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Glossary - Common Childhood Injuries and Poisonings

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Abrasion - a superficial rub or wearing off of the skin, usually caused by a scrape or "brush burn."

Acetaminophen - a pain-relieving and fever-reducing drug found in many over-the-counter medications.

Anaphylaxis (Also called anaphylactic shock.) - a sudden, severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction caused by food allergy, insect stings, or medications. Symptoms can include hives, swelling (especially of the lips and face), trouble breathing (either because of swelling in the throat or an asthmatic reaction), vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, and a drop in blood pressure.

Antibiotic - a group of drugs that kill bacteria and other organisms that cause disease.

Antihistamine drugs - drugs that block the effects of histamine, a chemical released in the body during an allergic reaction.

Anti-inflammatory drugs - drugs that reduce the signs and symptoms of inflammation.

Antivenin - an antidote to snake venom used to treat serious snake bites. Antivenin is derived from antibodies created in a horse's blood serum when the animal is injected with snake venom. Because antivenin is obtained from horses, snakebite victims sensitive to horse products must be carefully managed.


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Blister - a raised area on the skin containing fluid. The fluid can be blood or serum, the clear liquid portion of the blood.

Bruise (Also called contusion.) - a collection of blood due to broken blood vessels underneath the skin usually caused by trauma. A bruise causes discoloration and swelling in the area.


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Carbon monoxide (CO) - a colorless, odorless gas which can be created whenever a fuel (such as wood, gasoline, coal, natural gas, or kerosene) burns incompletely.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) - an emergency life-saving technique. Artificial respirations and chest compressions are used to restart the heart and lungs.

Cat-scratch disease - a bacterial infection caused by the scratch or bite of a cat.

Computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan.) - a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.


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Dehydration - loss of fluids from the body, caused by diarrhea, excessive sweating or lack of fluid intake.


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Fluorescein stain - a dye placed in the eye. A special light is then used to make the dye "glow" in the eye. Any abrasion or scratch on the cornea can be seen.

Frostbite - damage to the skin from freezing due to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, usually below 32� F.


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Heat cramps - painful muscle cramps and spasms caused by exercise and sweating in high heat. It is the mildest form of heat injury.

Heat exhaustion - heat injury due to extreme heat and excessive sweating without adequate salt and water replacement.

Heat stroke - the most severe form of heat injury and is a life-threatening emergency. It is the result of long, extreme exposure to the sun, in which a person does not sweat enough to lower body temperature.

Hematoma - a large bruise or collection of blood under the skin, producing discoloration and swelling in the area. It is usually caused by trauma.


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Ibuprofen - a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) found in many over-the-counter medications.


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Laceration - a cut, tear, or ragged opening in the skin caused by an injury or trauma.

Lyme disease (LD) - A bacterial infection caused by infected ticks, usually by a deer tick bite.


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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.


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Nursemaid's elbow - a condition that usually occurs in young children when the bone (radius) in the forearm slips out of place from the elbow joint.


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Post-Lyme disease syndrome (PLDS) - a condition also known as chronic Lyme disease, characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.

Puncture wound - a deep wound or hole in the skin and deeper tissue layers caused by a sharp object such as a nail, stick, or piece of metal.


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Rabies - a widespread, viral infection spread through the bite of certain warm-blooded animals. It attacks the nervous system and, if left untreated, is 100 percent fatal in animals.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) - an infection caused by the bite of an infected tick, usually a wood tick or dog tick.


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Splinter - a small, sharp piece of wood, glass, or other debris that is lodged underneath the skin.

Splints - a device for preventing movement of a joint or holding part of the body in place.

Steri-Strips - Special adhesive strips or bandages that are sometimes used on shallow wounds instead of stitches to hold the wound edges together

Sunburn - a visible reaction of the skin to overexposure to the sun's invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Sunscreen - a product that protects the skin again sunburns by blocking the penetration of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Syrup of ipecac - an emetic made from the dried root of a plant called ipecacuanha, which is grown in Brazil. An emetic is an agent that causes vomiting.


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Tennis elbow - a repetitive stress injury that occurs when muscles and tendons in the elbow area are torn or damaged.

Tetanus - a disease caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani that produces painful, rigid muscle contractions, especially in the neck and jaw. Immunization against tetanus can prevent the disease.

Trauma - a physical injury or wound caused by an external force which may cause death or permanent disability. Trauma is also used to describe severe emotional or psychological shock or distress.


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X-ray - a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.


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