90 Medical Terminology Definitions for Home Caregivers

Here's a list to bookmark and save (and print) of the top 90 medical terms a home caregiver might need to be familiar with.  

  1. Acute: Referring to a disease or condition that is severe and short-term.
  2. Allergen: A substance that causes an allergic reaction.
  3. Alveoli: Tiny air sacs in the lungs where gas exchange occurs.
  4. Aneurysm: Bulging or weakening of a blood vessel wall.
  5. Antibiotic: A medication used to treat bacterial infections.
  6. Anticoagulant: A medication that prevents blood clot formation.
  7. Arrhythmia: Abnormal heart rhythm.
  8. Artery: Blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart.
  9. Asthma: Chronic respiratory condition characterized by airway inflammation and narrowing.
  10. Atherosclerosis: Build-up of plaque in the arteries.
  11. Benign: Non-cancerous, not capable of spreading to other tissues.
  12. Biopsy: Removal of a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope.
  13. Blood pressure: The force of blood against the walls of arteries.
  14. Bronchitis: Inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
  15. Cancer: Group of diseases characterized by abnormal cell growth and proliferation.
  16. Cardiologist: Physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions.
  17. Catheter: A flexible tube inserted into the body to remove fluids or deliver medication.
  18. Chemotherapy: Treatment of cancer with drugs that kill cancer cells.
  19. Cholesterol: A fatty substance found in the blood.
  20. Chronic: Referring to a disease or condition that is long-lasting or recurring.
  21. Colonoscopy: Endoscopic examination of the colon and rectum.
  22. Coma: State of unconsciousness from which a person cannot be awakened.
  23. Congenital: Present at birth, often referring to abnormalities or conditions.
  24. Congestive heart failure: A condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.
  25. CT scan (Computed Tomography): Imaging technique that uses X-rays to create detailed cross-sectional images of the body.
  26. Dehydration: Loss of fluids and electrolytes from the body.
  27. Dementia: Progressive decline in cognitive function.
  28. Diabetes: Metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels.
  29. Diuretic: Medication that promotes urine production and reduces fluid retention.
  30. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): A test that records the electrical activity of the heart.
  31. Electrolytes: Minerals in the body that help regulate fluid balance and nerve function.
  32. Endoscopy: Procedure used to examine the interior of a hollow organ or cavity.
  33. Euthanasia: Deliberate intervention to end a person's life to relieve suffering.
  34. Fecal incontinence: Inability to control bowel movements.
  35. Fibrillation: Rapid and irregular heartbeats.
  36. Fracture: A broken bone.
  37. Gastrointestinal (GI) tract: The digestive system, including the stomach and intestines.
  38. GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease): Chronic condition characterized by acid reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.
  39. Glucose: A type of sugar found in the blood.
  40. Hemoglobin: Protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
  41. Hemorrhage: Excessive bleeding, either internally or externally.
  42. Hospice: Program providing end-of-life care and support for terminally ill patients and their families.
  43. Hypertension: High blood pressure.
  44. Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar levels.
  45. Immune system: Body's defense system against infections and diseases.
  46. Immunization: Process of making a person immune to a specific disease.
  47. Infection: Invasion of the body by harmful microorganisms.
  48. Incontinence: Inability to control bladder or bowel function.
  49. Intravenous (IV): Administration of fluids or medication into a vein.
  50. Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and eyes due to liver dysfunction.
  51. Kidney: Organ responsible for filtering waste products from the blood.
  52. Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells, including white blood cells.
  53. Lumbar puncture: Procedure to collect cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal canal.
  54. Lymphatic system: Network of vessels and organs that helps the body fight infection.
  55. Malignant: Cancerous, capable of spreading to other tissues.
  56. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors: Medications used to prevent organ rejection in transplant recipients.
  57. Mammogram: X-ray of the breast used to detect breast cancer.
  58. Medication: Substance used to treat or prevent illness.
  59. Metabolism: Chemical processes that occur within the body to maintain life.
  60. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Imaging technique that uses magnetic fields to visualize internal structures.
  61. Nebulizer: Device that turns liquid medication into a fine mist for inhalation.
  62. Neurologist: Physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.
  63. Obstetrician: Physician specializing in pregnancy, childbirth, and women's reproductive health.
  64. Oncologist: Physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
  65. Ophthalmologist: Physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions.
  66. Orthopedic: Relating to the branch of medicine dealing with the musculoskeletal system.
  67. Osteoporosis: Condition characterized by weak and brittle bones.
  68. Pacemaker: Device implanted in the chest to regulate heart rhythm.
  69. Palliative care: Medical care focused on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life in patients with serious illnesses.
  70. Pallor: Paleness of the skin, often indicating illness or shock.
  71. Parkinson's disease: Neurological disorder that affects movement.
  72. Pathogen: Microorganism that causes disease.
  73. Phlebotomy: Procedure to collect blood samples for testing or donation.
  74. Pneumonia: Inflammation of the lungs, usually caused by infection.
  75. Prescription: Written order from a healthcare provider for medication or treatment.
  76. Prognosis: Predicted course and outcome of a disease.
  77. Radiology: Medical specialty that uses imaging techniques to diagnose and treat diseases.
  78. Rehabilitation: Therapy to restore function and improve quality of life after illness or injury.
  79. Respirator: Device that helps a patient breathe, also known as a ventilator.
  80. Seizure: Sudden, uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain.
  81. Sepsis: Life-threatening condition caused by the body's response to infection.
  82. Stroke: Sudden interruption of blood flow to the brain.
  83. Surgery: Medical procedure performed to treat or diagnose a condition.
  84. Symptom: Subjective indication of disease or abnormality experienced by the patient.
  85. Terminal illness: Disease with no cure and a limited life expectancy.
  86. Ultrasound: Imaging technique that uses sound waves to visualize internal structures.
  87. Urinary tract infection (UTI): Infection of the urinary system.
  88. Vaccine: Biological preparation that stimulates the immune system to prevent specific diseases.
  89. Varicose veins: Enlarged and swollen veins, usually in the legs.
  90. Virus: Infectious agent that replicates within living cells.


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