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  • Air Embolism

    A blockage in the blood vessel caused by air bubbles.

    When air accidentally enters the veins or arteries, it can create an air embolism.

  • Amputation

    The removal of all or part of a limb or digit of the body.

    The surgeon had to amputate the patient's leg due to the severity of his injury.

  • Anemia

    A condition where a person does not have enough healthy red blood cells to deliver oxygen throughout the body.

    People who do not get enough iron in their diets may have anemia, causing them to feel tired or weak.

  • Anesthesia
    anesthesia | an●es●the●sia | “an-uhs-thee-zhuh”  A sedative used to minimize sensations and pain in the body, often administered before surgery or other painful procedures.  Doctors will administer anesthesia prior to surgery. 
  • Anesthetic

    an•es•thet•ic | “an-uh-sthe-tick”

    An agent that temporarily depresses neuronal function, effectively numbing the area and producing a loss of sensation.

    Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, gives patients an exhilarating feeling while serving as an anesthetic to help reduce pain.

  • Antecubital Fossa
    antecubital fossa | an●tecubital fossa | “an-tuh-cube-it-all fos-sa"   The shallow depression located in the arm near the crook of the elbow.  Healthcare providers sometimes place an IV in a patient’s antecubital fossa.
  • Antibiotics

    an•ti•bi•ot•ics | “an-ty-by-ot-icks”

    A substance produced or derived from certain fungi, bacteria, or other organisms that can destroy infections and disease.

    Doctors prescribed antibiotics to treat his ear infection.

  • Artery

    ar•ter•y | “ar-teh-ree”

    A part of the circulatory system made up of branching vessels moving blood to various parts of the body from the heart.

    One of the main arteries can be found in the neck.

  • Arthritis

    ar•thri•tis |“ar-thry-tiss”

    Acute or chronic inflammation of a joint characterized by stiffness and pain.

    Staying active can help ward off a variety of health concerns that happen as you get older like obesity and arthritis.

  • Association for Vascular Access (AVA)
    An organization of healthcare professionals that supports and promotes the specialty of vascular access. The mission of AVA is to represent and advance vascular access as a specialty and define the standards of vascular access.   
  • Back Check Valve
    A device that allows flow in one direction and automatically prevents reverse flow if the fluid in the line reverses direction.

    Back check valves can offer greater safety during IV therapy by preventing fluid exchange or backflow.

  • Bacteria

    Microorganisms that can exist independently or as parasites that may cause diseases.

    When we overuse antibiotics, disease-causing bacteria can grow resistant to them.

  • Blanching

    The occurrence of skin becoming white or pale due to lack of blood flow in the area.

    Blanching of the skin typically means there's an obstruction preventing blood from moving to that part of the body.

  • Blister
    Swelling of the skin that contains fluid and is typically caused by burning, infection or irritation. IV extravasations can result in blisters on the skin.  
  • Blood
    The fluid made up of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets that circulates in the vascular system, and transports oxygen and nutrients to the body and waste materials away from the tissue.

    The patient lost a lot of blood after severely cutting her arm.

  • Blood Disorder
    An acute or chronic condition that can prevent the blood from fulfilling its necessary functions. Common blood disorders include anemia, bleeding disorders such as hemophilia and blood clots, and blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.  
  • Blood Pressure

    The pressure of a person’s blood against the inner walls of the blood vessels that changes during different phases of the heart’s contraction or under varying conditions of health.

    High blood pressure, if left untreated, can cause heart disease or stroke.

  • Blood sugar (high)
    The result of not having enough insulin in the body.

    Patients with high blood sugar may experience blurred vision, weight loss and the need to constantly use the restroom.

  • Blood sugar (low)
    The result of having an abnormally low level of glucose in the body.

    Patients with high blood sugar may experience blurred vision, weight loss and the need to constantly use the restroom.

  • Blood transfusion

    An injection of blood from one person or animal into the bloodstream of another.

    The blood bank is asking for donations because numerous people require blood transfusions after a major car accident.

  • Blood type

    The specific category of blood each individual has, consisting of four major types; O, A, B, and AB. These types are based on the presence or absence of specific antigens in red blood cells.

