Glossary of terms you may become familiar with during your visits to Levine Children's Hospital and Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute
Ambu Bag: a piece of respiratory equipment. Used with a face mask and placed over baby's nose and mouth, or attached to ET tube or trach tube; it is squeezed to give the baby oxygen and inflate the lungs.
Aneurysm: a bulging of the wall of an artery, vein, or wall of the heart.
Angiocardiography: a specialized x-ray of the heart. A fluid that shows up on xray is injected in to a vessel or chamber of the heart to make a detailed picture.
Anomaly: malformed body part
Anoxia: lack of oxygen
Anticoagulant: medication used to prevent blood clots or stabilize existing blood clots. Also commonly called a blood thinner.
Aorta: the main artery that supplies the blood and oxygen to the body. It usually comes off the left ventricle (main pumping chamber).
Aortic valve: the valve between the aorta and the left ventricle (main pumping chamber). The aortic valve usually has three leaflets.
Apnea: stop breathing for 15 to 20 seconds
Areola: dark area of the breast around the nipple
Arrhythmia: an abnormal pattern of the beating of the heart.
Asphyxia: lack of oxygen and blood flow to the body
Aspiration: breathing fluid (formula, stomach contents, meconium - baby's first stool) or objects into the lung.
Atrial Septum: the muscular wall between the two collecting chambers of the heart (left atrium and right atrium).
Atrio-Ventricular Node (AV Node) part of the electrical (conduction) pathway of the heart that tells the ventricles when to beat (usually after the atria).
Atrium: one of the two upper chambers of the heart. The right atrium collects unoxygenated blood (blue blood) from the body. The left atrium collects oxygenated blood from the lungs.
Bacteria: germs, which make you sick. Treated with antibiotics.
Bacterial Endocarditis: an infection of the inner layer and/or valves of the heart, caused by bacteria.
Bagging: squeezing the ambu bag covering the baby's nose and mouth to give him oxygen and inflate his lungs. Also used with a breathing tube in the baby's throat (endotracheal tube) or a tracheotomy (special airway placed by surgeon).
Bilirubin (bili): breakdown product of red blood cells; too much in the blood causes jaundice, a yellow color of the skin.
Blood Gas: a lab test to determine how much oxygen and carbon dioxide the baby has in his blood.
ABG: (arterial blood gas): a test that tells how much oxygen is in the blood and how well the child is breathing.
CBG: capillary blood gas. Baby's finger or toe is poked to draw blood for test.
VBG: venous blood gas drawn from a central line or peripheral IV
BP Blood Pressure: the pressure of the blood in the arteries. Systolic blood pressure is the top number when the heart is contracted. Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number when the heart is relaxed
Bradycardia: slow heart rate; usually less than 100 in a newborn or infant
Broviac: central line tunneled under the skin into large vein may stay in for a long period of time
Candida Albicans (monilia or yeast infection): infection that causes thrush and other "yeast" infections. Seen most often in baby's mouth or diaper area.
Caffeine: medication given IV or by mouth to help stimulate breathing in premature infants.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2): gas breathed out when the baby exhales.
Cardiac Output: the amount of blood pumped by the heart in one minute.
Cardiologist: doctor who specializes in the heart and circulation of blood.
Cardiopulmonary Bypass: a machine that can perform the function of the heart and lung.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): method to revive a person whose heart beat and breathing have stopped.
Catheter: a small tube used to collect fluid, measure blood pressure or give medication into a blood vessel or other body chamber.
Catheterization: a diagnostic test in which a catheter is inserted into the heart to measure pressure and oxygen, and to take pictures (angiography).
Cardiopulmonary Bypass: a machine that can perform the function of the heart and lung.
Central Line: IV located in large vein usually jugular or subclavian vein.
Central Nervous System (CNS): the brain and spinal cord
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF): fluid made and stored in the ventricles of the brain. Same as spinal fluid.
Chest Physiotherapy (CPT): vibrating, tapping or clapping on the baby's chest with a hand or soft pad to loosen secretions or mucus in the lungs.
Chylothorax: results from Lymphatic fluid (chyle) accumulating in the chest cavity.
