• Intubation refers to the placement of a tube into an external or internal orifice of the body. Although the term can refer to endoscopic procedures, it is most often used to denote tracheal intubation. Tracheal intubation is the placement of a flexible plastic tube into the trachea to protect the patient's airway and provide a means of mechanical ventilation. The most common tracheal intubation is orotracheal intubation where, with the assistance of a laryngoscope, an endotracheal tube is passed through the mouth, larynx, and vocal cords, into the trachea. A bulb is then inflated near the distal tip of the tube to help secure it in place and protect the airway from blood, vomit, and secretions. Another possibility is nasotracheal intubation where a tube is passed through the nose, larynx, vocal cords, and trachea.
  • Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach or VT) is a tachycardia, or fast heart rhythm, that originates in one of the ventricles of the heart. This is a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia because it may lead to ventricular fibrillation, asystole, and sudden death.
  • Ventricular fibrillation (V-fib or VF) is a condition in which there is uncoordinated contraction of the cardiac muscle of the ventricles in the heart, making them quiver rather than contract properly. While there is activity, perhaps best described as "writhing like a can filled with worms" it is undetectable by palpation (feeling) at major pulse points of the carotid and femoral arteries especially by the lay person. Such an arrhythmia is only confirmed by ECG/EKG. Ventricular fibrillation is a medical emergency that requires prompt BLS/ACLS interventions because should the arrhythmia continue for more than a few seconds, it will likely degenerate further into asystole (a flat ECG with no rhythm- which is usually not responsive to therapy unless there is still some residual fine VF rhythm left or the patient is otherwise lucky AND is treated very quickly); after this, within minutes blood circulation will cease, and sudden cardiac death (SCD) may occur in a matter of minutes and/or the patient could sustain irreversible brain damage and possibly be left brain dead (death often occurs if normal sinus rhythm is not restored within 90 seconds of the onset of VF, especially if it has degenerated further into asystole).
  • A crash cart or code cart is a set of trays/drawers/shelves on wheels used in hospital emergency rooms for transportation and dispensing of emergency medication/equipment at site of medical/surgical emergency for life support protocols (ACLS/ALS) to potentially save someone's life.
  • Code Blue
This phrase was coined at Bethany Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.Used at St John River District Hospital in East China, MI as a "ADULT EMERGENCY" All available staff must respond to this code.Generally is used to indicate a patient requiring immediate resuscitation, most often as the result of a cardiac arrest. May also be used as a radio call to indicate that a patient en route to the hospital requires resuscitation. "Code Blue - Adult" or " - Pediatric" are sometimes used to provide additional information about the patient. HASC have suggested these codes be replaced by "Code Blue" and "Code White", respectively.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), is primarily amedical imaging technique most commonly used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structure and limited function of the body. MRI provides much greater contrast between the different soft tissues of the body than computed tomography (CT) does, making it especially useful in neurological (brain),musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and oncological (cancer) imaging. Unlike CT, it uses no ionizing radiation, but uses a powerful magnetic field to align the nuclear magnetization of (usually) hydrogen atoms in water in the body. Radio frequency (RF) fields are used to systematically alter the alignment of this magnetization, causing the hydrogen nuclei to produce a rotating magnetic field detectable by the scanner. This signal can be manipulated by additional magnetic fields to build up enough information to construct an image of the body.
  • Differential diagnosis is the process whereby a given condition or circumstance, called the presenting problem or chief complaint, is examined in terms of underlying causal factors and concurrent phenomena as discerned by appropriate disciplinary perspectives and according to several theoretical paradigms or frames of reference, and compared to known categories of pathology or exceptionality. Differential diagnosis allows the physician to:
    • more clearly understand the condition or circumstance
    • assess reasonable prognosis
    • eliminate any imminently life-threatening conditions
    • plan treatment or intervention for the condition or circumstance
    • enable the patient and the family to integrate the condition or circumstance into their lives, until the condition or circumstance may be ameliorated, if possible.
If the patient's condition does not improve as anticipated when the treatment or therapy has been applied, the diagnosis must be reassessed.

Medical Terminology Guide

Online Reference for Essential Medical Terms

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