    Once doctors locate a heart donor, it is matched with candidates based on their blood type, body size(...)

  • Bloodstream

    The blood flowing through the circulatory system in the living body.

    IV medication goes straight into the patient’s bloodstream.

  • Brachial Vein

    A vein located in the upper arm between the shoulder and elbow that returns blood to the heart and lungs.

    The brachial vein connects to many small vessels that drain the muscles of blood from the upper arms.

  • Brain

    The most complex organ in the body that serves as the control center of the central nervous system.

    The brain is made up of a complex network of billions of nerve cells called neurons, as well as other kinds of cells.

  • Butterfly wings

    A medical device consisting of a short needle with two flexible wings to hold the IV infusion equipment in place.

    The use of butterfly wings allows patients more freedom of movement.

  • Cancer

    A disease composed of abnormal cells that can grow rapidly and invade surrounding tissue.

    Smoking can lead to a variety of ailments including lung cancer.

  • Cannula

    cann•u•la | “can-yah-luh”

    A thin plastic tube used for insertion into the body to draw off fluid or to introduce medication.

    The cannula goes into the vein to deliver medication.

  • Carotid Artery

    ca•ro•tid artery| “cuh-rah-tid artery”

    The arteries that supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood on both sides of the body.

    The nurse felt for the patient's carotid artery to measure his pulse.

  • Catheter

    cath•e•ter | “kath-ih-terr”

    A thin tube inserted into the body for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

    The fluids flow from the container, through the catheter and into the patient.

  • Caustic Medications

    Medications that can damage living tissue and have a burning effect.

    Vesicant drugs are caustic medications that can result in IV extravasations.

  • Cellulitis

    The inflammation of cellular tissue.

    Skin affected by cellulitis typically appears swollen, red and might be warm to the touch and tender.

  • Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infection

    An infection that occurs when bacteria or viruses enter the bloodstream through the central line.

    The patient suffering from CLABSI has a fever and soreness around the central line.

  • Central Nervous System

    The group of nerve tissues that control the body’s activities.

    The brain and spinal cord comprise the primary parts of the central nervous system.

  • Central Venous Catheter

    cen•tral ve•nous cath•e•ter | “sen-trull vee-nuss kath-ih-ter”

    A catheter placed into a vein in the neck, chest or groin for an extended period of time.

    The dialysis patient required the use of a central venous catheter.

  • Chemical Phlebitis

    Irritation and inflammation that occurs in the vein and around or near the IV site as a direct result of the drug being administered.

    Nurses must be vigilant about monitoring a patient's reaction to medication(s) to prevent chemical phlebitis from occurring.

  • Chemotherapy

    chem•o•ther•a•py | “kee-mo-ther-uh-pee”

    A treatment that uses chemicals with toxic effects upon the illness-producing microorganisms or that selectively target cancerous tissue.

    The doctors prescribed chemotherapy to treat the cancerous cells in her lung.

  • Choanal Atresia
    cho-an-al a-tre-sia | cho-a-​nauh ah-tree-zhuh Choanal atresia is a congenital narrowing of the back of the nasal cavity that causes difficulty breathing.
  • Circulation

    The flow of fluid, particularly blood, through tissue or the bloodstream that allows for the transport and exchange of blood gases, nutrients and waste products.

    The nurse used a tourniquet to stop circulation to the patient’s leg and prevent more bleeding.

  • Circulatory System

    The system of organs and tissues including the heart, blood and blood vessels that work to circulate blood through the body.

    Healthcare professionals administer IV therapy via the circulatory system.


    An infection that occurs when bacteria or viruses enter the bloodstream through the central line.

    The patient suffering from CLABSI has a fever and soreness around the central line.

  • Clotting

    The interaction of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets that causes a chemical reaction and forms a soft, insoluble mass.

    Blood clotting is an important process that prevents excessive bleeding when a blood vessel is injured.

  • Compartment Syndrome

    com●part●ment - syn●dro●me

    A painful and dangerous condition caused by pressure buildup from internal bleeding or swelling of tissues.

