CST Practice Exam Test

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CST Practice Exam Test - Quiz

Are you preparing to be a surgical technologist? Get ready to take our CST practice exam test. The primary function of a certified surgical technologist is to assist surgeons and other medical practitioners in operating rooms. They help patients get ready to undergo surgical procedures. To qualify and become a surgical technologist, you must ensure that you pass the CST exam. Give this quiz a shot and see how well-prepared you are to tackle the finals. All the best!


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    What is the best shielding against gamma rays?

    • A.

      Tin

    • B.

      Lead

    • C.

      Steel

    • D.

      Rubber

    Correct Answer
    B. Lead
    Explanation
    Lead is the best shielding against gamma rays because it has a high atomic number and density, which allows it to effectively absorb and attenuate the gamma radiation. Lead is commonly used in various applications, such as medical imaging and radiation therapy, where protection against gamma rays is necessary. Its dense structure helps to block and scatter the gamma rays, reducing their penetration and protecting individuals from harmful radiation exposure.

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  • 2. 

    Which of the following is an acceptable placement area for the electrosurgical ground pad for a patient in the lithotomy position?

    • A.

      Upper arm

    • B.

      Upper buttock

    • C.

      Anterior thigh

    • D.

      Posterior shoulder

    Correct Answer
    B. Upper buttock
    Explanation
    When a patient is in the lithotomy position during a surgical procedure, an acceptable placement area for the electrosurgical ground pad is the upper buttock. This location ensures effective grounding during the use of electrosurgical instruments, helping to prevent electrical burns or injury to the patient.

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  • 3. 

    What is the position of choice for breast surgery?

    • A.

      Prone

    • B.

      Dorsal Recumbent

    • C.

      Lateral

    • D.

      Lithotomy

    Correct Answer
    B. Dorsal Recumbent
    Explanation
    Dorsal recumbent (supine) provides optimal exposure to the breast.

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  • 4. 

    When an anesthetized patient's position is changed from lithotomy to supine, the patient's leg should be lowered slowly to prevent:

    • A.

      Hypertension

    • B.

      Laryngospasm

    • C.

      Respiratory

    • D.

      Circulatory depression

    Correct Answer
    D. Circulatory depression
    Explanation
    Respiratory distress is caused by the pressure of the thighs on the abdomen, not by moving the patient.

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  • 5. 

    Hair removed during preparation for cranial surgery should be:

    • A.

      Discarded

    • B.

      Sent to pathology

    • C.

      Saved for possible transplant

    • D.

      Saved because it is personal property

    Correct Answer
    D. Saved because it is personal property
    Explanation
    Hair removed from the patient prior to cranial surgery is considered the personal property of the patient.

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  • 6. 

    The lower leg of a patient in the lateral position for kidney surgery should be:

    • A.

      Flexed

    • B.

      Extended

    • C.

      Abducted

    • D.

      Externally Rotated

    Correct Answer
    A. Flexed
    Explanation
    Flexing the leg will aid in stabilizing the patient on the table.

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  • 7. 

    Which item is required when setting up a D&C?

    • A.

      Stirrups

    • B.

      Cell-saver unit

    • C.

      Cassette holder

    • D.

      Electrosurgery unit

    Correct Answer
    A. Stirrups
    Explanation
    Stirrups enable the patient to be placed into the lithotomy position required for a D&C.

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  • 8. 

    What is the usual position chosen for hemorrhoidectomy?

    • A.

      Lateral

    • B.

      Jack-knife

    • C.

      Knee-chest

    • D.

      Supine

    Correct Answer
    B. Jack-knife
    Explanation
    The Jack-knife position is correct for hemorrhoidectomy to gain maximum exposure.

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  • 9. 

    What position of choice is for a transurethral prostatectomy (TURP)?

    • A.

      Sims

    • B.

      Lateral

    • C.

      Lithotomy

    • D.

      Supine

    Correct Answer
    C. Lithotomy
    Explanation
    Lithotomy position is the position of choice for a transurethral prostatectomy (TURP). In this position, the patient lies on their back with their legs raised and flexed, allowing for better access to the surgical site. This position provides optimal exposure and accessibility to the urethra and prostate, facilitating the procedure. The Sims position is used for rectal examinations, the lateral position is used for certain surgeries, and the supine position is commonly used for general surgeries but not specifically for TURP.

