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Monday, October 6, 2008

Nursing Review Glossary - C

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cardiac catheterization
A diagnostic procedure in which a cardiac catheter is inserted into a large vein (usually of an arm or leg) and then threaded through the vein to the client's heart.

cardiac output
The volume of blood ejected by the heart per minute (normally ranging from 4 to 8 L). Cardiac output equals the stroke volume (the difference between end-diastolic volume and end-systolic volume) multiplied by the heart rate.

cardiogenic shock
A condition of low cardiac output that results from heart pump failure, such as in acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, or severe cardiomyopathy.

Primary noninflammatory disease of the myocardium.

A stuporous or unresponsive state commonly characterized by an inability to move or talk.

Any of a group of compounds having a sympathomimetic action and composed of a catechol molecule and the aliphatic portion of an amine. Some catecholamines are produced by the body and function as key neurologic chemicals. Others are synthesized as drugs for use in the treatment of such disorders as asthma, shock, and heart failure.

cauda equina
The aggregation of spinal roots, resembling the tail of a horse, that descend from the first lumbar vertebrae and occupy the vertebral canal below the cord.

celiac disease
A chronic disease in which an individual can’t tolerate foods containing gluten or wheat protein. Signs and symptoms include abdominal distention, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle wasting, and extreme lethargy.

An infection of deep subcutaneous tissue and sometimes muscle that may be associated with infection of an operative or traumatic wound. Cellulitis is characterized by local heat, pain, redness, and swelling.

cerebral aneurysm
A saclike dilation of the wall of a cerebral artery, typically resulting from weakness of the wall. A cerebral, or berry, aneurysm usually occurs in the circle of Willis and is prone to rupture.

cerebral contusion
A bruising of the brain tissue as a result of a severe blow to the head. A contusion disrupts normal nerve function in the bruised area and may cause loss of consciousness, hemorrhage, edema, and even death.

cerebral palsy
A permanent disorder of motor function resulting from nonprogressive brain damage or a brain lesion. Cerebral palsy usually appears before age 3.

chelation therapy
Administration of agents that bind to metals; administered to aid in the removal of excess metals, such as lead or iron in the body.

Treatment of a disease using chemicals that exert a toxic effect on the pathogen or abnormal cell growth.

chest physiotherapy
An array of physical techniques, including postural drainage, chest percussion and vibration, and coughing and deep-breathing maneuvers. Chest physiotherapy is used to loosen and help eliminate lung secretions, reexpand lung tissue, and promote optimal use of respiratory muscles.

The presence or formation of gallstones in the gallbladder.

1. Of or relating to nerve fibers that are stimulated to free acetylcholine at a synapse. 2. An agent that frees acetylcholine.

chronic bronchitis
A persistent respiratory disease marked by increased production of mucus by the glands of the trachea and bronchi. This common disease is characterized by a cough (with expectoration) at least 3 months of the year for more than 2 consecutive years.

Chvostek's sign
A spasm of the facial muscles elicited by light taps on the facial nerve. This spasm signals tetany and is seen in clients with hypocalcemia.

Involving the removal of the foreskin of the penis.

Area encircling or concerning the periphery of an object or body part.

A chronic, degenerative liver disease in which the lobes are covered with fibrous tissue, the liver parenchyma degenerates, and the lobules are infiltrated with fat.

Communication technique used to help the client identify inconsistencies in his statements.

clinical depression
Syndrome characterized by persistent sadness and dysphoria accompanied by disturbances in sleep and appetite, lethargy, and an inability to experience pleasure.

A congenital foot deformity in which the foot is twisted out of shape or position.

cognitive development
Ability to learn from experience, gain and maintain knowledge, respond to new situations, and solve problems.

Examination of the colon using a flexible endoscope to visualize internal body areas or to remove tissue samples or small growths.

communicable disease
A disease that may be transmitted directly or indirectly from one person to another.

compartment syndrome
A neurovascular complication commonly associated with fractures of the limb; constricting or occlusive dressings, sutures, or casts; poor positioning; and any injury causing ischemia, swelling, or bleeding into the tissues that ultimately can lead to permanent dysfunction and deformity. It’s characterized by increasing limb pain unrelieved by analgesics, pallid or dusky skin color changes, absent pulse or edema distal to the injury site, decreased active and passive muscle movement distal to the injury site, pain with passive muscle stretching, and sensory changes.

1. Adherence to a therapeutic regimen. 2. A tissue's or organ's ability to yield to pressure without disruption, commonly used to describe the distensibility of an air- or fluid-filled organ.

A ritualistic, repetitive, and involuntary defensive behavior.

A violent shock or jarring, such as from an explosion or a blow. Concussion of the brain is characterized by loss of consciousness. Severe concussion may also cause impairment of brain stem functions.

congenital hip dislocation
Improper formation and function of the hip socket, commonly involving subluxation (where the femoral head is high in the acetabulum) or dislocation (where the femoral head is above the acetabulum).

Solidification of the lungs that occurs with pneumonia.

Abnormal flexion and fixation of a joint, possibly permanent, which is typically caused by muscle wasting and atrophy or by loss of normal skin elasticity such as from extensive scar tissue.

controlled substance
Any substance that is strictly regulated or outlawed because of its potential for abuse or addiction.

conversion disorder
A disorder in which the client attempts to resolve a psychological conflict through the loss of a specific physical function -- for example, by paralysis, blindness, or inability to swallow.

Corrigan's pulse
Short, forceful, bounding pulse typically associated with aortic insufficiency.

The experience of physical symptoms associated with pregnancy, such as nausea, vomiting, and backache, by the husband of a pregnant woman; the response often results from stress, anxiety, and empathy for the pregnant woman.

Short, explosive or popping sounds usually heard during inspiration. They may be coarse (loud and low in pitch) or fine (less intense and high in pitch) and resemble the sounds heard when rolling hair between the fingers near the ear.

Crohn's disease
A chronic inflammatory bowel disease of unknown cause, usually involving the terminal ileum, with scarring and thickening of the bowel wall. Signs and symptoms include frequent episodes of diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, nausea, fever, chills, anorexia, and weight loss.

An acute viral infection of the respiratory tract that causes acute upper airway obstruction. Characterized by stridor, a barking cough, and hoarseness, it primarily affects infants and young children ages 3 months to 3 years and follows an upper respiratory tract infection.

Appearance of the presenting part of the fetus at the perineum and seen when the vulva are separated.

crystalloid fluid
Clear solutions (usually in reference to I.V. solutions) containing electrolytes and water.

Cushing's syndrome
A metabolic disorder caused by chronic, excessive production of adrenocortical hormones or by prolonged high-dose glucocorticoid therapy. It’s characterized by such signs and symptoms as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dusky complexion with purple striae, muscle wasting, weakness, and sudden development of fat around the face, neck, and trunk.

Bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes resulting from an excessive amount of deoxygenated hemoglobin in the blood or a structural defect in the hemoglobin molecule such as in methemoglobin.

Referring to the bluish or bluish black discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes that results from excessive concentration of unoxygenated hemoglobin in the blood.

cystic fibrosis
An inherited disorder of the exocrine glands that affects multiple organ systems, causing such conditions as chronic pulmonary disease, pancreatic deficiency, sweat gland dysfunction, malabsorption, and liver obstruction.

Direct visualization of the urinary tract by inserting a cystoscope in the urethra.

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