This is designed to be for quick reference, and not is not a medical or treatment guide. If you have specific questions about your treatment, please speak to your physician. Some information on this page has been taken from Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, Edition 13, F.A. Davis Company. September 1979.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Alpha-1 Antitrypsin. An inhibitor of trypsin which may be deficient in patients who have emphysema.

Ambulating. Movement, including walking and other activities of daily living.

Apnea. (ap-ne-a) Cessation of breathing, usually temporary in nature. May result from reduction in stimuli to the respiratory center as in over-breathing in which carbon dioxide content of the blood is reduced, from failure of respiratory center to discharge impulses as occurs when the breath is held voluntarily, or during Cheyne-Stokes respiration. See also Sleep Apnea.

Arterial Blood Gases (ABG). Blood sample obtained directly from an artery, commonly from the wrist. Results define PaO2, PaCO2, SaO2, and pH measurements. Usually obtained to determine accurate data on efficiency of the lungs.

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Black Lung. Lay term for the chronic lung disease or pneumoconiosis found in coal miners.

Cancer. An invasive malignant tumor that can spread directly into surrounding tissue, as well as through the lymphatic and circulatory systems. Its exact cause in human beings is unknown.

Carina. The point at which the trachea branches into the right and left lung.

Catheter. (kath-a-ter) A small plastic tube inserted into the body.

Chronic Bronchitis. A clinical disorder characterized by long term, increased mucus secretion, and caused by infectious agents such as viruses.

Chronic Fatigue. Long-continued fatigue not relieved by rest. Can be indicative of tuberculosis, diabetes, or other conditions of altered body metabolism.

Concentrator, Oxygen. See Oxygen Concentrator.

Conserver, Oxygen. See Oxygen Conserver.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). A disease process which causes a decreased ability of the lungs to perform their functions.

Cystic Fibrosis. (sis-tik-fi-bro-sis) A disease of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults, involving the mucus secreting glands, which results in chronic pulmonary disease, pancreatic insufficiency, and abnormally high sweat electrolyte levels. The affection is believed to be genetically transmitted.

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Dyspnea. (disp-nia) Air hunger resulting in labored or difficult breathing, sometimes accompanied by pain.

Emphysema. (em-fi-sema) A chronic pulmonary disease characterized by degeneration/destruction of lung tissue. This disorder is both hereditary and environmental, and is common in smokers.

ENT. Ear Nose and Throat physicians.

Esophagus. (uh-sof-a-gus) The food passage which is a separate tube behind the trachea.

Exhalation. "Breathing out"

FastTract. Surgical procedure for insertion of the transtracheal catheter in which oxygen delivery begins within 24 hours of the procedure.

Flow Rate. The lpm rate oxygen is dispensed at. For example, a flow rate of 3 would indicate 3 lpm.

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High Pressure Oxygen Cylinder. A method of oxygen storage where oxygen is compressed and stored as a gas in a steel type of cylinder for medical use.

Hypoxemia. (hi-poks-e-mia) Insufficient oxygenation of the blood.

Hypoxia. (hi-poks-ia) Lack of adequate amount of oxygen in inspired air such as occurs at high altitude.

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Immature Tract. A new tract which is not fully healed.

Inspiration/Inspiratory Effort. Inhalation or "breathing in"

Interstitial Lung Disease. (in-ter-sti-chal) Disease of the lung tissue that turns that tissue rigid, making inhalation very difficult. It is a progressive disease caused primarily by environmental factors. See also pneumoconiosis.

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Liquid Oxygen. A method of oxygen storage where oxygen is cooled to a very low temperature until it becomes a liquid. This allows large amounts of oxygen to be stored at a low pressure. As the liquid oxygen leaves its thermos-like canister, it warms up to room temperature and becomes a gas again.

lpm. Liters per Minute. A method of measuring oxygen flow.

Lungs. Two spongy organs contained within the chest, and responsible for respiration and the delivery of oxygen into the bloodstream.

Lung Disease. Disease affecting the lungs.

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Mature Tract. A tract which is fully healed (usually six or more weeks old). A mature tract is lined by skin and mucus membrane and is less likely to close when the TTO catheter is removed from the tract for cleaning.

Modified Seldinger. (sel-din-ger) The Seldinger technique modified for insertion of the transtracheal catheter. Oxygen delivery begins approximately one week after the procedure using a modified Seldinger technique.

Mucus Ball. A pea or marble size accumulation of dry mucus which may cling to the tip of the TTO catheter. It may cause excessive coughing, shortness of breath, or wheezing until it is coughed up.

Nasal Cannula or Prongs. (kan-u-la) The green or clear plastic hose which passes over the ears, across the face and into the nose for delivering supplemental oxygen.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). See Sleep Apnea.