    The patient was diagnosed with compartment syndrome due to an IV infiltration.

  • Connective Tissue

    Fibrous tissue that supports, protects, binds, or separates other tissues or organs inside the body.

    Fatty tissue, cartilage, bone, blood, and lymph are all considered connective tissue.

  • Dehydration

    de•hy•dra•tion | “dee-hi-dray-shun”

    An abnormal loss of water from the body, especially from illness or physical exertion.

    Heat and humidity combined with physical exertion are a major trigger of dehydration.

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis

    deep vein “throm-boh-sis”

    The formation of a blood clot inside a deep vein, normally found in the leg.

    Injuring a vein can prevent blood from circulating and clotting correctly, which can lead to a case of Deep Vein Thrombosis.

  • Diabetes
    A metabolic condition characterized by inadequate production or utilization of insulin, resulting in excessive amounts of glucose in the blood or urine.

    Doctors link the intake of too much refined sugar to everything from heart disease to diabetes.

  • Dialysis

    A medical procedure that removes metabolic waste products or toxic substances from the blood when a person's kidneys are unable to.

    Kidney disease was once a major cause of death, but is now very treatable due to dialysis.

  • Dislodgement

    dis•lodge•ment | “dis-loj-ment”

    To unintentionally remove an IV from a previously fixed position.

    His arm got caught on the catheter resulting in the dislodgement of the line from the patient.

  • Drip Chamber

    A device that allows air to rise out from a fluid so that it does not pass downstream.

    Using a drip chamber helps to prevent air embolisms and allows healthcare providers to estimate the rate at which fluid enters a patient.

  • Duodenal Atresia
    du-od-en-al a-tre-sia | doo-od-n-uhl ah-tree-zhuh) Duodenal atresia is the congenital absence or complete closure of a portion of the lumen of the duodenum. It causes increased levels of amniotic fluid during pregnancy (polyhydramnios) and intestinal obstruction in newborn babies.
  • DVT

    deep vein “throm-boh-sis”

    The formation of a blood clot inside a deep vein, normally found in the leg.

    Injuring a vein can prevent blood from circulating and clotting correctly, which can lead to a case of Deep Vein Thrombosis.

  • Electrolyte
    electrolyte | e●lec●tro●lyte | “ih-lek-truh-lahyt”  The ions found in body fluids needed by cells to regulate the flow of water across the cells.  After vigorous exercise, it’s important to replenish your fluids and electrolytes. 
  • Esophageal Atresia (EA)
    e-soph-a-ge-al a-tre-sia | ih-sof-uh-jee-uhl ah-tree-zhuh Esophageal atresia (EA) is a congenital defect. This means it occurs before birth. There are several types. In most cases, the upper esophagus ends and does not connect with the lower esophagus and stomach.  
  • Extravasation

    ex•tra•va•sa•tion | “ik-strav-uh-zay-shun”

    The accidental infiltration of a vesicant or chemotherapeutic drug into the surrounding IV site.

    The extravasation caused pain and infection due to the ill effects of the vesicant.

  • Fasciotomy
    A surgical procedure that treats the loss of circulation by cutting the fascia (the tissue that surrounds a muscle or organ) to relieve tension or pressure. A fasciotomy of the lower leg is most frequently performed to relieve acute compartment syndrome.  
  • Femoral Artery

    fem•or•al | “fem-or-ull artery”

    A large artery in the thigh that supplies oxygenated blood to the leg.

    Wires and catheters can be directed in the arterial system from the femoral artery.

  • Fluids

    Liquid that carries electrolytes, nutrients, medicine or other vital chemicals to and through tissue cells.

    The nurse administered fluids through an IV to treat the dehydrated patient.

  • Flushing

    The act of clearing intravenous lines of any medicine or perishable liquids to keep the lines and entry area clean and sterile.

    The nurse flushed the IV with saline after the medication was delivered into the patient.

  • Gangrene

    gang●grene | “gang-green”

    Necrosis or the death of soft tissue due to obstructed circulation.

    Gangrene is typically caused by a bacterial infection or a lack of blood supply to the affected tissue.

