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abandonment
leaving a patient after care been initiated and before the patient has been transferred to someone with equal or greater medical training
ABC's
airway, breathing, and circulation
abdominal quadrants
four divisions of the abdomen used to pinpoint the location of a pain or injury
abortion
spontaneous (miscarriage) or induced termination of pregnancy
abrasion
a scratch or scrap
abruptio placentae
a condition in which the placenta separates from the uterine wall; a cause of prebirth bleeding
absorbed poisons
poisons that are taken into the body through unbroken skin
acetabulum
the pelvic socket into which the ball at the proximal end of the femur fits to form the hip joint
acquired disease/condition
a disease or condition that occurs after birth
acromioclavicular joint
the joint where the acromion and clavicle meet
acromion process
the highest portion of the shoulder
activated charcoal
a substance that absorbs many poisons and prevents them from being absorbed by the body
active rewarming
application of an external heat source to rewarm the body of a hypothermic patient
acute myocardial infarction (AMI)
the condition in which a portion of the myocardium dies as a result of oxygen starvation; often called a heart attack by laypersons
advance directive
a DNR order
afterbirth
the placenta, membranes of the mniotic sac, part of the umbilical cord, and some tissues from the lining of the uterus that are delivered after the birth of the baby
air embolism
gas bubble in the bloodstream. the plural is air emboli. the more accurate term is arterial gas embolism (AGE)
airway
the passageway by which air enters or leaves the body. the structures of the airway are the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs
allergen
something that causes an allergic reation
allergic reation
an exaggerated immune response
alveoli
the microscopic sacs of the lungs where gas exchange with the bloodstream takes place
amniotic sac
the "bag of waters" that surrounds the devoloping fetus
amputation
the surgical removal or traumatic severing of a body part, usually an extremity
anaphylaxis
a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction in which the blood vessels dilate, causing a drop in blood pressure, and the tissues lining the respiratory sysem swell, interfering withe the airway. also called anaphylactic shock
anatomical position
the standard reference posistion for the body in the study of anatomy. in this position, the body is standing erect, facing the ovserver, with arms down at the sides and the palms of the hands forward
anatomy
the study of body structure
aneurysm
the dialation, or ballooning, of a weakened section of the wall of an artery
angina pectoris
pain in the ches, occurring when blood supply to the heart is reduced and a portion of the heart muscle is not receiving enough oxygen
anterior
the front of the body or body part
antidote
a substance that will neutralize the poison or its effects
aorta
the largest artery in the body. it transports blood from the left ventricle to being systemic circulation
apnea
no breathing
appendix
a small tube located near the junction of the small and large intestines in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen, the function of which is not well understood. its inflammation, called appendicitis, is a common cause of abdominal pain
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