Oximetry. (ok-sim-e-tree) A noninvasive method to determine blood oxygen saturation using a probe placed on the finger or ear lobe.

Oxygen Concentrator. An electrically powered machine that takes regular room air, and filters out nitrogen and other impurities to 'concentrate' oxygen to about 95% of purity.

Oxygen Conserver. A device designed to conserve or limit the use of oxygen by, for example, delivering oxygen only at the beginning of the inspiration cycle.

Oxygen Saturation. The ratio of amount of oxygen present in a known volume of blood to amount of oxygen which could be carried by that volume of blood.

Oxygen Therapy. The administration of oxygen for the treatment of conditions resulting from oxygen deficiency. It may be administered by nasal cannula, transtracheal catheter, mask, funnel or cone, oxygen tent, or special oxygen chamber, and usually in concentration of 70-100%.

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PaCO2. Partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the arteries. Measure in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Normal values (35-45 mmHg) are easily defined in healthy people but can vary in individuals with lung diseases. Obtained from ABG.

PaO2. Partial pressure of oxygen in the arteries. Measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Should remain above 55 mmHg. Slight variances due to age and altitude may be acceptable. Obtained from ABG.

pH of Blood. Acid/base measurement with normal values of 7.35-7.45. Usually determined from ABG.

Pneumoconiosis. (nu-mo-ko-ni-o-sis) A condition of the respiratory tract due to inhalation of dust particles. An occupational disorder such as that caused by mining or stone cutting.

Pneumonia. (nu-mo-ni-a) Inflammation of the lungs caused primarily by bacteria, viruses, and chemical irritants. Can lead to an oxygen dependent condition.

Portable Oxygen Sources. Oxygen sources which can be carried with the user. Generally, a portable oxygen source contains less volume, and may be used for shorter periods than a stationary oxygen source.

psi. Pounds per Square Inch. A method of measuring oxygen pressure.

Pulmonary. (pul-mo-ne-ri) Concerning or involving the lungs.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Rehabilitation of the lungs.

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Regulator. A device which attaches to an oxygen supply, and regulates oxygen pressure.

Saline Solution. A solution of sodium chloride (salt) and distilled water. Should be used with the TTO Cleaning Rod to clean the transtracheal catheter.

SaO2. Saturation of oxygen in the blood. Should be above 90% at all times. PaO2 levels can be estimated from oximetry results which can sometimes avoid an Arterial Blood Gas.

Saturation, Oxygen. See Oxygen Saturation.

Seldinger Technique. Method for introducing a catheter into a vein or artery where a needle containing a wire guide is inserted into the vein or artery. The needle is then removed while the wire remains in place. The catheter is threaded into the vein or artery guided by the wire guide on which it is moving. The wire guide is then removed. A modified version of this technique is used to insert the transtracheal catheter. See Modified Seldinger.

Sleep Apnea. Periodic cessation of breathing during sleep. Normally a harmless event but in patient with impaired cardiovascular systems, sleep apnea may lead to death. See Also Apnea.

Stationary Oxygen Sources. Oxygen source which maintains a single location, and does not move with the patient.

Sterile. (ster-il) Free from living organisms.

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Trachea. (tray-key-ah) The windpipe. The trachea is a tube about 4 1/2 inches long which extends from the voice box (adams apple) to the lungs.

Tracheostomy. (tra-ke-os-to-mi) Operation of cutting into the trachea, usually for insertion of tube to overcome tracheal obstruction

Tracheotomy. (tra-ke-oto-mi) Incision of the trachea through an incision of the skin overlying the trachea.

Tract. A course or pathway. In the case of a transtracheal tract - the small passage or tunnel from the skin of the lower neck into the trachea through which the transtracheal catheter is inserted.

Tract Opening. The outside entrance to the tract.

Transtracheal. Passing directly into the trachea. A transtracheal catheter passes from the skin of the lower neck, through a tract and directly into the trachea.

TTO Catheter. The TTO catheter is a transtracheal catheter designed to deliver oxygen directly to the lungs where it offers the greatest benefit. The TTO catheter has a single hole at the tip of the catheter and is capable of delivering oxygen up to 12 liters per minute (lpm). The catheter needs to be cleaned at least twice per day.

TTO Cleaning Rod. A wire rod with an atraumatic (or flexible) tip which slightly longer than the TTO catheter which. This rod is passed through the inside of the catheter during the cleaning procedure. Should be used with Saline Solution.

TTO Oxygen Hose. A clear plastic hose which connects the TTO catheter to standard oxygen sources. It has a security clip which attaches to the clothing at the waist to absorb accidental pulls on the hose.

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