  • Gauge

    A measurement for the length of the thickness of a needle, the outside diameter of a catheter.

    Pediatric patients who require IV therapy typically need a smaller gauge catheter.

  • Geriatric
    ger●i●at●ric | “jer-ee-a-trik” The branch of medicine focused on dealing with diseases, debilities, and care of the elderly.

    Sam’s grandmother was admitted to the geriatric ward of the hospital.

  • Gravity Method

    A method of IV administration that uses gravity instead of an infusion pump to move the IV fluid through the line and into the patient.

    To effectively use the gravity method, a healthcare provider must hang the bag higher than the IV line.

  • Heart

    The hollow, muscular organ in the chest whose contractions move blood through the circulatory system.

    A human heart beats an average of 75 times per minute and circulates about five liters of blood per minute.

  • Heart Attack

    What occurs when there is a blockage of blood flow to the heart.

    Fatty deposits build up over time and form plaques that clog the arteries and can cause a heart attack.

  • Heart rate

    The number of heartbeats per minute.

    Running, jumping rope or walking up stairs is a great way to increase your heart rate.

  • Heat stroke

    A condition caused by the body overheating due to prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures.

    Symptoms of heatstroke include headache, lightheadedness, and nausea.

  • Hematoma

    A collection of blood in a tissue or organ that is caused by damage to a blood vessel.

    Bleeding around the brain may quickly result in a hematoma.

  • Hemophilia

    he●mo●phil●i●a | “hee-muh-fil-ee-uh”

    Excessive bleeding due to an absence or abnormality of a clotting factor in the blood. Hemophilia often results in frequent and often uncontrollable hemorrhages.
  • Hypertension

    hy●per●ten●sion | “high-per-ten-shun”

    A condition that occurs when the force of blood against the artery walls is too high.

    Hypertension increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.

  • Hypospadias
    hy-po-spa-di-as | hi-poe-SPAY-dee-us Hypospadias is a congenital condition in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip. The urethra is the tube through which urine drains from your bladder and exits your body.
  • ICU

    A section of a hospital or healthcare facility that cares for ill or injured adults who require the highest levels of care.

    A patient suffering from a major head injury needed to be admitted to the ICU.

  • Infection

    in•fec•tion | “in-feck-shun”

    An invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms that may cause harm to a bodily part or tissue.

    The patient needs an injection of antibiotics to fight off the infection.

  • Infectious Phlebitis

    Irritation and inflammation that occurs in the vein and around or near the IV site when bacteria enters the vein.

    Improper sterilization prior to receiving IV therapy has been found to increase the risk of infectious phlebitis.

  • Infiltration

    in•fil•tra•tion | “in-fill-tray-shun”

    The delivery of fluid and/or medication outside the vein and into the surrounding soft tissue.

    The patient suffered an infiltration when the tip of the catheter slipped out of their vein.

  • Inflammation

    in•flam•ma•tion | “in-fluh-may-shun”

    The reaction of living tissue to injury or infection, characterized by heat, redness, swelling, and pain.

    She sprained her ankle while running and experienced inflammation around her foot and leg.

  • Infusion
    The delivery of saline or other fluids into a vein.

    Infusion therapy provides patients with medicine or fluids.

  • Infusion Center

    A clinic or medical center where patients receive intravenous drugs.

    Infusion centers are medical facilities that have equipment and staff enabling them to provide intravenous treatments.

  • Infusion Nurse

    A registered nurse who specializes in the administration of medications and fluids using intravenous (IV) therapy.

    The patient consulted with an infusion nurse, also known as an IV nurse, to learn more about her peripherally inserted central line (PICC).

  • Infusion Nurses Society (INS)
    A national non-profit organization representing infusion nurses and all clinicians who practice infusion therapy. The INS is dedicated to bringing innovative new resources and learning opportunities to healthcare professionals involved in the specialty practice of infusion therapy.  
  • Infusion Pump
    A device that infuses fluids, medication or nutrients into a patient's circulatory system. Infusion pumps deliver fluids and medications intravenously at a preselected rate.
  • INS
    A national non-profit organization representing infusion nurses and all clinicians who practice infusion therapy. The INS is dedicated to bringing innovative new resources and learning opportunities to healthcare professionals involved in the specialty practice of infusion therapy.  
  • Insulin
    A protein hormone secreted by the pancreas that controls the concentration of glucose in the blood.