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  • 10. 

    Which of the following is a normal adult white blood cell count?

    • A.

      1000 to 2000

    • B.

      5000 to 9000

    • C.

      12000 to 15000

    • D.

      20000 to 25000

    Correct Answer
    B. 5000 to 9000
    Explanation
    A white blood count above 9000 typically indicates a state of inflammation or infection.

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  • 11. 

    Which of the following is the most common straight catheter used prior to laparoscopic gynecological surgery in the OR?

    • A.

      Foley

    • B.

      Pezzer

    • C.

      Malecot

    • D.

      Robinson

    Correct Answer
    D. Robinson
    Explanation
    The Robinson is a straight catheter used to drain the bladder.

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  • 12. 

    What area of the body is prepped for an ORIF of the humerus?

    • A.

      Arm, foot to shoulder

    • B.

      Leg, foot to hip

    • C.

      Arm, fingers to shoulder

    • D.

      Arm, fingers to elbow

    Correct Answer
    C. Arm, fingers to shoulder
    Explanation
    An arm prep, fingers to shoulder, on the affected arm provides adequate coverage.

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  • 13. 

    Which item may be used in positioning a patient for a total hip replacement?

    • A.

      Stirrups

    • B.

      Wilson frame

    • C.

      Andrews frame

    • D.

      Beanbag

    Correct Answer
    D. Beanbag
    Explanation
    A beanbag conforms to the patient's body to maintain the lateral position for total hip replacement.

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  • 14. 

    Instruments that touch the appendix during an appendectomy should be:

    • A.

      Placed in a separate basin

    • B.

      Wiped with a saline sponge

    • C.

      Returned to the Mayo stand

    • D.

      Wiped with an alcohol sponge

    Correct Answer
    A. Placed in a separate basin
    Explanation
    The instruments should be placed in a separate basin because they are contaminated.

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  • 15. 

    In which procedure is a microscope used?

    • A.

      Tracheostomy

    • B.

      Radical neck

    • C.

      Tonsillectomy

    • D.

      Stapedectomy

    Correct Answer
    D. Stapedectomy
    Explanation
    A microscope is required for stapedectomy

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  • 16. 

    Which procedure would indicate the use of a tourniquet?

    • A.

      Patellectomy

    • B.

      ORIF hip

    • C.

      Arthroscopy of shoulder

    • D.

      Femoral, popliteal bypass

    Correct Answer
    A. Patellectomy
    Explanation
    A patellectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the patella (kneecap). The use of a tourniquet may be indicated during this procedure to control bleeding and provide a clear surgical field.

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  • 17. 

    Bleeding during a transurethral resection prostate (TURP) is controlled by:

    • A.

      Gelfoam

    • B.

      Irrigation

    • C.

      Cauterization

    • D.

      Suture ligature

    Correct Answer
    C. Cauterization
    Explanation
    Cauterization is a medical technique used to control bleeding or remove tissue by applying heat, electricity, or chemicals to a wound or tissue. The aim is to seal blood vessels or destroy tissue, promoting hemostasis and preventing further bleeding.

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  • 18. 

    Bellucci scissors are used in which of the following specialties?

    • A.

      Gynecology

    • B.

      Otorhinolaryngology

    • C.

      General

    • D.

      Plastic and Reconstructive

    Correct Answer
    B. Otorhinolaryngology
    Explanation
    Bellucci alligator scissors have delicate tips and are used in microscopic otorhinolaryngology surgery.

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  • 19. 

    In strabismus surgery, what is the first tissue layer that must be incised?

    • A.

      Iris

    • B.

      Cornea

    • C.

      Scelera

    • D.

      Conjunctiva

    Correct Answer
    D. Conjunctiva
    Explanation
    The sclera is tough, white, fibrous tissue that extends from the optic nerve to the cornea.

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  • 20. 

    What is the suturing technique in which short lateral stitches are taken beneath the epithelial layer of skin?

    • A.

      Purse-string

    • B.

      Traction

    • C.

      Mattress

    • D.

      Subcuticular

    Correct Answer
    D. Subcuticular
    Explanation
    A subcuticular stitch is a type of continuous stitch placed beneath the epidermis.

