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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Occurs when atherosclerosis or plaque buildup causes the walls of the abdominal aorta to become weak and bulge outward like a balloon.


Characterized by sharpness or severity of sudden onset; may require short-term medical care (as for serious illness or traumatic injury).

Advanced care planning

Making plans for the healthcare you want during a serious illness.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

A nurse with a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing, such as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives. APRNs treat and diagnose illnesses, advise the public on health issues, manage chronic disease, and engage in continuous education to remain ahead of any technological, methodological, or other developments in the field.


Structural makeup, especially of an organism or any of its parts.


Chest pain or discomfort you feel when there is not enough blood flow to your heart muscle.


Situated before or toward the front; situated near or toward the head or part most nearly corresponding to a head.


Situated or occurring in front and to the side.


Counteracting inflammation: used to prevent or reduce inflammation.

Aortic Aneurysm

A bulge or "ballooning" in the wall of an artery; most aneurysms are in the aorta, the main artery that runs from the heart through the chest and abdomen.

Aortic Stenosis

The aortic valve does not open fully; this decreases blood flow from the heart.


A blockage inside of the appendix; the blockage leads to increased pressure, problems with blood flow, and inflammation.

Atherosclerosis (vascular)

A disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries.

Atrial Fibrillation

An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat; Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of arrhythmia.


Of a mild type or character that does not threaten health or life; non-cancerous.


The removal and examination of tissue, cells or fluids from the living body.


Being a professional whose qualifications have been approved by an official group.

C difficile infection (Clostridium)

Caused by a toxin-producing bacteria that causes a more severe form of antibiotic associated diarrhea.


Any of several structural or functional diseases of heart muscle marked especially by thickening (hypertrophy) and obstructive damage to the heart.

Carotid Artery Disease

The carotid arteries become narrow or blocked.

Chronic diarrhea

Diarrhea that lasts for more than 2-4 weeks is considered persistent or chronic.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

Occurs when the valves of the veins do not function properly, and the circulation of blood in the leg veins is impaired.

Congenital Heart Disease

A problem with the heart's structure and function that is present at birth.

Congenital Valve Disease

Occurs if one or more of your heart valves don't work well; the condition is present at birth.

Coronary Artery Disease

Happens when the arteries that supply blood to heart muscle become hardened and narrowed; this is due to the buildup of cholesterol and other material, called plaque, on their inner walls.


Relating to or being the stage of a disease at which an abrupt change for better or worse may be expected; being or relating to an illness or condition involving danger of death.

Crohn's disease (Inflammatory bowel disease)

A chronic disease that causes inflammation in your digestive tract.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

A blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body.


Occurs when diverticula become inflamed or infected; most often, these pouches are in the large intestine (colon). A gut diverticulum (singular) is an outpouching of the wall of the gut to form a sac. Diverticula (plural) may occur at any level from esophagus to colon.


A test that measures your heart's activity, also called an electrocardiogram.


Electrical phenomena associated with a physiological process (such as the function of a body or bodily part).


The sudden obstruction of a blood vessel by an embolus, such as blood clots, clumps of bacteria and clumps of other foreign material, such as air.


A branch of medicine concerned with the structure, function and disorders of the endocrine glands. These include adrenal, hypothalamus, Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, ovaries, parathyroid, pineal, pituitary, testes and thyroid.

Fecal incontinence

The inability to control your bowels.

Foreign bodies

Something that is stuck inside you but isn't supposed to be there; you may inhale or swallow a foreign body, or you may get one from an injury to almost any part of your body.


A branch of medicine that deals with the diseases and routine physical care of the reproductive system of women.

Heart Murmur

A blowing, whooshing, or rasping sound heard during a heartbeat; the sound is caused by turbulent (rough) blood flow through the heart valves or near the heart.

Heart Palpitations

Feelings or sensations that your heart is pounding or racing; they can be felt in your chest, throat, or neck.


Of or relating to blood or to hematology, the study of blood and blood disorders.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Abnormally high blood pressure and especially arterial blood pressure.

Infective Endocarditis

Occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream and travel to and attach to previously injured heart valves.


A hospital patient who receives lodging and food as well as treatment.

Internal Medicine

A branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases not requiring surgery.

Intestinal Dysmotility

Occurs when the intestinal tract loses its ability to coordinate the muscular contractions of the bowel.

Intestinal ischemia

Describes a variety of conditions that occur when blood flow to your intestines decreases due to a blocked blood vessel, usually an artery.

Intestinal obstructions

Occurs when food or stool cannot move through the intestines; the obstruction can be complete or partial.

Irritable bowel syndrome

A problem that affects the large intestine; it can cause abdominal cramping, bloating and a change in bowel habits.


A torn and ragged wound.

Level 1 Trauma Center

A comprehensive regional resource that is a tertiary care facility central to the trauma system; a Level I Trauma Center is capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury – from prevention through rehabilitation.


Tending to produce death or deterioration; tending to infiltrate, metastasize, and terminate fatally.

Mitral Valve Prolapse

Occurs when one of your heart's valves doesn't work properly; the flaps of the valve are "floppy" and don't close tightly.


A group of healthcare professionals who have cognitive and procedural expertise in different areas of care delivery and can efficiently manage complex medical conditions.


Not being or involving an invasive medical procedure.

Occupational therapy

Helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).


A branch of medicine concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and study of cancer.


A branch of medical science dealing with the structure, functions and diseases of the eye.


A patient who is not hospitalized overnight but who visits a hospital, clinic or associated facility for diagnosis or treatment.


A branch of medicine dealing with the development, care and diseases of infants, children and adolescents.

Pericardial Effusion

The buildup of excess fluid in the sac-like structure around the heart (pericardium).


Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium (a thin, sac-like covering that surrounds your heart), causing the amount of fluid between the two layers of the pericardium to increase; this increased fluid presses on the heart and restricts its pumping action.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Refers to arterial disease that occurs outside of the heart or brain; the arteries become narrowed or blocked, usually as a result of atherosclerosis or plaque.


A growth projecting from a mucous membrane (as of the colon or vocal cords).

Population health

An interdisciplinary, customizable approach that allows health departments to connect practice to policy for change to happen locally.


The hinder (rear or back) parts of the body.

Primary Care

Healthcare provided by a medical professional (such as a general practitioner, pediatrician or nurse) with whom a patient has initial contact and by whom the patient may be referred to a specialist.

Pulmonary Hypertension

High blood pressure in the arteries to your lungs; the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to your lungs become hard and narrow.

Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

A condition in which a deformity on or near your pulmonary valve narrows the pulmonary valve opening and slows the blood flow.


A branch of medicine concerned with the use of radiant energy (such as X-rays) or radioactive material in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Rectal prolapse

A condition in which the rectum (the last part of the large intestine before it exits the anus) loses its normal attachments inside the body, allowing it to telescope out through the anus.

Sudden Cardiac Death (Sudden Cardiac Arrest)

A condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating; the blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

Tertiary transfer center

A center that provides highly specialized medical care, usually over an extended period of time, that involves advanced and complex procedures and treatments performed by medical specialists.


The sorting of and allocation of treatment to patients and especially battle and disaster victims according to a system of priorities designed to maximize the number of survivors.

Ulcerative colitis

A disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon; it is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease.


The diagnostic or therapeutic use of ultrasound; a noninvasive technique involving the formation of a two-dimensional image used for the examination and measurement of internal body structures and the detection of bodily abnormalities.


Chemical analysis of urine.

Venous Disorders

Disorders relating to veins.


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