    Insulin deficiencies typically result in the onset of diabetes.

  • Intensive Care Unit

    A section of a hospital or healthcare facility that cares for ill or injured adults who require the highest levels of care.

    A patient suffering from a major head injury needed to be admitted to the ICU.

  • Intravenous

    in•tra•ve•nous | “in-truh-vee-nuss”

    Administered by entering a vein.

    The doctor prescribed an intravenous medication.

  • Intravenous (IV) therapy

    in•tra•ve•nous ther•a•py | “in-truh-vee-nuss ther-uh-pee”

    The delivery of liquid substances directly into the vein to treat a bodily disorder.

    Intravenous (IV) therapy was used to treat dehydration.

  • Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH)
    in·tra·ven·tric·u·lar hem·or·rhage Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is bleeding inside or around the ventricles, the spaces in the brain containing the cerebral spinal fluid.
  • Iron

    An important component of hemoglobin, which helps the body make healthy, oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

    Eggs, broccoli and spinach are all foods that are rich in iron.

  • IV Failure

    The occurrence of a mistake, malfunction or complication during the administration of IV therapy.

    Dislodgement, infiltration and extravasation are common types of IV failure.

  • IV Flow Rate
    The speed at which IV fluid is administered into a patient. Nurses will calculate an IV flow rate to determine the correct amount of fluids or medication a patient needs.
  • IV Insertion

    Placing an intravenous catheter into a patient’s vein.

    IV insertion allows healthcare providers to administer fluids, blood products, and medications directly into the patient’s bloodstream.

  • IV (or infusion) pump

    A device that infuses fluids, medication or nutrients into a patient’s circulatory system.

    The nurse uses an IV (or infusion) pump to administer medication directly into the patient’s vein.

  • IV Rehydration

    The administering of fluids via intravenous therapy to treat dehydration.

    Healthcare providers use IV rehydration to treat heat related illnesses like heat stroke.

  • IV site
    The location on the body used to place an intravenous line. The top of the hand and forearm are common IV sites.
  • IV Tubing
    Flexible, plastic tubing that healthcare providers use to administer IV fluids. IV tubing connects from an infusion device into the patient’s IV site.
  • Kidney Disease

    When the kidney becomes impaired or damaged and is unable to filter out waste.

    Chronic kidney disease causes diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, and a variety of other serious medical conditions.

  • Kidneys

    A pair of organs that regulate the fluid balance in the body and filter out wastes from the blood in the form of urine.

    All of our blood passes through our kidneys roughly 60 times per day.

  • Lactated Ringers

    A sterile solution used to replace fluid lost by the body.

    Surgical patients receive Lactated Ringers to replenish their calcium, potassium, sodium, and water levels because they're unable to rehydrate on their own while under anesthesia.

  • Leukemia
    leu●ke●mi●a | “loo-kee-mee-uh” Several types of cancers of the bone marrow that prevent the normal manufacture of red and white blood cells and platelets. Having leukemia may also result in anemia, increased susceptibility to infection, and impaired blood clotting.
  • Lidocaine

    An anaesthetic used to numb tissue or reliever pain.

    Doctors administer Lidocaine to help patients deal with pain.

  • Lung

    One of two saclike respiratory organs that oxygenates blood and removes carbon dioxide from the body.

    Smoking cigarettes can significantly affect the lungs' capacity for air.

  • Marrow

    The soft, fatty, inner tissue of the bone that serves as the major site of blood cell production.

    Unlike donors of vital organs like kidneys, marrow donors can give over and over again.

  • Mechanical Phlebitis

    Irritation and inflammation that occurs in the vein and around or near the IV site due to catheter movement.

    Mechanical phlebitis can occur when the cannula is too big for the vein.

  • Medical Device

    med•i•cal de•vice | “med-ih-kull duh-vhys”

    An instrument or machine used to prevent, diagnose or treat an illness or disease, or for detecting, measuring, correcting or modifying bodily functions.