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  • 21. 

    Which of the following catheters is used for embolectomies?

    • A.

      Foley

    • B.

      Fogarty

    • C.

      Malecot

    • D.

      Angiocath

    Correct Answer
    B. Fogarty
    Explanation
    A Fogarty catheter is inserted past the clot, then inflated to remove the clot.

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  • 22. 

    Which of the following instruments should be on a set-up for a TURP?

    • A.

      Lithotrite

    • B.

      Urethrotome

    • C.

      Resectoscope

    • D.

      Gaylor biopsy forceps

    Correct Answer
    C. Resectoscope
    Explanation
    A TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) is a surgical procedure used to treat an enlarged prostate. During this procedure, the surgeon uses a resectoscope, which is a specialized instrument that allows them to remove excess prostate tissue. The resectoscope has a long, thin tube with a light and a camera attached to it, as well as a cutting tool that can be used to remove the tissue. Therefore, the correct instrument that should be on a set-up for a TURP is a resectoscope.

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  • 23. 

    Which of the following instruments has teeth?

    • A.

      Allis

    • B.

      Mixter

    • C.

      Babcock

    • D.

      Mosquito

    Correct Answer
    A. Allis
    Explanation
    An Allis clamp has teeth

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  • 24. 

    Which of the following is the active electrode on the electrosurgical unit?

    • A.

      Wall plug

    • B.

      Grounding pad

    • C.

      Pencil

    • D.

      Voltage intensity dial

    Correct Answer
    C. Pencil
    Explanation
    A pencil is an active monopolar electrode that is used to either coagulate or cut tissue.

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  • 25. 

    When a cholecystectomy is performed, what anatomical structure must always be preserved?

    • A.

      Cystic duct

    • B.

      Cystic vein

    • C.

      Common duct

    • D.

      Cystic artery

    Correct Answer
    C. Common duct
    Explanation
    A cystic vein does not exist

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  • 26. 

    Kelly clamps are primarily used for:

    • A.

      Grasping

    • B.

      Crushing

    • C.

      Exposure

    • D.

      Hemostasis

    Correct Answer
    D. Hemostasis
    Explanation
    Kelly clamps are primarily used for hemostasis, which refers to the control or stopping of bleeding. These clamps are designed to securely grasp blood vessels, allowing for temporary closure and preventing excessive bleeding during surgical procedures. By applying pressure to the vessels, Kelly clamps help to achieve hemostasis and maintain a clear surgical field, ensuring safe and successful surgeries.

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  • 27. 

    In order to prevent a loop colostomy from sliding back into the abdominal cavity, it may be supported with a(n):

    • A.

      Stone clamp

    • B.

      Adaptic gauze

    • C.

      Montgomery strap

    • D.

      Plastic or glass rod

    Correct Answer
    D. Plastic or glass rod
    Explanation
    To prevent a loop colostomy from sliding back into the abdominal cavity, it can be supported with a plastic or glass rod. This rod provides stability and prevents the colostomy from retracting. Stone clamps are used to grasp and remove stones, not for supporting a colostomy. Adaptic gauze is a non-adherent dressing used for wound care, not for supporting a colostomy. Montgomery strap is used to secure dressings or tubes, not for supporting a colostomy. Therefore, the most appropriate option is a plastic or glass rod.

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  • 28. 

    In preparation for a cranial aneurysm, which of the following pieces of equipment would MOST likely be used?

    • A.

      Microscope

    • B.

      Cryoprobe

    • C.

      Jordan Day drill

    • D.

      Crutchfield tongs

    Correct Answer
    A. Microscope
    Explanation
    In preparation for a cranial aneurysm, a microscope would most likely be used. A microscope is commonly used in neurosurgery to provide magnification and visualization of delicate structures in the brain. It allows surgeons to accurately identify and manipulate the blood vessels involved in the aneurysm, increasing the precision and safety of the procedure. The other options, cryoprobe, Jordan Day drill, and Crutchfield tongs, are not typically used in the preparation phase of a cranial aneurysm.

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  • 29. 

    A resectoscope is used to resect the

    • A.

      Ovaries

    • B.

      Prostate

    • C.

      Vas deferens

    • D.

