The EMT’s Guide to Cardiovascular Medical Terminology.

human heart on display

This article will explore essential medical terms related to the cardiovascular system. There are many more terms that will come up but these will set you ahead in EMS. Whether studying for the NREMT or just brushing up, we have you covered.

If you didn’t already, check out our medical terminology introduction for a list of prefixes, root words, and suffixes here.

Key Cardiovascular Terms

  1. Arrhythmia: An irregular heartbeat.
  2. Atherosclerosis: Hardening of the arteries.
  3. Bradycardia: An abnormally slow heart rate.
  4. Cardiomegaly: Enlargement of the heart.
  5. Hypertension: High blood pressure.
  6. Myocardial Infarction: Commonly known as a heart attack, involving damage to the heart muscle.
  7. Angina: Chest pain or discomfort caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle.
  8. Echocardiogram: A type of ultrasound test that produces images of the heart.
  9. Electrocardiogram (ECG): A test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat.
  10. Endocarditis: Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart.
  11. Ischemia: A condition in which blood flow (and thus oxygen) is restricted or reduced in a part of the body, such as the heart (cardiac ischemia).
  12. Myocarditis: Inflammation of the heart muscle.
  13. Pericarditis: Inflammation of the pericardium, the sac-like structure around the heart.
  14. Stenosis: The narrowing or restriction of a blood vessel or valve in the heart.
  15. Tachycardia: A faster than normal heart rate at rest.
  16. Vasodilation: The widening of blood vessels, resulting in decreased blood pressure.

These terms encompass key concepts related to the cardiovascular system’s function, conditions, and disorders. Understanding and accurately using these terms can significantly improve communication and comprehension in a healthcare setting. With consistent practice, these terms will become second nature to you.

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