Arterial Catheter – Also called an A-line, is a thin plastic tube, or catheter that is inserted into an artery. An arterial catheter is usually used on the wrist (radial artery). The arterial line is used to monitor blood pressure continuously.

Catheter – A tube, usually plastic, used to introduce or withdraw fluid from the body.

Central Venous Catheter (CVC) – The CVC is also known as a central line and is a catheter that is inserted into a large vein in the neck or shoulder area. The CVC is used for giving medication and transmitting large volumes of fluid or blood.

Endotracheal Tube – A flexible, plastic tube that is placed in the mouth and down into the trachea (windpipe) to ventilate the lungs.

Epidural Anesthesia – An epidural is injected into the spinal canal, into the epidural space just outside the spinal cord. The injection site is the lower lumber area of the back. An epidural causes the rapid onset of numbness in the lower half of the body.

General Anesthesia – General anesthesia is a complex procedure in which a combination of drugs are given to ensure unconsciousness, amnesia (forgetfulness) and analgesia (pain control). It is the most common type of anesthesia used for surgical procedures.

Intravenous Catheter – Usually called an IV, an intravenous catheter is a plastic tube that allows fluid to pass directly into a vein. The word intravenous means “within a vein” in Latin. Giving someone an IV line is the fasted way to deliver medications throughout the body.

Intubate – To place an endotracheal tube into the trachea (windpipe) to maintain an open airway while a patient is unconscious. Oxygen and/or anesthetics can be administered through the endotracheal tube.

Laryngeal Mask Airway – An alternative to the endotracheal tube, the laryngeal mask airway is used to support the airway during general anesthesia. The laryngeal mask airway was invented in 1983 and is easier to insert than an endotracheal tube, though the endotracheal tube is necessary for some surgeries.

Laryngoscope – A laryngoscope is a metal instrument used to facilitate intubation. It is used to get a view of the vocal chords and glottis, so that an endotracheal tube can be properly inserted. The glottis is the space between the vocal chords through which the tube is passed.

Local/Regional Anesthesia – This technique is used to cause a loss of feeling in a specific part of the body. It allows patients to undergo medical procedures with reduced pain while remaining awake.

Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) – This method is often chosen when general anesthesia or deep sedation are not required. Anesthesia drugs are administered through an IV, or intravenous catheter, and vital signs are monitored just as they are during a general anesthesia procedure. Anesthesiologists carefully monitor blood pressure, heart rate and the amount of oxygen carried to vital organs during Monitored Anesthesia Care surgery.

Muscle Relaxant – Muscle relaxants are used to relax patients right before surgery.

Spinal Anesthetic – This method involves injections into the spinal canal resulting in numbness in the lower half of the body. The injection is made in the lower back and is delivered into the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord.

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