      Fallopian tubes

    Correct Answer
    B. Prostate
    Explanation
    A resectoscope is used to resect the prostate

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  • 30. 

    What has the most accurate method of checking the effectiveness of an autoclave?

    • A.

      Heat indicators

    • B.

      Swab culture tests

    • C.

      Heat-sensitive tape

    • D.

      Biological controls

    Correct Answer
    D. Biological controls
    Explanation
    Biological controls are the most accurate method of checking the effectiveness of an autoclave because they involve using live microorganisms that are known to be resistant to the sterilization process. These controls are placed in the autoclave along with the items being sterilized, and if the autoclave is working properly, the controls should be killed off. By monitoring the survival or death of these controls, it can be determined if the autoclave is effectively sterilizing the items. Heat indicators, swab culture tests, and heat-sensitive tape can provide some indication of sterilization, but they do not provide the same level of accuracy as biological controls.

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  • 31. 

    Which of the following destroys vegetative organisms and spores?

    • A.

      Germicide

    • B.

      Antiseptic

    • C.

      Sterilizing agent

    • D.

      Bacteriostatic agent

    Correct Answer
    C. Sterilizing agent
    Explanation
    A sterilizing agent is capable of destroying both vegetative organisms and spores. This is because sterilization is the process of completely eliminating all forms of microbial life, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and their spores. Sterilizing agents are designed to achieve this level of microbial destruction, making them effective in eliminating both vegetative organisms and spores. Germicides, antiseptics, and bacteriostatic agents may be effective against certain types of microorganisms, but they may not be capable of completely destroying spores, which makes sterilizing agents the correct answer in this context.

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  • 32. 

    Which of the following solutions should be used for disinfecting endoscopic instruments?

    • A.

      Iodophors

    • B.

      Ethyl alcohol 70%

    • C.

      Phenolic compounds

    • D.

      Activated glutaraldehyde

    Correct Answer
    D. Activated glutaraldehyde
    Explanation
    Activated glutaraldehyde should be used for disinfecting endoscopic instruments. Glutaraldehyde is a powerful disinfectant that can effectively kill a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. When glutaraldehyde is activated, it becomes even more potent and can provide high-level disinfection. This makes it an ideal choice for disinfecting endoscopic instruments, which require thorough and effective sterilization to prevent the transmission of infections. Iodophors, ethyl alcohol 70%, and phenolic compounds may have disinfectant properties but are not as effective or suitable for disinfecting endoscopic instruments as activated glutaraldehyde.

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  • 33. 

    Which of the following is the MOST resistant to the sterilization processes?

    • A.

      Virus

    • B.

      Spore

    • C.

      Spirochete

    • D.

      Tubercle bacillus

    Correct Answer
    B. Spore
    Explanation
    Spores are the most resistant to sterilization processes because they have a protective outer layer that allows them to withstand extreme conditions, such as high temperatures, chemicals, and radiation. This outer layer acts as a shield, preventing the sterilization agents from reaching and destroying the spore. In contrast, viruses, spirochetes, and tubercle bacilli are not as resistant to sterilization processes because they lack this protective layer.

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  • 34. 

    One factor affecting ethylene oxide sterilization is:

    • A.

      Indirect contact

    • B.

      Gravity displacement

    • C.

      Humidity

    • D.

      Saturated steam

    Correct Answer
    C. Humidity
    Explanation
    Humidity is a factor that affects ethylene oxide sterilization. Ethylene oxide is a gas sterilant that requires a certain level of humidity to be effective. The presence of moisture in the sterilization process helps to facilitate the penetration of the gas into the material being sterilized. Without sufficient humidity, the ethylene oxide may not be able to fully penetrate the items being sterilized, leading to incomplete sterilization. Therefore, humidity is an important factor to consider when using ethylene oxide sterilization.

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  • 35. 

    Which of the following would an antiseptic be used on?

    • A.

      Skin surface

    • B.

      Anesthesia masks

    • C.

      Intravenous tubing

    • D.

      Operating room table

    Correct Answer
    A. Skin surface
    Explanation
    An antiseptic is a substance that is used to kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms on the skin surface. It is commonly used to clean and disinfect wounds, cuts, and abrasions. Therefore, an antiseptic would be used on the skin surface to prevent infection and promote healing. Anesthesia masks, intravenous tubing, and operating room tables are not typically treated with antiseptics as they serve different purposes in medical procedures.

