artificial life support

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artificial life support,

systems that use medical technology to aid, support, or replace a vital function of the body that has been seriously damaged. Such techniques include artificial pacemakerspacemaker, artificial,
device used to stimulate a rhythmic heartbeat by means of electrical impulses. Implanted in the body when the heart's own electrical conduction system (natural pacemaker) does not function normally, the battery-powered device emits impulses that trigger
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, internal defibrillatorsdefibrillator,
device that delivers an electrical shock to the heart in order to stop certain forms of rapid heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias). The shock changes a fibrillation to an organized rhythm or changes a very rapid and ineffective cardiac rhythm to a slower, more
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, dialysis machines (see kidney, artificialkidney, artificial,
mechanical device capable of assuming the functions ordinarily performed by the kidneys. In treating cases of kidney failure a tube is inserted into an artery in the patient's arm and blood is channeled through semipermeable tubes immersed in a bath
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), and respirators. The use of life-support systems to prolong the life of a patient who has suffered apparently irreversible damage to a vital organ system may raise such ethical issues as the quality of life, euthanasiaeuthanasia
, either painlessly putting to death or failing to prevent death from natural causes in cases of terminal illness or irreversible coma. The term comes from the Greek expression for "good death.
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, and the right to die, and has been the subject of much legal and moral debate. Some people specify their wishes concerning prolonged artificial life support, especially should they be in a persistent vegetative state (see comacoma,
in medicine, deep state of unconsciousness from which a person cannot be aroused even by painful stimuli. The patient cannot speak and does not respond to command.
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), in a living willliving will,
legal document in which a person expresses in advance his or her wishes concerning the use of artificial life support, to be referred to should the person be unable to communicate such wishes at the end of life.
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. A health-care proxyhealth-care proxy,
legal document in which a person assigns to another person, usually called an agent or proxy, the authority to make medical decisions in case of incapacitation. It is, in essence, a power of attorney for health care.
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 is another legal means of insuring that a person's wishes regarding artificial life support are respected, even if the person is unable to communicate those wishes.
References in periodicals archive ?
TABLE 3 Did Death Follow The Withdrawal of Life Support System or Come To Those Still
Munoz was kept alive at a Fort Worth hospital for 62 days before she was taken off life support.
He said daily advanced life support coverage by the Spencer paramedic and Paxton firefighter/EMT will be extended until 10 p.
He added he was told she had to be put on life support because the unborn had a heartbeat.
The Astral 150 life support ventilator received the prestigious Red Dot Product Design Award for 2014.
The patient's parents have pleaded with hospital staff to switch off her life support machine.
A paraplegic Florida woman won her fight to have her life support machine switched off last night, which could lead to her mother, who allegedly shot her, being charged with murder.
Today, Armstrong is one of the largest privately owned and operated ambulance companies in Massachusetts, providing both Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support services.
16, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- United Medical Education, a company that offers online training for the ACLS, BLS and PALS through their excellent web page, has just announced that they have updated all of their Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Basic Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support training materials.
For patients on life support, it's a thankless routine of bathing, bedpans, body turning - and the need to touch and talk to those who cannot answer back.
BATTLING baby Frankie Owen has made a miracle recovery after her parents agreed her life support machine should be turned off.
Three levels of medical transport are provided: critical care, advanced life support, and basic life support.