Adrenaline Also known as “epinephrine”. A drug given to counter anaphylatic shock and to stimulate a heart which isn’t working properly.
AED Automated External Defibrillator – A machine which delivers a controlled electric pulse across the chest to make the heart restart when it has stopped beating effectively.
Anaphylactic Shock See Anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis A sudden reaction to a foreign substance such as a bee sting, peanut oil or legumes. Characterised by a red, puffy appearance to the face and affected parts, impaired breathing and racing pulse. Needs adrenaline and urgent hospital treatment.
Aorta The main artery of the body. Comes out of the heart and divides into the ascending and descending aorta.
Artery One of the body’s highways for blood. Carries blood from the heart to the tissues. Arterial blood is usually bright red and under considerable pumping pressure.
Capillary Arteries subdivide until they become capillaries. These blood vessels are very small and have thin walls so that gaseous exchange between the blood and the tissues can take place. Capillary bleeding is characterized by oozing.
Compound Fracture A fracture that breaks the surface of the skin. This fracture causes severe bleeding.
CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation – The process of keeping someone alive by mechanically emulating the work of the heart and lungs by compressing the chest and blowing air into the lungs.
Fracture A break or crack in the bone; there are two types of fractures, compound and simple.
Heat Exhaustion A condition where the body’s temperature rises above normal and the person feels sick and dizzy. Caused by dehydration and imbalance in electrolytes.
Heat Stroke A very serious condition when the body loses the ability to regulate its own temperature and the internal temperature climbs to a dangerous level (40C and above.) Requires urgent treatment.
Heimlich Maneuver A series of under-the-diaphragm abdominal thrusts, used on a person choking on food or a foreign object.
Hurry Cases A situation where if the rescuer doesn’t provide immediate treatment, the victim will ultimately die (The five life-threatening cases – Stopped Breathing, Severe Bleeding, Internal Poisoning, No Heartbeat, and Shock)
Hypothermia When the body becomes too cold; clinically, when the core temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius.
Laceration A rough, ripped wound; e.g. caused by barbed wire.
Myocardial Infarction A blockage in the coronary arteries which supply blood to the myocardium. Commonly termed a heart attack.
Myocardium The muscle of the heart.
Pulmonary Artery The blood vessel that carries deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle to the lungs.
Shock When not enough good blood is going to all parts of the body. Can be caused by many things including loss of blood, allergic reactions, emotional response and damage to the spinal cord.
Simple Fracture A fracture that is contained within the body – it never breaks the surface of the skin.
Unconsciousness Interruption of the brain’s normal activity so that it is no longer aware of its surroundings.
Vein Veins carry blood back to the heart. Venous blood is usually dark red and carries less oxygen than arterial blood. Venous bleeding is characterized by its color and gushing out of an injury.
Vena Cava The vein which returns blood to the right atrium of the heart. Comprises the superior vena cava which comes down from above, and the inferior vena cava which comes up from the lower body.

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