Shock Glossary of Terms

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

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acetylcholine: A neurotransmitter released by nerves that is essential for communication b...

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Acid-base balance: Acid-base balance refers to the mechanisms the body uses to keep its fl...

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Acidosis: Too much acid in the body, a distinctly abnormal condition resulting from the ac...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Adrenaline: A stress hormone produced within the adrenal gland that quickens the heart bea...

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Aerobic: Oxygen-requiring. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen to grow. Aerobic exercise requires...

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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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Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic indiv...

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Anaerobic: Not requiring oxygen. Anaerobic bacteria, for example, do not require oxygen to...

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Anaphylactic shock: A widespread and very serious allergic reaction. Symptoms include di...

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Anaphylaxis: Allergic reaction. In severe cases, this can include potentially deadly anap...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Anticoagulant: An agent that is used to prevent the formation of blood clots. Anticoagulan...

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Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Bladder: A hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. The kidneys filter waste f...

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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.

Blood transfusion: The transfer of blood or blood components from one person (the donor) i...

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Bone marrow: The soft blood-forming tissue that fills the cavities of bones and contains f...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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

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Capillaries: Capillaries are the smallest of blood vessels. They serve to distribute oxyge...

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Carbon dioxide: A gas which is the byproduct of cellular metabolism and which collects in ...

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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.

Cardiac output: The amount of blood the heart pumps through the circulatory system in a mi...

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Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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Cardiovascular system: The heart and blood vessels. Also known as circulatory system.

Cascade: A sequence of successive activation reactions involving enzymes (enzyme cascade) ...

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Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

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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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Colon: The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. The remaini...

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Coma: A state of deep, unarousable unconsciousness. A coma may occur as a result of head t...

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Congestive heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it, with f...

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Dehydration: Excessive loss of body water. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that ca...

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

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Diabetic ketoacidosis: High blood glucose with the presence of ketones in the urine and bl...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dialysis: The process of cleansing the blood by passing it through a special machine. Dial...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Dilate: To stretch or enlarge. Also known as dilatate.

Diverticulitis: Inflammation of the diverticula (small outpouchings) along the wall of th...

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Duodenal: Pertaining to the duodenum, part of the small intestine. As in duodenal ulcer or...

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Edema: The swelling of soft tissues as a result of excess fluid accumulation. Edema is oft...

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Embolism: The obstruction of a blood vessel by a foreign substance or a blood clot that tr...

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

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End stage: The last phase in the course of a progressive disease. As in end-stage liver di...

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Endotracheal tube: A flexible plastic tube that is put in the mouth and then down into the...

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Epinephrine: A substance produced by the medulla (inside) of the adrenal gland. The name e...

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Foley catheter: See: Catheter, Foley.

Gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the stomach and the intestines. Gastroenteritis can cause...

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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Gastrointestinal tract: The stomach and intestines. Abbreviated GI tract.

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

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Groin: The area where the thigh meets the hip.

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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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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Heart muscle: A type of muscle with unique features only found in the heart. The heart mus...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Heat exhaustion: A warning that the body is getting too hot. The person may be thirsty, gi...

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Heat stroke: A core body temperature that rises above 104 F (40 C) accompanied by hot, dr...

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Hemoglobin: The oxygen-carrying pigment and predominant protein in the red blood cells. He...

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Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Hemorrhagic: Pertaining to bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

High altitude: Altitude sickness occurs at high altitude. So what is high altitude?

Histamine: A substance that plays a major role in many allergic reactions, dilating blood ...

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Hives: A raised, itchy area of skin that may be a sign of an allergic reaction. It can be ...

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Hyperglycemia: A high blood sugar. An elevated level specifically of the sugar glucose in...

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Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar (glucose). Hypoglycemia may be associated with symptoms such...

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

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Hypotension: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individual in a ...

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Hypovolemic: Referring to hypovolemia, an abnormal decrease in blood volume. As, for exam...

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Hypovolemic shock: Shock due to a decrease in blood volume from bleeding, loss of blood pl...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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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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Intensive care: See critical care.

Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion...

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Intubation: The process of putting a tube into a hollow organ or passageway, often into th...

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Involuntary: Done other than in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The ...

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Ketoacidosis: A feature of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus characterized by a combination o...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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

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Large intestine: Comes after the small intestine. Large because it is wider than the smal...

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Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells. Strictly speaking, leukemia should refer only to canc...

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

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Low blood sugar: A low blood level of the sugar glucose. Also called hypoglycemia.

Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Marrow: The bone marrow.

Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. ...

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Molecule: The smallest unit of a substance that can exist alone and retain the character o...

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Mortality: A fatal outcome or, in one word, death. The word "mortality" is derived from "m...

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Mortality rate: A death rate. There are a number of different types of mortality rates as,...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Neurogenic: Giving rise to or arising from the nerves or the nervous system. For example, ...

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Neurogenic shock: A type of shock (a life-threatening medical condition in which there is ...

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Normal range: Characteristic of 95 percent of values from a normal population. The remaini...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Nosocomial: Originating or taking place in a hospital, acquired in a hospital, especially...

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Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintena...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Organ failure: The failure of an essential system in the body. Multiple organ failure is t...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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

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Perfusion: A chemotherapy technique that may be used when melanoma occurs on an arm or leg...

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Pericarditis: Inflammation of the lining around the heart (the pericardium) that causes ch...

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Plasma: The liquid part of the blood and lymphatic fluid, which makes up about half of the...

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Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneum...

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

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary artery: One of the two vessels which are formed as terminal branches of the pulm...

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Pulmonary edema: Fluid in the lungs.

Pulmonary embolism: Sudden closure of a pulmonary artery or one of its branches, caused by...

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Radiologic: Having to do with radiology.

Red blood cell: The blood cell that carries oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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Red blood cells: The blood cells that carry oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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Red cells: Short for red blood cells, the oxygen/carbon dioxide carrying cells in blood. A...

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Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury rest...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Sickle cell disease: A genetic blood disorder caused by the presence of an abnormal form ...

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Skull: The skull is a collection of bones which encase the brain and give form to the hea...

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Spasm: A brief, automatic jerking movement. A muscle spasm can be quite painful, with the ...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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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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Stroke volume: The amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart in one contra...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Tachycardia: A rapid heart rate, usually defined as greater than 100 beats per minute.

Tailbone: Popular name for the coccyx, the small bone at the bottom of the spine made up o...

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Tension: 1) The pressure within a vessel, such as blood pressure: the pressure within t...

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Tired: A feeling of a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency of accomplishment,...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Transfusion: The transfer of blood or blood products from one person (the donor) into the ...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Urticaria: Another name for the hives. Raised, itchy areas of skin that are usually a sign...

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Uterus: A hollow, pear-shaped organ that is located in a woman's lower abdomen, between th...

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Ventilator: A machine that mechanically assists a patient in the exchange of oxygen and ca...

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Vertebral column: The 33 vertebrae that fit together to form a flexible, yet extraordinari...

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

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Wheezing: A whistling noise in the chest during breathing. Wheezing occurs when the airway...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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Medical Dictionary