Circumcision: removal of the foreskin from the penis.
Colostomy: surgical opening made in the large intestine which is connected to the outside of the belly to permit elimination of stool (BM).
Colostrum: thin yellow or clear breastmilk that is present before the true breastmilk comes in; high in calories.
Community Transition Coordinator (CTC): a person employed by the hospital to screen inpatient admissions for children under 5 years of age who have a congenital defect, known developmental delays, re at risk for developmental delays. This person refers these children and their families to community agencies for developmental follow up and other needed services.
Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT scan or CT Scan): computerized x-ray that takes special pictures of the baby.
Complete Blood Count (CBC): blood test that looks at the types and number of cells in the blood. Used to see if the baby has anemia (low blood) or an infection.
Congenital Abnormality: birth defect; malformation or abnormality present at birth.
Congestive heart failure: a condition in which the heart cannot pump well enough, and there is backup of blood and congestion in the veins and lungs due to malformed heart, illness, or infection.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): air or oxygen delivered under a small amount of pressure to help an infant breath easier.
Corrected age: length of pregnancy (gestational age) plus the baby's calendar age.
Cyanosis: blueness of the lips and fingernails, caused by a decreased amount of oxygen in the blood.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV): a virus the baby can get before he is born that causes birth defects and illness. He can also get it after birth and it can cause illness.
Diastole: when the heart muscle is relaxed and the ventricles fill with blood.
Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT): one of the baby shots or immunizations.
Diuretic: drug used to get rid of extra body water.
Doppler: special blood pressure machine.
Down syndrome: chromosome abnormality (Trisomy 21) where the baby has varying physical problems and varying degrees of mental retardation.
Dyspnea: difficult breathing.
Early Intervention (EI): trained early childhood specialists working with parents of children with special needs to help these children to reach their full potential.
Echocardiogram (echo): picture of the heart taken using a similar process as an ultrasound of your tummy (uses sound waves instead of x-rays).
Edema: swelling or puffiness.
Electrocardiogram (EKG): tracing of the electrical impulses of the heart.
Electroencephalogram (EEG): tracing of the electrical impulses of the brain.
Electrolytes: chemicals in the body that make it function well, can be checked by drawing blood for lab work.
Endotracheal Tube (ET tube): small plastic tube placed in the nose or throat and connected to a ventilator or breathing machine. The tube is in the baby's breathing passage (trachea) and delivers oxygen and pressure to the lungs.
ER: emergency room
Exchange Transfusion: removing most of the baby's blood in small amounts and replacing it with fresh blood in small amounts. Most often used for a very high bilirubin level.
Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO): process used to circulate a baby's blood in a special machine while his lungs rest. It is a type of heart pump like used on adults having heart surgery. Babies may stay on the pump for more than a week. He is also on a breathing machine.
Extubation: take out the endotracheal (breathing) tube (ET tube).
Family and Developmental Specialist (FDS): a person, usually a nurse, social worker, or early childhood interventionist, who work with families of children who qualify for early intervention while in the hospital. This person will develop with the family an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
Fellow: Senior Trainee who has finished their Internship and Residency, undergoing advanced training in a particular specialty.
Fontanel: soft spot on the top of the baby's head. Another soft spot is toward the back of the baby's head.
Full Term: baby born between the 38th and 42nd week of pregnancy or gestation.
Gastrostomy: surgical hole on the tummy into the stomach. A tube is placed in the stomach to feed babies unable to eat by mouth.
Gavage Feeding: feeding by a tube placed in the baby's nose or mouth into the stomach.
Gestation: length of time from first day of mother's last menstrual period to the time of birth. Full-term is 40-weeks gestation.
Gram (gm, G, GM): weight in metric system. One ounce = 28 grams.
Heart Rate: how fast the heart is pumping.
Heel Stick: method to prick heel (finger stick is used also) to get blood for lab tests.
Hematocrit (hct or "crit"): percent of red blood cells in the blood. Your baby may receive a transfusion based on the hemocrit.
Hematologist: a doctor who specializes in blood problems.
Hemodynamics: the study of the flow of blood and the pressures in the heart, usually measured during a catheterization.