    The patients may need a medical device to diagnose their ailment.

  • Medication Dosing Errors

    When a patient receives the wrong amount of a drug.

    When the patient's IV infiltrated, it was also a medication dosing error because the patient was given an amount different than what was prescribed.

  • Midline Catheter

    mid•line cath•e•ter | “mid-lyne kath-ih-ter”

    A catheter placed into the upper arm above the elbow and below the neck for more than five days, but less than a month.

    The patient with hard to reach veins needed a midline catheter.

  • Muscle

    A collection of tissue that contracts to produce movement.

    Lifting weights helps to build muscle size and strength..

  • Necrosis

    ne•cro•sis | “nuh-kroh-sis”

    The death of tissue in the body, usually within a localized area due to an interruption of the blood supply to that body part.

    Doctors performed an amputation to remove the patient’s arm after an IV infiltration led to severe necrosis.

  • Neonatal

    The description of newborns during the first month of their lives.

    Premature newborns are typically admitted to the neonatal clinic.

  • Nerve

    One or more fibers forming part of a system that conveys impulses of sensation, motion, etc., between the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the body.

    The human brain alone has over 100 billion nerves.

  • Nervous System

    The system of nerves and nerve centers that include the brain, spinal cord, nerves and ganglia.

    A human's nervous system consists of all the nerves in their body together with the brain and spinal cord.

  • NICU

    A section of a hospital or healthcare facility that cares for ill and premature newborns who require the highest levels of care.

    Doctors monitor babies in the NICU for life-threatening issues like apnea and bradycardia.

  • Nutrient

    nu•tri•ent | “nu-tree-unt”

    A substance that acts as a source of nourishment, particularly an ingredient in food.

    When digesting food moves through the small intestines, it mixes with chemical and breaks down allowing the body to absorb the nutrients.

  • Obesity

    The condition of having too much body fat.

    Staying active and eating a balanced diet can help prevent obseity and health issues that come with it.

  • Patient Safety
    The avoidance of unintended or unexpected harm to patients while they receive health care. Patient safety is something everyone should be aware of to reduce medical errors.  
  • Peripheral Vein

    Veins in the arms, hands, legs and feet that lead deoxygenated blood back into the heart.

    Healthcare providers often use a peripheral vein as an insertion site for IV therapy.

  • Peripheral Venous Catheter (Peripherally Inserted Venous Catheter- PIV)

    per•iph•er•al ve•nous cath•e•ter | “puh-riff-er-ull vee-nuss kath-ih-ter”

    Also known as a Standard Line, the most common intravenous access method where the line is placed in the arms, hands, legs or feet.

    Peripheral intravenous catheters deliver medications, hydration fluids, blood(...)

  • Phlebitis
    phlebitis | phle●bi●tis | “fluh-bahy-tis”  Inflammation of a vein.  Phlebitis is a common complication of IV therapy.  
  • Phlebotomist

    A trained healthcare worker who specializes in drawing blood for testing or donation.

    If you become a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician, you'll likely spend your days in a hospital or laboratory.

  • PICU

    A section of a hospital or healthcare facility that cares for ill and injured infants, toddlers and adolescents who require the highest levels of care.

    Children experiencing severe breathing problems, serious infections, or certain heart conditions may need to enter the PICU .

  • Plasma

    The liquid part of the blood.

    Plasma infusions can help patients who are sick survive an infection.

  • Platelets

    Tiny cell fragments found in blood plasma that promote blood clotting.

    Platelets contribute to blood clotting by sticking to damaged blood vessels and helping to prevent bleeding.

  • Port
    A method of vascular access that healthcare providers place under a patient's skin for frequent access.

    Healthcare providers typically place ports in the upper chest area close to a large, main vein.

  • Premature Baby
    A birth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. Complications associated with premature babies include immature lungs, difficulty regulating body temperature, poor feeding, and slow weight gain.  
  • Pulmonary Embolism

    A condition that occurs when one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot.

    Pulmonary embolisms are often caused by deep vein thrombosis, a condition in which blood clots form in veins deep in the body, most commonly the leg.

