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prokaryote — from the Greek pro (meaning “before”) and karyon (“nut” or “kernel”), meaning these single-celled organisms have no real nucleus. They represent a more primordial form of life, less evolved than nucleated cells (eukaryotes).
proprioceptors — sensors that provide information about joint angle, muscle length and muscle tension
prosboscis — a hollow organ or tube attached to the head or connected with the mouth of various animals and generally used in taking food or drink
protozoan — a large group of single-celled, usually microscopic, nucleated organisms
proximal — nearer to the center of the body (as opposed to distal)
pruritus — an intense chronic itching sensation that can have various causes (allergies, infection, lymphoma, jaundice, etc.); poison ivy causes pruritus
psi — pounds per square inch; a measurement of pressure
pulmonary — having to do with the lungs
quadriceps — a large muscle in front of the thigh, the action of which extends the leg or bends the hip joint
regurgitation — expulsion of material from the mouth, pharynx or esophagus, usually characterized by the presence of undigested food or blood; vomiting
respiratory arrest — cessation of breathing
resuscitation — to revive from apparent death or from unconsciousness
rhabdomyolysis — disintegration of skeletal muscle
seizure — a convulsion; a sudden, involuntary movement of the muscles; typical of epileptic disorders
sepsis — a severe infection that affects the entire body
sessile — resting directly upon the main stem or branch, without a petiole or footstalk (as a sessile leaf or blossom)
sign — any medical or trauma condition that can be observed
siphon — tubular organ through which water is ejected from the gill cavity of a cephalophoid; it serves as a locomotive organ by guiding and confining the jet of water
subacute — somewhat acute; between acute and chronic
subcutaneous emphysema — the presence of air or gas in subcutaneous tissues
supine — lying face up
surfactant — a substance produced in the lungs to reduce surface tension in alveoli and small airways
symbiosis — arrangement in which two similar organisms live together in what is usually a mutually beneficial manner; a cooperative arrangement (as opposed to parasitosis)
symptom — any nonobservable condition described by the patient
symptomatic — showing symptoms
syncope — fainting, swooning, temporary loss of consciousness generally caused by insufficient oxygen supply to the brain
systemic — affecting the entire body
tachycardia — rapid beating of the heart, usually defined as greater than 100 beats per minute
Td, Tdap — refers to different combination vaccines that provide immunization against tetanus. Tdap includes immunological coverage against three infectious diseases: tetanus (T), diphtheria (D) and pertussis-whooping cough (P). Td lacks the pertussis component.
thermolabile — heat sensitive; can be broken down with temperature
thermostable — the quality of a substance to resist irreversible change in its chemical or physical structure at a high relative temperature
thorax — the upper part of the trunk (main part of the body) between the neck and the abdomen that contains the heart, lungs, trachea and bronchi
thrombotic — having to do with intravascular coagulation of the blood in any part of the circulatory system, as in the heart, arteries, veins or capillaries
thrombus — blood clot
toxicology — a branch of biology and medicine concerned with the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms; study of the signs, symptoms, mechanisms of action and treatments of poisonings
toxinology — the specialized area of science that deals specifically with animal, plant and microbial toxins; a branch of biology and medicine concerned with the study of the adverse effects of natural toxins or chemicals on living organisms