First Aid Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the First Aid article.

Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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Anesthetic: A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness, dulling pain to permit s...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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Automated external defibrillator: A device that automatically analyzes the heart rhythm an...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Blood sugar: Blood glucose. See also: High blood sugar; Low blood sugar.

Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Calamine: An astringent made from zinc carbonate or zinc oxide, customarily used in lotion...

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Carbon monoxide poisoning: A potentially deadly condition caused by breathing carbon monox...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Cardiopulmonary: Having to do with both the heart and lungs.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation: A life-saving emergency procedure that involves breathing f...

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CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US agency charged with tracking a...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Cuts: Severed skin. Washing a cut or scrape with soap and water and keeping it clean and d...

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Decongestant: A drug that shrinks the swollen membranes in the nose, making it easier for ...

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Defibrillator: A device that corrects an abnormal heart rhythm by delivering electrical sh...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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Emergency code: While there is no formal definition for a "Code," doctors often use the te...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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FEMA: A name well known to people in the US who have experienced a major natural or made-m...

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Flush: (1) A redness of the skin, typically over the cheeks or neck. A flush is usually ...

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Glucose: The simple sugar that is the chief source of energy. Glucose is found in the bloo...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Hygiene: The science of preventive medicine and the preservation of health. Also commonly ...

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Hypoglycemic: Relating to hypoglycemia, an abnormally low level of the sugar glucose in th...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Insulin: A natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of the sugar gluco...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Laxative: Something that promotes emptying of the bowels. Laxatives are used to combat con...

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Lethal: Deadly.

Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinc...

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Lubricant: An oily or slippery substance. A vaginal lubricant may be helpful for women who...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Nurse: 1) A person trained, licensed, or skilled in nursing. 2) To feed an infant at the ...

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Ointment: An oil-based preparation that is applied to the skin. Whereas an ointment has an...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pediatric: Pertaining to children.

Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Poison: Any substance that can cause severe organ damage or death if ingested, breathed in...

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Poison control center: A special information center set up to inform people about how to r...

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Poisoning: Taking a substance that is injurious to health or can cause death. Poisoning i...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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Resuscitation: The procedure of restoring to life, as in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CP...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Sore: 1. (adjective) A popular term for painful, such as a sore throat. 2. (...

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Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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Spinal cord injury: Trauma or damage to the spinal cord, the major column of nerve tissue ...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Thermometer: A device used to measure the temperature of gaseous, liquid or solid matter ...

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Tooth: One of the structures within the mouth that allow for biting and chewing. Teeth hav...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Unconscious: 1. Interruption of awareness of oneself and one's surroundings, lack ...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urinary tract: The organs of the body that produce, store, and discharge urine. These orga...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Medical Dictionary