EMS Terminology

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  1. Acute Exposure
    Exposure to a hazardous substance over a short period of time or at a high dose.
  2. Advance Directive
    A legal statement of a patient's wishes regarding his own health care.
  3. Avulsions
    Injuries where the skin and/or underlying tissue is forcibly torn away.
  4. Abrasions
    Injuries to the skin that involve the wearing down or removal of the superficial layers of the skin.
  5. Suspension
    Medicine mixed with a liquid, usually water, in which it cannot dissolve and therefore remains intact in the form of small particles. Always shake before giving each dose so that the medicine particles are evenly distributed throughout the liquid.
  6. Five Rights
    • Right Medication
    • Right Patient
    • Right Date
    • Right Dose
    • Right Route
  7. MDI
    Metered Dose Inhaler
  8. Mammalian Diving Reflex
    Reflex in mammals which optimizes respiration to allow staying underwater for extended periods of time.
  9. Chain of Surival
    • Early Access
    • Early CPR
    • Eartly Difibrillation
    • Early Advanced Care
  10. "Blow By” Technique
    Infants and young children often are afraid of oxygen masks. Have a parent hold the oxygen tubing, or the mask, two inches from the child’s face so the oxygen will be passed over the face and inhaled.
  11. Emergency Medical Dispatch
    Is trained to interrogate the caller and assign a priority to the call, provide instructions to callers on caring for the patient until arrival of EMS, dispatch and coordinate EMS resources, and coordinate with other public safety agencies.
  12. Primary Triage
    Priority 1 (Red tag): Treatable Life-Threatening Illness or Injuries. Airway and breathing difficulties; uncontrolled or severe bleeding; decreased mental status; patients with severe medical problems; shock (hypoperfusion); severe burns

    Priority 2 (yellow tag): Serious But Not Life-Threatening Illness or Injuries. Burns without airway problems; major or multiple bone or joint injuries; back injuries with or without spinal cord damage

    Priority 3(black tag): “Walking Wounded.” Minor musculoskeletal injuries; minor soft-tissue injuries

