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NorQuest Health Dictionary

A research guide focused on medical terminology


Gum-like substance made from the bark of a tree. It is used to form a tight seal on the skin around a stoma to protect the skin from irritation. Karaya comes in several different forms including powder, paste, and a solid sheet that can be cut to any shape. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Key issues

Main issues, most important issues. When working as part of a team, everyone needs to be involved in identifying key issues before making decisions. SCSF 1000 Unit F6


Two bean-shaped organs that filter blood in the body to remove waste and excess water. The kidneys filter a large amount of blood every day. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Kidney basin/k-basin

A small kidney-shaped container that is used for various activities of daily living. A client can use the kidney basin to spit into after rinsing the mouth with water or mouthwash. BCND 1000 Unit D5

Kidney stone/stones

Small stones made from salts that form in the kidneys and which can travel to the ureters. Large kidney stones in the ureters can cause severe pain as the ureter tries to force the stone to move on. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Kilogram (kg)/kilograms (kg)

A measurement of weight in the metric system. One kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds (lbs). To change kilograms (kg) into pounds (lbs), multiply the kilogram weight by 2.2. To change the weight back into kilograms, divide the pounds (lbs) by 2.2. BCND 1000 Unit D1


A sharp bend in tubing that slows or stops the flow of fluid. When caring for a client with a urinary drainage system, ensure the tubing is not kinked because this would prevent urine from flowing freely. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Kussmaul's respirations

A pattern of respiration that includes deep breathing combined with gasping for breath. Kussmaul's respirations are a symptom of some medical conditions, such as a coma. SCAE 1000 Unit E3