living your best to the end

Glossary of Selected Medical Terms

  • Comfort Care
    • Provide and adjust pain medication: addiction is not a worry.
    • Treat shortness of breath : oxygen, medication.
    • Treat agitation: medications or other treatment (massage, acupuncture)
    • Treat anxiety: medications or other treatment (massage, acupuncture, music)
    • Position for comfort.
    • Treat and prevent bed or other sores
    • Relieve dry mouth
    • Relieve Constipation
    • Treat symptoms of bladder or other infections: do not administer antibiotics
    • Provide emotional support
    • Provide spiritual support
    • CPR

Chest compression and electric shocks (automated external defibrillator or AED, to help start the heart) This is usually done for 15 to 30 minutes. A tube may also be put through the mouth or nose into the lung. This tube is then connected to a breathing machine and helps the person breathe.
More info: http://familydoctor.org…

    • Dialysis

May be used for temporary or permanent loss of kidney function Dialysis is a life-sustaining treatment, but it is important to recognize that dialysis also has limitations. It may not be of benefit to prolong life with dialysis if quality of life suffers dramatically.
More info: http://dying.about.com/…

    • Intraveinous (IV)

An IV is used to get fluids and medications intraveinously, which means via the veins.
More info: http://wiki.answers.com…

    • Intubation

A tube is placed into the windpipe (trachea), through the mouth, and you will likely be placed on a breathing machine.
More info:nlm.nih.gov…

    • Nasogastric Feeding

Asoft plastic nasogastric tube through a patient’s nostril, past the pharynx and down the esophagus into a patient’s stomach. Also called NG tube
More info: http://www.enotes.com…

    • Palliative Chemotherapy

To shrink tumor for comfort rather than cure, and possibly extend life
More info: getpalliativecare.org…

    • Palliative Medications

For comfort, not cure
More info: www.healthinsite.gov.au…

    • Palliative Radiation

Aimed at relieving pain and symptoms of disease but not intended to cure the disease..
More info: http://www.jaoa.org…

    • Palliative Surgery

Aimed at relieving pain and symptoms of disease but not intended to cure the disease.
More info: aboutoperations.co.uk…

    • PEG Feeding

A feeding tube placed through the skin into the stomach through a small hole in the abdomen. Also called Percutaneus Endoscopic Gastronomy, Tube Feeding.
More info: compassionandsupport..

    • Tracheotomy

The procedure to cut a hole through the front of your neck and into your windpipe (trachea).
More info: mayoclinic.com…

    • Ventilator (Vent, Breathing Machine)

A machine that helps you breathe. Used during surgery temporarily. However, if are not able to breathe on your own, you may need a ventilator for the rest of your life. Also called: Mechanical Ventilator, Respirator.
More info: nhlbi.nih.gov…