    Priority 4 (sometimes called Priority 0, black tag): Dead or Fatally Injured. Examples include exposed brain matter, cardiac arrest (no pulse for over 20 minutes except with cold-water submersion or severe hypothermia), decapitation, severed trunk, and incineration.
  13. The standardized medical abbreviation for history is:
  14. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
    Federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness.
  15. North American Emergency Response Guidebook
    Guide to aid first responders in quickly identifying the specific or generic hazards of the material(s) involved in the incident, and protecting themselves and the general public during the initial response phase of the incident.
  16. Fundamental Components of Extrication
    Scene size-up, stabilization, gaining access, disentanglement, and patient removal.
  17. Standard of Care
    Modified scope of practice specifically designed to meet the needs of a specific area or region.
  18. Protocols
    Written guidelines or treatment plans for patient care to help the EMT provide the most appropriate care. Protocols are approved by the Medical Director of an EMS system.
  19. Standing Orders
    Written order issued by a Medical Director that authorizes the EMTs and others to perform particular skills in certain situations without medical direction contact.
  20. Off-line Medical Direction
    Consists of standing orders issued by the Medical Director that allow EMTs to give certain medications or perform certain procedures without speaking to the Medical Director or another physician.
  21. On-line Medical Direction
    Consists of orders from the on-duty physician or their designee given directly to an EMT in the field by radio or telephone.
  22. Public Safety Answering Point
    Agency responsible for answering 9-1-1 calls.
  23. Leading cause of death in ages 1 to 35?
  24. Emergency medical Technician-Basic: National Standard Curriculum
    The curricululm developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation as the foundation for the scope of practice for all EMTs, formerly EMT-Basics.
  25. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    A division of the U.S. DOT. This agency develops the National Standard Curricula for various levels of EMS providers.
  26. Medial
    Closer to the midline
  27. Lateral
    Father away from the midline.
  28. Midline
    Line from the top of the head centered on the head and umbilicus.
  29. Scope of Practice
    Detailed description of the specific care and actions EMTs are allowed to perform.
  30. National Standard Curriculum
    Curriculum developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation as the foundation for the scope of practice for all EmTs, formerly EMT-Basics
  31. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    Division of the DOT that develops the NSC for various levels of EMS providers.
  32. Standard of Care
    Modified scope of practice specifically designed to meet the needs of a specific area or region.
  33. Perfusion
    Supply of oxygen to and removal of wastes from the cells and tissues of the body as a result of blood flow.
  34. Oxygen Cylinder Sizes (liters)
    • D cylinder: 425
    • Jumbo D cylinder: 640
    • E cylinder: 680
    • M cylinder: 3000
    • G cylinder: 5300
    • H cylinder: 6900
  35. Medical Gasses by Color
    • Oxygen: green
    • Medical air: yellow
    • Nitrous oxide: blue
    • Carbon dioxide: gray
    • Helium: brown
    • Nitrogen: black
    • A combination of any gasses will use a combination of their color. Oxygen + Co2 = Gray and Green.
  36. S.A.M.P.L.E. History
    • S: Signs and Symptoms
    • A: Allergies
    • M: Medications
    • P: Pertinent past medical history
    • L: Last oral intake
    • E: Events leading to the injury
  37. O.P.Q.R.S.T.
    • O: Onset
    • P: Provocation
    • Q: Quality
    • R: Region and Radiation
    • S: Severity
    • T: Time
  38. A.V.P.U.
    • A: Alert
    • V: Verbal
    • P: Painful
    • U: Unresponsive
  39. Patient Position
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  40. Hypoxic
    Condition in which the body as a whole (generalized hypoxia) or a region of the body (tissue hypoxia, or less commonly regional hypoxia) is deprived of adequate oxygen supply.
  41. Airway Adjuncts
    Devices such as oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways that are designed to prevent airway obstruction by the tongue.
  42. Anaphylaxis
    Exaggerated, life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction to a previously encountered antigen; caused by the release of histamine from the cells.
  43. Bradycardia
    Heart rate less than 60 beats per minute; a patient with bradycardia may or may not have symptoms.
  44. Bronchodilators
    Medications that relax constricted airways, making airflow easier; commonly used in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
  45. Bronchospasm
    Condition seen in patients with asthma in which airways constrict tightly in response to irritants, cold air, exercise, or unknown factors.
  46. Capillary Refill Time (CRT)
    Time it takes for a patient's skin color to return to normal after the skin or nailbed has been pressed or blanched; normal time is less than 2 seconds; assesses perfusion.
  47. Cardiac Arrest
    Condition in which the heart no longer generates blood flow, causing pulselessness and apnea; two of the many causes are arrhythmias and myocardial infarction.
  48. Cardiogenic Shock
    Cardiac failure whereby the heart cannot sufficiently pump blood to the rest of the circulatory system.
  49. Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
    A stroke, is a condition that results from a disruption of circulation to the brain, causing ischemia and damage to brain tissue.
  50. Cervical Collar
    Device used to provide partial C-spine immobilization; only 50% in the three major motions of anterior / posterior, lateral bending, and rotation; it is applied to the neck area of an injured patient suspected to having a cervical spine injury.
  51. Chief Complaint
    Brief statement describing the reason for the patient's seeking medical attention.
  52. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    Condition characterized by diminished inspiratory and expiratory capacity of the lungs.
  53. Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
    Condition in which the heart is an inadequate pump, causing fluid to build up in the lungs (pulmonary edema) and venous system (distended neck veins).
  54. Contusion
    Minor damage in the dermal layer of the skin, causing discoloration from blood leaking into the surrounding tissue; a bruise.
  55. Crackles
    Low-pitched bubbling sounds produced by fluid in the lower airways; often described as either fine or coarse.
  56. C-spine
    Neck area; common term in vehicle extrication trauma patient care; short for cervical spine.
  57. Cyanosis
    Slightly bluish, grayish, slatelike, or dark purple discoloration of the skin caused by a deficiency of oxygen and excess of carbon dioxide in the blood.
  58. Defibrillation
    Delivery of an electrical shock to the myocardium in an attempt to convert ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia to a normal rhythm.
  59. Ventricular Fibrillation (VF or V-Fib)
    Dysrhythmia in which the heart is in a state of disorganized electrical and mechanical activity, resulting in a lack of blood flow; treated with defibrillation.
  60. Ventricular tachycardia (VT)
    Ventricular tachycardia is a pulse rate of more than 100 beats per minute, with at least three irregular heartbeats in a row.
  61. Tachycardia
    Condition in which the heart contracts at a rate greater than 100 beats per minute.
Card Set
EMS Terminology
EMS terms commonly used
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