Glossary I's

intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP)

Definition:small balloon inserted into the aorta that helps to circulate blood by inflating between heartbeats


Definition:descriptive of a disease, disorder, or medical condition that is a direct result of medical treatment

irritable bowel syndrome

Definition:abnormal muscle movement in the intestines, which causes abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements (i.e., diarrhea, constipation, or both)

intracranial pressure monitoring (ICP)

Definition:continuous measurement of the pressure surrounding the brain

intensive care unit (ICU)

Definition:area of a hospital, usually specially-equipped, designated for advanced and highly specialized care and close monitoring of patients who are critically ill or injured; also called a critical care unit or coronary care unit (CCU)


Definition:descriptive of an event or occurrence with an unknown cause


Definition:proteins in blood and tissue fluids that help destroy microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses


Definition:surgical procedure in which the lower part of the small intestine (ileum) is cut and moved to an opening in the abdominal wall, where feces can be passed out of the body into to a bag worn outside the body


Definition:lowest section of the small intestine, which attaches to the large intestine


Definition:decreased movement of fluid and material through the digestive tract


Definition:pertaining to, or in the region of, the ilium


Definition:one of the two bones that form the hip on either side of the body

intramedullary rod

Definition:strong metal rod placed inside a broken bone to help it heal correctly


Definition:technique of creating images (i.e., pictures or graphic representations) of structures inside of the body using X-rays, ultrasound waves, or magnetic fields

immune deficiency

Definition:impairment of the immune system, which reduces protection against infection and illness

immune response

Definition:reaction of the body's immune system in response to infection by a virus

immune system

Definition:the cells, substances, and structures in the body that protect against infection and illness


Definition:resistance to a specific disease because of the responses of the immune system


Definition:process of causing immunity by injecting antibodies or provoking the body to make its own antibodies against a certain microorganism


Definition:weakening of the body's immune system


Definition:failure of the body's immune system to fight disease


Definition:study of the immune system, including how it functions and disorders that affect it


Definition:drug that increases the ability of the body's immune system to fight disease


Definition:drug that inhibits the activity of the immune system; used to prevent rejection of a transplant organ and in disorders where the body's immune system attacks its own tissues

impacted fracture

Definition:a bone break in which the two broken ends have been forced into each other


Definition:organ, tissue, or device surgically inserted and left in the body


Definition:inability to acquire or maintain an erection of the penis

interstitial lung disease

Definition:disease of the connective tissue surrounding the air sacs of the lungs that causes a dry cough, scarring of lung tissue, and shortness of breath

interstitial pulmonary fibrosis

Definition:scarring of connective tissue in the lungs that leads to shortness of breath

in situ

Definition:in place; often describes a cancer that has not spread


Definition:opening of the skin by cutting


Definition:inability to hold urine or feces inside the body

incubation period

Definition:time period from when an infectious organism enters the body to when symptoms occur


Definition:not capable of being cured


Definition:uncomfortable symptoms caused by overeating or eating spicy, rich, or fatty foods; characterized by heartburn, pain in the abdomen, nausea, and gas, and can be more serious if recurrent

infective arthritis

Definition:arthritis caused by bacteria from a wound or the bloodstream entering a joint

informed consent

Definition:agreement to undergo a medical procedure or treatment after the technique, its risks, and possible complications have been explained

infusion pump

Definition:device that accurately controls the rate of intravenous (IV) delivery of fluids, medicines and blood products through IV catheters


Definition:tissue death due to insufficient blood supply


Definition:disease-causing microorganisms that enter the body, multiply, and damage cells or release toxins

inflammatory bowel disease

Definition:general term for two inflammatory disorders affecting the intestines; also known as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

inflammatory joint disease

Definition:any type of arthritis that causes a joint to become inflamed


Definition:redness, pain, and swelling in an injured or infected tissue produced as a result of the body's immune response


Definition:viral infection, involving the respiratory tract, characterized by headaches, muscle aches, fever, weakness, and cough; commonly called the flu


Definition:introduction of a substance other than blood, such as a drug or nutrient, into a vein or body cavity

inguinal hernia

Definition:the bulging of a portion of the intestines or abdominal tissue into the muscles of the groin, the area just below the abdomen


Definition:to take into the stomach or alimentary canal


Definition:taking something into the body through the mouth


Definition:to breathe in; noun form is inhalation


Definition:device used to introduce a drug in powdered or misted form into the lungs through the mouth, usually to treat respiratory disorders such as asthma


Definition:the forcing of a fluid into something, such as a vein; also, sometimes used to mean the fluid that is injected


Definition:group of very powerful drugs that make the heart beat more strongly


Definition:used to describe medical observation and treatment provided to a patient who has been hospitalized (i.e., admitted to and staying in the hospital or medical facility); also, a patient who has been hospitalized


Definition:hormone made in the pancreas that plays an important role in the absorption of glucose (the body's main source of energy) into muscle cells


Definition:difficulty falling or remaining asleep


Definition:medical term for inhaling

internal fixation

Definition:method of holding a broken bone in place using surgically inserted screws, rods, or plates

interstitial lung disease

Definition:disease of the connective tissue surrounding the air sacs of the lungs that causes a dry cough, scarring of lung tissue, and shortness of breath

interstitial pulmonary fibrosis

Definition:scarring of connective tissue in the lungs that leads to shortness of breath


Definition:graduate of medical school in additional training under supervision of doctors prior to obtaining state-issued license to practice medicine


Definition:lying between body structures or in the interior spaces of tissues

intervertebral disks

Definition:broad, flat cartilage structures containing a gel-like fluid that cushion and separate vertebrae


Definition:long, tube-shaped organ that extends from the stomach to the anus; absorbs food and water and passes the waste products of digestion as feces


Definition:unable to take a drug due to an adverse reaction or side effect


Definition:within the skull


Definition:descriptive of a condition that does not respond to treatment


Definition:descriptive of action or procedure involving entering by way of a vein


Definition:originating from or being located in a tissue or organ

introducer sheath

Definition:specialized central venous catheter through which a pulmonary artery catheter is inserted


Definition:passage of a tube into an organ or body structure; commonly used to refer to the passage of a tube down the windpipe for artificial respiration


Definition:spread throughout body tissues, such as a tumor or microorganism; also describes a medical procedure in which body tissues are penetrated


Definition:occurring without a person's control or participation


Definition:cleansing of a wound by flushing it with water, a medicated solution, or some other fluid


Definition:condition in which a tissue or organ does not receive a sufficient supply of blood


Definition:descriptive of a condition in which the affected tissue or organ does not receive a sufficient supply of blood

isolation care cart

Definition:cart positioned outside the room of a patient in isolation care which contains items such as gowns, gloves, masks, etc. for use by people entering the room

isolation care

Definition:separation of a patient with a contagious illness from the general hospital population and use of hygienic procedures, such as wearing gowns, gloves, and perhaps masks when in the patient's room to prevent spread of the illness to others

intravenous line

Definition:line or catheter placed into a vein; also called intravenous line or IV

intravenous (IV)

Definition:being located, performed, or occurring within a vein, or entering by way of a vein

intravenous fluid

Definition:fluid delivered directly into a vein; intravenous fluids include salt (saline), glucose, amino acids, electrolytes, vitamins and medications

iron-deficiency anemia

Definition:type of anemia caused by a low amount of iron in the blood. Iron is an essential component in the formation of hemaglobin.