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Ambulatory Walking
Aspiration Inhalation of foodstuff, vomitus or saliva into the
Axilla Armpit (under arm).
Autoclave Equipment that decontaminates materials by
exposing them to steam under pressure.
Apnea Absence or lack of breathing
Anoxia Lack of oxygen in the tissue.
Asphyxia A condition produced by prolonged lack of
Asepsis Absolute freedom from all microorganisms
Antiseptic Harmless chemicals that can kill microorganisms
or prevent them from multiplying.
Aplastic anemia Anemia resulting from destruction of bone
marrow cells.
Aseptic technique Procedure used to prevent microorganisms from
reaching the operation site.
Bed cradles A wire or wooden frame placed over the patient's
body or feet to support the weight of the
Blood pressure The force exerted by the heart to pump the blood
around the body
Bradycardia Abnormally slow heartbeat.
Bounding pulse Stronger than normal heartbeat.
Catheter A soft rubber tube which is used for passage of
Contaminated Area that contains germs or disease-producing
Cyanosis Bluish color of lips, tip of the nose, and ear lobes
due to lack of or shortage of oxygen in the blood.
Cast A material that supported an injured part of the
body and makes it immobilize.
Clips Metallic materials that keep the skin together.
Congestion Hyperemia, accumulation of blood in a part of
blood or fluid in a part of the body e.g., lung.
Decontamination The process of rendering an item free from
Defecation Act of excreting feces from the rectum.
Detergent A substance usually dissolved in water used as
an aid for cleaning purposes.
Diagnosis The decision regarding the nature of an illness,
arrived at by clinical assessment of the patient
and result of investigation.
Diastole The resting phase of the heart during which it fills
with blood.
Digitalis A drug given to slow and strengthen the
Disinfectant A chemical used to kill microorganisms.
Dry heat Air heated to high temperature by electricity and
used for sterilizing purposes.
Dyspnea Difficulty in breathing.
Edema Swelling due to water accumulation in body cells
Enema An injection of fluid into the colon or rectum.
Exhalation Breathing out.
Fahrenheit System of measuring heat
Fever Body temperature elevation above 370C
Flatus Gas in the intestines.
Foot board A board placed at the foot of the bed to support
the feet
Gastrostomy Making an artificial opening into the stomach
through which the patient is fed by pouring
nourishment through a tube directly into the
Hypertension High blood pressure.
Hypo tension Low blood pressure.
Incontinence Loss of bladder or bowel control.
Infection Invasion of the body by germs.
Inflammation Reaction of the body to infection or injury,
characterized by redness, heat, pain, and
swelling at the site.
Inhalation Breathing in.
Intake Fluid taken into the body.
Irrigation Injecting fluid into a cavity without interrupting its
Isolation The act of setting apart. An isolation room or
ward is one kept for contagious or infectious
Microorganism Bacteria, virus, fungi, and spores.
Mitered corner A triangular fold made in bedclothes to hold them
in place at the corners.
Necrosis Death of tissue.
Nits The eggs of a louse.
Output All fluid lost from the body.
Orthopnea A condition in which one breathes easier in a
sitting position
Pediculosis Human louse infestation
Postural drainage Position adapted to facilitate expectoration of
material in patients with lung disease.
Postoperative After an operation.
Preoperative Before an operation
Pulse The beat of the heart felt in the arteries.
Pulse deficit The difference between apical pulse and radial
Respiration Breathing rate.
Retention enema An injection of fluid that is retained in the rectum
for absorption into the blood stream.
Restraints Devices that limit the patient's ability to move in
order to protect him/her from injury.
Septic wound Infection wound; a wound containing infective
Sitzbath A warm soaking of the rectum and perineal area.
Splint A device for immobilizing part of the body
Spore The seeds of microorganisms, which are
resistant to drying, heat, and disinfectants
Sterile Specially treated so that all microorganisms are
Stethoscope Instrument for magnifying sound
Specimen A small amount of body excretion or body fluid
that is sent to a laboratory for examination.
Sphygmomanometer Blood pressure apparatus.
Suppository Rectally administered cones containing a
medication in the base that is soluble at body
Sutures Materials that keep broken skin together.
Systole Blood pressure period during the beating phase
of the heartbeat during which blood is expelled
from heat.
Sepsis Presence of microorganisms.
Temperature Degree of heat.
Tachycardia Abnormally fast heartbeat.
Thermometer An instrument used to measure temperature.
Transfusion Injection of blood into a vein.
Unconscious Not aware of or responding to surroundings.
Vital signs Signs of life (e.g., temperature, pulse rate, respiration
rate, blood pressure).