A nurse checks on a patient in the cancer ward

Departments

Glossary

Anaesthetist

A doctor who specialises in anaesthesia (putting people to sleep during surgery).

Anticoagulant

This is a medication that slows down the clotting process of the blood preventing harmful blood clots from forming. Anticoagulants are sometimes referred to as "blood thinners" eg: Warfarin.

Arterial line

A tube inserted directly into an artery in your arm to measure blood pressure and to enable blood tests to be taken while in ICU.

Bypass pump

The pump that circulates blood during the surgery and provides oxygen for the body so the heart can be ‘at rest’ during the operation.

Cardiac monitor

An electrical monitor connected via leads to the chest. It allows the rhythm of the heart beat to be continuously watched.

Cardiac Surgery Recovery (CSR)

The specialist unit located on level 2 in the Recovery Room. You will be cared for in CSR immediately after your surgery until you are well enough to return to the Cardiac Surgery ward.

Chest tubes

Drainage tubes placed in the chest to drain blood and fluid that may have accumulated after the surgery.

Coronary bypass surgery

A surgical procedure in which a vein or artery is used to bypass a blockage or narrowing in one or more of the coronary arteries. This is to improve blood supply to the heart muscle.

ECG

A recording taken via small stickers placed on the skin to record the electrical activity of the heart. These may be taken frequently during your stay in hospital.

Endotracheal tube

A tube placed through the mouth into the lungs. It helps you breathe and allows secretions (mucus/phlegm) to be removed from the lungs. You cannot speak when this tube is in but you will be able to once it is removed.

Intravenous catheters/lines(IV's)

Small plastic tubes placed in a vein to administer medication, fluid and nourishment.

Nasogastric tube

A small clear tube that is inserted down one nostril and extends in to your stomach. Its purpose is to keep your stomach empty by allowing drainage.

Pacing wires

Tiny wires placed on the surface of the heart. These wires can be connected up to a pacing box to supply electrical initiation if the heart requires some assistance to contract. They are removed four to five days post-op. if not required.

Telemetry

A small box that may be attached via small dots on the skin to monitor the electrical activity of the heart. You can still walk around while wearing this monitor.

Urinary catheter

A small rubber tube that allows urine to drain from the bladder. You will not need to use a bottle or pan while this tube is in your bladder.

Ventilator

A machine attached to your endotracheal (breathing) tube. It helps you to breathe until you wake up fully from your anaesthetic.