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Anatomy/Physiology and Medical Terminology (Chapter 5)

  • Levels of training in EMS:
    • EMR<EMT<AEMT<Paramedic


  • Staff of Asclepius (seend on EMT logo):

  • Asclepius was an ancient Greek physician
  • god of medicine
  • staff represents medicine and healing
  • skin shedding serpent represents renewal


  • Body Planes


  • Adduction-toward midline
  • Abduction-away from midline
  • Remember: Adduction is bringing your arm closer to your body, as if you are "adding" it to your body.  
    • Adduction=adding (arm to body)

  • Abdomen Quadrants
    • RUQ, LUQ, RLQ, LLQ
  • check quadrant of complaint last
  • the further away from the bellybutton that the pain is, the more likely it is to be an injury to an accessory organ rather than the intestines. 


  • Pati

    ent Positions

    • Fowler's

      • sitting up against wall or object
    • Recovery
      • "left lateral recumbent"
      • laying on left side (to avoid constricting vena cava)

Skeletal System

  • Radius is lateral
  • Ulna is medial
    • How to remember: 

"Ulna is on the inside"
(when viewed in anatomical position)

  • "Tib and Fib" make up the lower leg
  • tibia=shin
  • femur is longest and strongest bone in body


  • Cervical (7)
  • Thoracic (12)
  • Lumbar (5)
  • Sacrum (5)
  • Coccyx (4)

  • To remember, say (out loud or to self) "C, T, L, S, C," and "7, 12, 5, 5, 4."  Repeat these over and over in your head like a jingle or create a mnemonic to help you out.

 C 7
T 12
 L 5
 S 5
 C 4

Pulmonary/Breathing Physiology

  • Ventilation-movement of air
  • Respiration-exchange of O2 and CO2 at cellular level

  • Body's primary reason to breathe is to lower CO2 rather than increase O2
    • CO2 receptors in arteries send signals to brain, which then controls breathing (Your body is doing this as you read this...cool, right?) 

  • hypoxic drive-"backup system"
    • Body uses O2 receptors instead of CO2 receptors 
    • May be used in cases with chronically high CO2 levels

  • Breaths Per Minute
    • 12-20 is "normal"

  • "Brain stem controls Breathing"

  • Residual volume
    • amount of air that is always left in lungs to keep them from collapsing
    • getting the "wind knocked out of you" is what you feel when you lose some of your residual volume


  • Larynx separates upper and lower airways
  • thyroid cartilage is above (superior to) cricoid cartilage
  • Trachea divides at carina


  • Right lung has 3 lobes
  • Left lung has 2 lobes
  • How to remember: 
    • "Right has thRee" 
  • Remember that both the word "right" (from right lobe) and the word "three" both have a letter "R" in them.


    • Right lung has 3 lobes
    • Left lung has 2 lobes
    • How to remember: 
      • "Right has thRee" 
      • both the word "right" (from right lobe) and the word "three" both have a letter "R" in them.

    • pulmonary embolism-clog in pulmonary artery (artery that goes to lungs)

    • V/Q Ratio- ventilation/perfusion ratio

            Cardiovascular System


            • left ventricle is strongest
              • responsible for pumping blood throughout the whole body
            • chorinae tendinae
              • prevent inverting of valves

            • 5-6 Liters of blood in body! 
              • entire blood volume circulated throughout body in about one minute! 

            • BPM (Beats Per Min)
              • normal adult: 60-100
              • athlete: 50-60
            • Stroke Volume (SV)- blood moved in one beat
            • Cardiac Output (CO) -blood moved in 1 min.
            • SV X BPM = CO

            • Tachycardia-fast resting pulse rate (>100 in adults)
            • Bradycardia-slow resting pulse rate (<60 in adults)


            • Diaphoretic-sweaty and cool skin