rolfing
Manipulation of the myofascial system to integrate the physical structure toward greater balance, ease, and centeredness by releasing tension patterns in the connective tissue. Developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf.  
Root
A word element that contains the basic meaning of the word.
Rooting reflex
An infant reflex that occurs when something touches an infant's cheek, and the infant instinctively turns his or her head toward the touch.
Ropinirole hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Requip. Generic name; Ropinirole hydrochloride. Classified as an Antiparkinson medication. It increases physical mobility in Parkinson's patients and is used for treatment of Parkinson's Disease. It acts like dopamine (neurotransmitter in the brain), and a systemic chemical messenger. Clients who take Requip may experience cardiac complications, difficulty breathing, fatigue, weakness, impotence, and hallucinations. It is best to help the client on/off the table, adjust positioning for breathing difficulties, and be careful awakening if client falls asleep because abruptness may disorient them.
Rose/o
Rosy  
Rot/o, Rotat/o
Turn; revolve  
Rotate
To turn about an axis.
Rotation
Partial turning or pivoting in an arc around a central axis.
Rotigotine (Rx)
Brand name; Neupro. Generic name; Rotigotine. Classified as a Dopamine agonist. It reduces symptoms of early stage Parkinson's Disease and is used for treatment of Parkinson's Disease. It works by helping to restore the balance of dopamine in the brain. Clients who take Neupro may experience fatigue, joint pain, dry mouth, and constipation. It is best to not massage around patch. Abdominal massage may help relieve constipation.
Rosen method bodywork
A method that uses gentle touch coupled with verbal communication to help clients become aware of and release unconscious physical and emotional tension. The practitioner notices changes in muscle tension and shifts in breathing patterns and uses them as a guide to enhance clients' awareness of their internal experience. Developed by Marion Rosen.  
Route of exposure
The manner by which a toxic substance enters the body.
-Rrhage
Bursting forth (of blood)  
-Rrhagia
Bursting forth (of blood)  
-Rrhaphy
Suture  
-Rrhea
Flow; discharge  
-Rrhexis
Rupture  
Rubr/o, Rubr/i
Red  
Rugae
Elevations or ridges, as in the mucosa of the stomach.
Rule of nines
A system that assigns percentages to sections of the body, allowing calculation of the amount of skin surface involved in the burn area.
Rupture
The tearing or disruption of connective tissue fibers that takes place when they exceed the limits of the plastic range.
 
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SA-SB
Sacchar/o
Sugar  
Sacr/o
Sacrum  
Sacral
The lower portion of the back, just superior to the buttocks.
Sacroiliac joint
The connection point between the pelvis and the vertebral column.
Sacrum
One of three bones (sacrum and two pelvic bones) that make up the pelvic ring; consists of five fused sacral vertebrae.
Saddle joint
Joint that is convex in one plane and concave in the other with the surfaces fitting together like a rider on a saddle.
Safe zone
An area of protection providing safety from the danger zone (hot zone).
Safety officer
In incident command, the person who gives the "go ahead" to a plan or who may stop an operation when rescuer safety is an issue.
Sagittal axis
The sagittal axis passes horizontally from front (anterior) to back (posterior), and is formed by the intersection of the sagittal and transverse planes.
Sagittal (lateral) plane
A plane that divides the body into left and right portions; an imaginary line where the body is cut into left and right parts. The descriptive terms lateral and medial correlate to the sagittal plane about which movements of flexion and extension take place. The Midsagittal plane is the midline that runs down the exact center of the body, dividing the sagittal plane in two symmetrical halves.
Sagittal section (plane)
A longitudinal (vertical) plane that divides the body or any of its parts into right and left portions.
Saline locks (buff caps)
Special types of intravenous apparatus, also called heparin caps and heparin locks.
Saliva
The secretion of salivary glands which is ducted into the mouth.
Salicary glands
The glands that produce saliva to keep the mouth and pharynx moist.
Salping/o
Fallopian tube; auditory or eustachian tube  
-Salpinx
Fallopian tube; oviduct  
Salt
Ionic compound that dissociates into charged particles (other than hydrogen or hydroxyl ions) when dissolved in water.
SAMPLE History
Mnemonic to help EMTs assess 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; S-signs and symptoms, A-allergies, M-medications, P-past pertinent medical history, L-last oral intake, E-event.
Sangu/i
Blood  
Sanit/a
Health  
Sapr/o
Rotten; decay  
Sarc/o
Flesh or connective tissue  
Sarcomere
The smallest contractile unit of muscle; extends from one Z disc to the next.
Sarin (GB)
A nerve agent that is one of the G agents; a highly volatile colorless and odorless liquid that turns into gas within seconds to minutes at room temperature.
SAVI
A System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction developed by Anita Simon and Yvonne Agazarian. The distinctive features of the SAVI approach are; A focus on behavior; Attention to both words and tone; A nonjudgmental approach; A pragmatic analysis; and Practical strategies.
SC-SD
Scald burn
A burn caused by hot liquids.
Scalp
The thick skin covering the cranium, which usually bears hair.
Scanner
A radio receiver that searches or "scans" across several frequencies until the message is completed; the process is then repeated.
Scapul/o
Scapula; shoulder blade  
Scapula
The shoulder blade.
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.
-Schisis
To split  
Schist/o
Split; cleft  
Schiz/o
Split  
School age
A person who is 6 to 12 years of age.
Schwann cell
A specialized cell that forms myelin.
Sciatic nerve
The major nerve to the lower extremities; controls much of muscle function in the leg and sensation in most of the leg and foot.
Scint/i
Spark  
Scirrh/o
Hard  
Scler/o
Sclera  
Sclera
The firm white fibrous outer layer of the eyeball; protects and maintains eyeball shape; the tough, fibrous, white portion of the eye that protects the more delicate inner structures.
-Sclerosis
Hardening  
Scolec/o
Worm  
Scoli/o
Crooked; bent  
Scoliosis
A lateral curvature of the spine.
Scoop stretcher
A stretcher that is designed to be spilt into two or four sections that can be fitted around a patient who is lying on the ground or other relatively flat surface; also called an orthopedic stretcher.
-Scope
Instrument for visual examination  
Scope of practice
Most commonly defined by state law; outlines the care you are able to provide for the patient/client. The where, when, and how a practitioner may provide services or function as a professional.
-Scopy
Visual examination  
Scot/o
Darkness  
SCUBA
A system that delivers air to the mouth and lungs at various atmospheric pressures, increasing with the depth of the dive; stands for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.
SE-SEH
Seb/o
Sebum  
Sebace/o
Sebum  
Sebaceous glands
The oil glands found in the skin; glands that empty their sebum secretion into hair follicles; glands that produce an oily substance called sebum, which discharges along the shafts of the hairs.
Sebum
The oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands that prevent dehydration, softens skin and hair, and slows the growth of bacteria.
Second messenger
Intracellular molecule generated by binding of a chemical to a membrane receptor; mediates intracellular responses.
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 systamatic full-body scan or a systematic assessment that focuses on a certain area or region of the body, often determined through the cheif complaint.
Secondary blast injury
A penetrating or nonpenetrating injury caused by ordnance projectiles or secondary missiles.
Secondary containment
An engineered method to control spilled or released product if the main containment vessel fails.
Secondary device
An additional explosive used by terrorists, set to explode after the initial bomb.
Secondary (immune) response
Second and subsequent responses of the immune system to a previously met antigen; more rapid and more vigorous than the primary response.