High Frequency Oscillatory Ventilator (HFOV): A breathing machine that uses fast breathing rates for infants with special lung problems.
Hydrocephalus: extra spinal fluid in the spaces of the brain due to a blockage in circulation or absorption. Head may become large.
Hyperbilirubinemia: high bilirubin level (yellow jaundice). Common in newborns. Some babies are placed under a special light (bili light) or blanket which helps the body breakdown the bilirubin. The baby gets rid of the bilirubin in his stools (bowel movements).
Hypertension: high blood pressure.
Hypoxia: lack of oxygen.
Ileostomy: surgical opening made in belly and the small intestine is brought to the outside to allow elimination of stool.
Immunization: medicines given to protect the child against harmful childhood diseases. Given by mouth or by shot.
Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation (IMV): number of breaths per minute given by the ventilator.
Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH): bleeding in or around the brain.
Intravenous (IV): tube or needle placed in the vein to give fluids, medications, or blood.
Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH): bleeding into the ventricles in the brain.
Intubation: placing a small tube in the baby's windpipe (trachea) to give oxygen and pressure by an ambu bag or breathing machine.
Ischemia: lack of blood supply to an organ or tissue.
Jaundice: skin and whites of the eyes become yellow, caused by a high bilirubin.
Kilogram: unit of weight in the metric system. 1kg = 2.2 pounds; 1kg = 1000 grams.
Lactation: making milk in the breast.
Lactose: sugar in breastmilk or formula.
Lasix: medicine that helps get rid of extra body water. It is a diuretic.
Leads: the small wires connected to the child's chest by sticky pads which allow measurement of the electrocardiogram.
Low Birthweight Infant (LBW): baby who weighs less than 5 pounds at birth. He can be premature or full-term.
Lumbar Puncture (LP, spinal tap): procedure where a hollow needle is inserted between the bones in the back to withdraw spinal fluid.
Meconium: baby's first bowel movement, green-black color and sticky. Sometimes baby has a stool while in the uterus before birth.
Meconium Aspiration: breathing the meconium and amniotic fluid into the lungs.
Milliliter (ml): unit of volume. 5ml = 1 teaspoon; 30ml = 1 ounce.
Mitral Valve: a valve of two leaflets, between the left atrium and left ventricle.
Mucus: sticky material made in the nose and throat.
Murmur: an extra heart sound that may be heard between the normal heart sounds. Murmurs may be normal or abnormal. They are caused by increased turbulence of the blood as it moves through the heart, much like water flowing over rocks in a stream.
Myocarditis: an inflammation of the heart muscle, usually caused by a virus or bacteria.
Myocardial Infarction: heart muscle which dies because of lack of oxygen, usually called a heart attack when it occurs in an adult.
NPO: nothing by mouth
Naso-gastric Tube (NG tube): small plastic tube placed through the baby's nose into his stomach used for feeding. Sometimes the tube is placed in the stomach to keep it empty when the baby is sick and not feeding.
Navel: belly button; umbilicus.
NBICU or NICU or NICN: Newborn or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC): an infection of the intestines which sometimes results in part of the intestines dying. The dying part is removed by surgery.
Neonatal Period: the first 28 days of life.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP): a RN who has special training in the care of critically ill babies. A NNP may give medical care, discharge teaching and other types of care under the supervision of a doctor. Performs special procedures.
Neonate: baby during the first month of life.
Neonatologist: baby doctor (pediatrician) who has specialized training in the care of newborns who are premature, critically ill and have various problems in the first month of life.
Neurologist: a doctor who specialized in problems of the brain and nervous system.
NIRS- (Near Infrared Spectroscopy): External monitoring of tissue and brain oxygen levels.
Nippling: sucking on a bottle filled with formula or breastmilk.
Oxygen: a gas in the air we breath. Sometimes extra is needed due to illness or a heart defect.
Occupational Therapist (OT): person who treats problems involving the use of muscles, also may work with babies who have trouble eating.
Open Heart Surgery: surgery performed on the open heart while the blood flow is diverted through the heart lung machine.
Ophthalmologist: doctor who specializes in eye problems.
