Advanced Reference: Ring-shaped cartilage at the lower end of the larynx. It forms the only complete ring within the trachea, all others being C-shaped, with the space towards the rear intended to facilitate the oesophagus.

Cricothyrotomy Quick Reference: Emergency access to the upper respiratory tract.

Advanced Reference: An emergency procedure where access is gained to the respiratory tract via the cricothyroid membrane using a variety of devices, usually because of upper airway obstruction.

Critical care Quick Reference: Refers to specific areas and departments of hospitals.

Advanced Reference: Term used commonly to indicate areas involved in emergency and critical care of patients, e.g. accident and emergency (A&E), intensive therapy unit (ITU), operating theatres.

Critical incidents Quick Reference: Indicates an event or set of events/ actions that are considered of such serious nature that they must be highlighted and formally reported upon.

Advanced Reference: An increasingly used process in theatres where once common and almost taken for granted occurences are now formally investigated, reflected and fed back on in an attempt to bring about change, improvement or instigate further action. Due mainly to increased professional accountability and litigation and may involve staff, processes or equipment.

Crohn's disease Quick Reference: (crones) An inflammatory condition of the digestive tract.

Advanced Reference: Can affect anywhere throughout the digestive tract. The symptoms may mimic acute appendicitis with chronic diarrhoea and loss of weight.

Cross matching Quick Reference: Refers to establishing the compatibility of a patient's blood, cross-match (X-match).

Advanced Reference: Involves identifying a patient's blood group when blood replacement is considered necessary.

Croup Quick Reference: A harsh cough and strained noisy breathing in children.

Advanced Reference: Causes vary from retarded growth of the larynx to allergy and both viral and bacterial infections.

Cruciate Quick Reference: (crushe-e-ate) Anterior and posterior ligament in the knee.

Advanced Reference: Gives stability to the knee. The cruciate ligament limits forward movement of the tibia on the femur and is often ruptured in sporting activities by a sharp twisting movement.

Cutting needle

Crush syndrome Quick Reference: Condition brought on following trauma.

Advanced Reference: Involves the trapping of a limb and the consequent impairment of the circulation. There is a build-up of toxins, i.e. histamine, lactic acid, carbon dioxide and when the limb is released, these enter the general circulation causing toxic shock. The time a limb is trapped for is critical in terms of release and availability of advanced care. Some protocols cite that if a limb, etc. has been trapped for 10 min, no attempt at removal should be made until advanced help arrives, whereas others state 30 min.

Cryo (surgery) Quick Reference: (crio) Destruction of tissue by freezing.

Advanced Reference: Cryo is from the Greek meaning cold. Involves a number of agents, e.g. liquid nitrogen, nitrous oxide. Used in ophthalmics, dermatology, urology, etc.

Crystalloid Quick Reference: (cris-tall-oid) Refers to clear IV solutions.

Advanced Reference: More correctly, refers to solutions which may pass through a semipermeable membrane as opposed to the osmotic action of colloids which are solutions containing large molecules.

Crystapen Quick Reference: (cris-ta-pen) A proprietary antibiotic.

Advanced Reference: Used to treat many forms of infection and prevent rheumatic fever.

CSF Quick Reference: Cerebrospinal fluid.

Advanced Reference: The fluid in which the CNS lies, contained by the meninges, which are the covering membranes.

CSSD Quick Reference: Central Sterile Services Department.

Advanced Reference: At one time a hospital-based sterilising and supply department. In more recent times these departments have given way to district, regional or private organisations. Some theatres however, still maintain a Theatre Sterile Services Department (TSSU).

Culture Quick Reference: The growing of micro-organisms or cells.

Advanced Reference: The process of growing micro-organisms or other living cells in artificial circumstances on suitable materials, such as agar mixed with blood or broth. A culture swab, also known as swab-stick, is used for bacteriology specimens (pus, etc.)

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