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  GLOSSARY A

abrasion — a superficial excoriation, with loss of substance under the form of small shreds
acute — rapid onset and/or short-term duration (as opposed to chronic)
adaptic gauze — nonadhering dressing
agonal breathing — an abnormal pattern of breathing characterized by gasping, labored breathing, accompanied by strange vocalizations and involuntary muscle twitching
alveoli — microscopic air sacs in the lungs where gas exchange occurs with the
circulatory system
ambient — surrounding on all sides
anesthesia — general or local insensibility to pain and other sensation induced by certain interventions or drugs
anoxia — absence of oxygen in the circulating blood or in the tissues
anticholinesterase activity — a chemical activity that inhibits the cholinesterase enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine, increasing both the level and duration of action of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine
antivenom, antivenin or antivenene — a biological product used in the treatment of venomous bites or stings. Antivenoms are created by injecting small amounts of the targeted venom into an animal (typically horses, sheep, goats or rabbits) with the intention that the subject animal will develop antibodies against the venom’s active molecule. The plasma of the animals, containing the antibodies, can then be harvested from the animal’s blood and used to treat the envenomation.
aorta — the largest vessel of the systemic arterial system, from which the main arteries carrying oxygenated blood branch out and subdivide into smaller and smaller vessels
aphonia — voice loss, inability to phonate sounds
arachnoid — the serous membrane forming the middle of the three coverings of the brain and spinal cord
arrhythmia — a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat
arteriole — small artery
aspiration — inhaling fluid or a foreign body into the bronchi and lungs, often after vomiting
asymmetry — disproportion between two or more like parts; lack of symmetry
asymptomatic — without symptoms
ataxia (or ataxy) — loss of coordination; inability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements; unsteady movements and staggering gait
atelectasis — the collapse of all or part of a lung
atrium — chamber of the heart that provides access to another chamber called the ventricle
audiovestibular — of or pertaining to the auditory functions of the inner ear and the vestibule of the ear
axons — a long, slender projection of a nerve cell, or neuron, that typically conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron cell body

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