Oral-gastric Tube (OG tube): small plastic tube placed through the baby's mouth into his stomach used for feeding. Sometimes the tube is placed in the stomach to keep it empty when the baby is sick and not feeding.
Orthopedist: doctor who specializes in bone problems.
PCVC: A tiny catheter or tube place into a vein to give fluids or nutrition for a long time.
Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA): small vessel outside of the heart that sometimes fails to close after birth. Sometimes it is closed with medicine or by surgery. Sometimes it causes the baby to have breathing and heart problems.
Pericarditis: an inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart.
Peripheral Arterial Line (PAL): catheter is inserted into artery for measuring blood pressure and drawing lab work. Usually inserted into radial artery (RAL).
Periodic Breathing: a type of breathing pattern. The baby will stop breathing for a few seconds then breathes quickly.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN): at birth the circulation and breathing changes. In PPHN the baby's blood flow does not change and continues to bypass the lungs. When this happens, the body and brain do not get enough oxygen.
Phenobarbital: drug used to treat seizures.
Phototherapy: treatment of yellow jaundice or high bilirubin by placing the baby under bright light (bili light) or on a blanket (bili blanket).
Physical Therapist (PT): person who treats feeding problems and problems of the muscles..
Postpartum: time lasting 6 weeks after mom delivers a baby.
Postural Drainage: method of positioning a baby so mucus can drain from the lungs.
Premature baby (preterm baby): baby born before the end of the 37th week of pregnancy.
Prenatal: before birth.
Pulmonary valve: the valve between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.
Pulse Oximeter (sat. monitor): machine that reads the oxygen saturation of blood. The pulse oximeter is taped to baby's hand, finger, or toe.
RN: registered nurse.
RT: respiratory therapist.
Resident: doctor in training after medical school
Residual: formula still in the stomach before the next feeding
Respirator: machine used to breath for the baby. Also called a ventilator.
Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS): a breathing problem of prematurity caused by lack of a fluid called surfactant that keeps small air sacs in the lungs open
Retina: the back of the eye.
Rubella: virus that causes German measles.
SIDS: Sudden infant death syndrome.
Seizure: abnormal electrical activity in the brain which causes unusual muscle twitches.
Septum: dividing wall.
Shunt: an abnormal passage of blood between two blood vessels or between the two sides of the heart.
Stenosis: a narrowing of a heart valve or blood vessel.
Sternotomy Precautions: Guidelines the patient and family need to follow to allow the breastbone to heal.
Strabismus: eyes that cross or turn outward due to muscle weakness.
Synchronized Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation (SIMV): ventilator breaths are timed to the baby's breaths.
Syncope: fainting spell.
Systole: when the heart contracts and pumps the blood into the aorta and pulmonary artery.
TTN: transient tachypnea of the Newborn
Tachycardia: abnormally fast heart rate
Tachypnea: rapid breathing.
Term Baby: baby born between the 38th and 42nd week of pregnancy (gestation).
Thrush: fungal (yeast) infection of the mouth. Baby has white patches on the tongue and insides of themouth.
TORCH titers: test for viral infections toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, and herpes.
Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) or Triple Mix: nutrition given by fluids through a vein
Trachea: windpipe or breathing tube
Tracheotomy: surgical opening made through the skin and into the breathing tube (trachea) so air can get to the lungs when there is a blockage. Also done to babies requiring long-term ventilation management.
UAC: umbilical artery catheter.
UVC: umbilical venous catheter.
Ultrasound: method of taking pictures inside the body using sound waves.
Umbilicus: belly button; navel.
Upper Respiratory Infection (URI): a cold; infection above the lungs.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): infection of the bladder.
VS: vital signs (temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure).
Ventilator: machine used to breathe for the baby. Also call a respirator.
Ventricle: one of the two lower chambers of the heart. The left ventricle pumps to the aorta and supplies blood to the body. The right ventricle pumps to the pulmonary artery and supplies blood to the lungs.
Wheeze: whistling, humming, raspy sound made during breathing.
Yeast infection (Candida albicans, thrush): fungus that causes an infection. Common after antibiotic therapy. Seen most often in the mouth and diaper area. Treated with mycostatin oral suspension and mycostatin cream.