Understanding Commonly Used Terminology

Artificial Nutrition and Hydration (Tube Feeding)
Tube feeding is the administration of a chemically balanced mix of nutrients and fluids through a feeding tube. Most commonly, a feeding tube is inserted into the stomach via the nasal passage or through the wall of the abdomen by means of a surgical procedure. Another type of feeding tube is inserted surgically through the abdominal wall into the small intestine.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is an emergency lifesaving procedure that is performed when a person's own breathing or heartbeat have stopped, such as in cases of electric shock, heart attack or drowning. CPR is a critical part of the ABC's of first response: A for airway B for breathing C for circulation CPR combines rescue breathing and chest compressions. Rescue breathing provides oxygen to the person's lungs. Chest compressions keep oxygen-rich blood circulating until an effective heartbeat and breathing can be restored

Dialysis
Dialysis is a method of removing toxic substances (impurities or wastes) from the blood when the kidneys are unable to do so.


Do-Not-Resuscitate Order (DNR)
This states that CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is not to be performed if your breathing stops or your heart stops beating. The order may be written by the person's doctor after discussing the issue with the person (if possible), the proxy, or family.


Intravenous Feeding
Intravenous (IV) feedings are given to patients who are unable to tolerate tube feedings. Similar to tube feedings, the IV feeding provides the patient with the needed amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals. Fluids are inserted into a vein, which allows immediate access to the blood supply.

Mechanical Ventilation (MV)
A mechanical ventilator is a machine that assists breathing by supporting or replacing the function of the lungs. A machine called a ventilator (or respirator) forces air into the lungs. The ventilator is attached to a tube inserted in the nose or mouth and down into the windpipe (trachea). There may be times that an alarm sounds. If so, please feel confident that the nurse is taking care of it.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
Staphylococcus aureus, or "Staph" is a very common germ that about one out of every three people have on their skin or in their nose. This germ does not cause any problems for most people who have it on their skin. But sometimes it can cause serious infections such as skin or wound infections, pneumonia or infections of the blood.

Learn more about MRSA.

Palliative Care - Comfort Care/Hospice Care
Palliative care is a comprehensive approach to treating the symptoms of illness when a cure is not possible. Comfort care focuses on the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of the patient. The goal is to achieve the best quality of life available by eliminating suffering, controlling pain and achieving maximum independence. Respect for the patient's culture, beliefs and values are an essential component. Pain and discomfort associated with a terminal illness will always be treated.


Pacemakers
A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device that senses when your heart is beating irregularly or too slowly. It sends a signal to your heart that makes your heart beat at the correct pace.

Location Information

For more information, please call 855-546-0877.

MedStar Harbor Hospital
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225