  • Red Blood Cells

    Cells that carry fresh oxygen throughout the body and remove carbon dioxide by transporting it to the lungs prior to being exhaled.

    Red blood cells are used to distribute oxygen throughout the systems.

  • Roller clamp

    A device, typically made of plastic, that has a small roller that can be adjusted to increase or decrease fluid.

    She used her thumb to adjust the roller clamp and increase the flow of medication to the patient.

  • Rolling Veins

    Veins that move away when healthcare providers attempt to insert a needle into the skin.

    Rolling veins are more common in elderly patients who have less skin and connective tissue.

  • Saline

    sa•line | “say-leen”

    A sterile solution of sodium chloride used to dilute medications for intravenous therapy or to maintain adequate hydration.

    The patient was given saline to treat their dehydration.

  • Saline lock IV

    An IV that is flushed with saline before being capped off.

    The nurse saline locked the IV after continuous fluids were completed.

  • Sedation
    sedation | se●da●tion | “si-dey-shuhn”  A way to calm physiological function, usually by the administration of a drug.  A patient will typically require sedation before surgery. 
  • Sedative

    sed●a●tive | “sed-uh-tiv”

    A drug that has a calming or quieting effect.

    The doctor prescribed a sedative to help the patient sleep.

  • Seizure
    sei●zure | “see-zher” A sudden episode of neurologic symptoms that include involuntary muscle movements, sensory disturbances, and altered consciousness.

    One of the most common seizure types is convulsion.

  • Sepsis
    A severe infection caused by bacteria in the blood or tissues. Untreated infections in the urinary tract can result in sepsis.  
  • Skin

    The tissue that forms an external protective covering made up of the epidermis and dermis.

    Severe burns can be very harmful to the skin.

  • Slide clamp

    A device, typically made of plastic, used to regulate the flow of an IV solution.

    The nurse adjusted the patient's slide clamp to decrease the amount of pain medication he was receiving.

  • Sodium

    An electrolyte and mineral that is naturally abundant, especially in salt added to foods, seasoning or preservation, and helps to maintain fluid inside and outside of the body’s cells.

    Eating large amounts of salty foods can, over time, result in excessive sodium levels in the body that can(...)

  • Sodium Chloride

    sodium chlor•ide | “so-dee-um klor-eye-d”

    The same as common table salt.

    Sodium chloride helps to replenish electrolytes in the body and irrigates wounds.

  • Sterile

    Free from disease-causing germs or microorganisms.

    The surgeon and her staff ensured the operating room was sterile before they began the procedure.

  • Subclavian Vein

    An extension of the axillary vein that starts at the outer border of the first rib and empties blood from the upper extremities before carrying it back to the heart.

    The subclavian vein runs under the collarbone where it connects to the internal jugular vein.

  • Swelling

    The abnormal enlargement of a body part caused by an accumulation of fluid in the tissue.

    His ankle immediately began swelling after he sprained it.

  • Syringe

    An instrument used to inject fluids into or from the body.

    Needle syringes have hypodermic needles attached to plastic or glass tubes that contain plungers to create force or suction.

  • T-L-C
    A guide to monitoring a patient’s IV to identify IV failure. Nurses and caregivers can use Touch-Look-Compare to check a patient’s IV site for signs of IV failure.
  • Taut

    Tightly drawn; little or no slack.

    A patient's skin can become taut with an IV infiltration.

  • Tethered Spinal Cord
    Tethered spinal cord syndrome is a neurological disorder caused by tissue attachments that limit the movement of the spinal cord within the spinal column.
  • Thrombophlebitis

    throm●bo●phle●bi●tis | “throm-bo-fluh-by-tiss”

    The presence of a thrombus in the vein along with inflammation in the vessel wall.

    Blood clots are the main culprits of thrombophlebitis.

  • Thrombus

    throm●bus | “throm-buhs”

    A clot that forms in and obstructs a blood vessel or chamber of the heart.

    A thrombus in a coronary artery can cause a heart attack.

  • Tissue

    A collection of similar cells and organic material acting together to perform specific functions in the body.

