Glossary A-L

Abdomen: The area around your stomach.

Acid-base balance: When an individual’s blood and body fluids have the right amount of acids and bases to keep the pH within a neutral range (not too acidic, not too alkaline).

Aerobic: Oxygen is available.

Amniotic fluid: Fluid that surrounds an unborn baby inside of the womb.

Anaerobic: Oxygen is not available.

Anesthesiology: Refers to a group of medical professionals responsible for putting someone to sleep for surgery, placing a breathing tube in a patient, or helping reduce pain.

Axon: (neuron) A long fiber of a nerve cell that helps to send signals to other cells in the body.

Brachial plexus: Nerves in the spinal column.

Breech delivery: when a baby comes through the birth canal feet, or butt first.

Cardiovascular system: Responsible for circulating blood, oxygen, and other nutrients throughout the body.

Cell: The smallest part of a living organism.

Central nervous system: The entire group of nerves and nerve tissues found in the brain and spinal cord.

Cerebral palsy: A condition that affects the muscles of the body caused by damage to the brain.

Cervix: The opening to the uterus.

Chromosomes: Tiny structures that contain genetic information.

Conception: Occurs when the sperm from the male unites with a female’s egg. The beginning stage of pregnancy.

Ectoderm: The outer layer of an embryo.

Egg: Stored in the ovaries. The medical term for a female’s egg is “ovum.” During a woman’s reproductive years, one egg is usually released from an ovary every month. The egg is fertilized by a sperm, which begins the process of forming a baby.

Eighth cranial nerve: (vestibulocochlear nerve) The nerve necessary for hearing and balance.

Embryo: A baby in the beginning stage of developing. The unborn baby is called a fetus for the first two months of development.

Endoderm: The inner layer of an embryo.

Estradiol: A hormone produced by the ovaries.

Estrogen: A hormone produced by the ovaries. Estrogen levels are higher during pregnancy.

False-negative: when a test result fails to identify a condition that exists. An example of a false-negative is a negative pregnancy test when a woman is pregnant.

False-positive: when a test result states that a condition is present when it is not. An example of a false-positive is a positive pregnancy test when a woman isn’t pregnant.

Fetus: The developing baby is known as a fetus eight weeks after conception. Before the developing baby is called a fetus, it is an embryo.

Fifth cranial nerve: (trigeminal nerve) The nerve responsible for feeling, or sensation of the face. It is also necessary for biting and chewing.

First thoracic nerve: One of the nerves located in the upper body (chest area). Carries information between the spinal cord and other parts of the body.

Gestation: The period that a baby is growing inside of the uterus.

Glucose: Blood sugar.

Hypoxia: A condition which develops when the tissues in the body are not receiving enough oxygen.

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, or HIE: A form of brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen and blood to the baby’s brain.

Inflammation: Swelling.

Lacerations: Tears in the skin and body tissues.