    There are four basic types of tissue in the human body.

  • Tissue Damage
    The result of direct cellular damage from trauma or disease. Blunt force trauma or illnesses like sepsis can cause tissue damage.  
  • Touch-Look-Compare
    A guide to monitoring a patient’s IV to identify IV failure. Nurses and caregivers can use Touch-Look-Compare to check a patient’s IV site for signs of IV failure.
  • Tourniquet

    A device used to stop bleeding by forcibly compressing the damaged blood vessel.

    The woman placed and tightened her belt on the victim's arm to act as a tourniquet.

  • TPN
    A method of feeding that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract.

    Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) provides a patient with all their daily nutritional requirements intravenously.

  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula (EA/TEF)
    tra-che-o-e-soph-a-ge-al fis-tu-la | TRAY-kee-oh-ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul FIS-chu-luh The word fistula  means “abnormal connection.” Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) happens when a baby’s windpipe (trachea) and food tube (esophagus) are connected. Food and saliva can get into the trachea and lungs(...)
  • Trocar

    A sharp pointed surgical instrument used with a cannula to create an opening and provide an access port to withdraw blood or administer medication, blood or fluids.

    Doctors will sometimes use a trocar to establish an IV site.

  • Ultrasound

    A device that uses ultrasonic waves to treat ailments or to provide an image of internal structures.

    The nurse used an ultrasound for assistance viewing the patient’s veins when placing a peripheral venous catheter.

  • Vascular Access

    The ability to enter the vascular system.

    Elderly patients may have poor vascular access because their veins can be more difficult to find.

  • Vascular Access Devices (VADs)

    A device that’s inserted into the veins for diagnostic or therapeutic reasons, such as blood sampling, central venous pressure readings, and blood transfusions.

    The nurse inserted a vascular access device into the patient to deliver medication into their system.

  • Vascular Access Team

    A group of skilled healthcare providers that include nurses, doctors and technicians who specialize in providing vascular access care like IV therapy.

    A nurse from the Vascular Access Team was called to place an IV for a patient with difficult venous access.

  • Vascular System

    The system of arteries and veins that carry blood and lymph through the body.

    The vascular system delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and takes away waste.

  • Vein

    vein | “vayn”

    A part of the circulatory system made up of branching vessels moving blood from various parts of the body to the heart.

    The caregiver inserted the needle into the patient’s vein.

  • Vein porosity

    The level of which fluids and blood can move from the bloodstream and through their vein walls into the body.

    Poor vein porosity results in the body not being able to receive important vitamins and nutrients.

  • Vein Wall

    The outer layer of the vein.

    Healthcare providers must puncture the vein wall to administer IV therapy.

  • Venipuncture

    vein●i●punc●ture | “ven-uh-punk-shur”

    The puncture of a vein for medical and therapeutic purposes.

    Venipuncture is the first step in the delivery of IV therapy.

  • Venous System

    The system of veins that return blood to the heart from all the organs of the body.

    The venous system has a series of one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward, and the muscles surrounding the veins compress them, helping force the blood toward the heart.

  • Vesicant drug

    ves•i•cant | “vess-ih-kent”

    An agent that causes destruction of tissue.

    The introduction of vesicant medication resulted in blisters forming on the patient’s skin.

  • Vitamin IV therapy

    A blend of vitamins and minerals infused into the body via catheter.

    Vitamin IV Therapy can help patients who lack essential nutrients due to a diet rich in processed foods.

  • Vitamins

    vi•ta•mins | “vy-tuh-mins”

    A group of organic substances found in natural food, beverages, or synthetically produced items that are essential to normal bodily functions.

    A healthy diet consists of carbs, proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins.

  • Volumetric Pump

    A mechanical device that controls and measures the amount of IV fluid that flows into a patient.

    Volumetric pumps allow healthcare providers to administer small doses of medication in short intervals without the need to do so manually.

  • White Blood Cells

    Colorless cells that exist in the body to fight invading microorganisms and foreign particles that can cause sickness.

    Having a healthy immune system means having plenty of white blood cells to fight disease-causing germs.

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