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  • 36. 

    Which of the following types of connective tissue fastens muscle to the bone?

    • A.

      Tendon

    • B.

      Ligament

    • C.

      Cartilage

    • D.

      Areolar

    Correct Answer
    A. Tendon
    Explanation
    Tendons are the correct answer because they are a type of connective tissue that attaches muscles to bones. They are strong and flexible, allowing for movement and providing stability to the joints. Tendons transmit the force generated by the muscle to the bone, allowing for movement and mobility.

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  • 37. 

    A fluid-filled sac or cavity that prevents friction within a joint is known as a:

    • A.

      Bursa

    • B.

      Tendon

    • C.

      Ganglion

    • D.

      Ligament

    Correct Answer
    A. Bursa
    Explanation
    A bursa is a fluid-filled sac or cavity that acts as a cushion or padding between bones, tendons, and muscles. It helps to reduce friction and allows smooth movement within a joint. Bursae are found in various parts of the body, including the shoulder, knee, and elbow joints. They provide lubrication and help to absorb shock, thereby preventing damage to the joint.

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  • 38. 

    Cancer cells MOST often migrate to other parts of the body through which of the following systems?

    • A.

      Skeletal

    • B.

      Lymphatic

    • C.

      Endocrine

    • D.

      Respiratory

    Correct Answer
    B. Lymphatic
    Explanation
    Cancer cells most often migrate to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for transporting lymph, a fluid that contains white blood cells, throughout the body. Cancer cells can enter the lymphatic vessels and travel to nearby lymph nodes or to distant organs through the lymphatic system. This is a common pathway for the spread of cancer, known as metastasis.

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  • 39. 

    The parathyroid gland regulates

    • A.

      Protein

    • B.

      Calcium

    • C.

      Sodium

    • D.

      Bicarbonate

    Correct Answer
    B. Calcium
    Explanation
    The parathyroid gland regulates calcium levels in the body. It produces parathyroid hormone (PTH), which acts to increase blood calcium levels. PTH stimulates the release of calcium from bones, enhances calcium absorption in the intestines, and reduces calcium excretion by the kidneys. This hormone plays a crucial role in maintaining calcium homeostasis, which is vital for various physiological processes such as nerve function, muscle contraction, and bone health.

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  • 40. 

    Aerobic organisms are BEST characterized as:

    • A.

      Pathogenic

    • B.

      Non-pathogenic

    • C.

      Oxygen-requiring

    • D.

      Non-oxygen-requiring

    Correct Answer
    C. Oxygen-requiring
    Explanation
    Aerobic organisms are characterized as oxygen-requiring because they require oxygen to carry out their metabolic processes. These organisms use oxygen in a process called aerobic respiration, which produces energy for their survival. Without oxygen, they would not be able to generate enough energy to sustain their life functions. Therefore, oxygen-requiring is the most accurate characterization for aerobic organisms.

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  • 41. 

    When an aseptic break technique occurs, the scrub should:

    • A.

      Notify the circulator and leave the decision to him/her.

    • B.

      Notify the person who broke the technique and correct the problem.

    • C.

      Notify the OR supervisor and leave the decision to him/her.

    • D.

      Say nothing

    Correct Answer
    B. Notify the person who broke the technique and correct the problem.
    Explanation
    In the event of an aseptic break technique, it is important for the scrub to notify the person who broke the technique and correct the problem. This is because the person who caused the break needs to be made aware of their mistake and take immediate action to rectify it. Leaving the decision to the circulator or OR supervisor may cause unnecessary delays and potentially compromise patient safety. Therefore, it is crucial for the scrub to address the issue directly with the person responsible for the break and ensure that proper aseptic technique is followed.

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  • 42. 

    An inanimate object that harbors and transmits a disease is a:

    • A.

      Fomite

    • B.

      Vector

    • C.

      Carrier

    • D.

      Arthropod

    Correct Answer
    A. Fomite
    Explanation
    A fomite is an inanimate object that can harbor and transmit a disease. Unlike a vector, which is usually a living organism that carries and transmits a disease, a fomite does not have any biological activity. It can include objects such as doorknobs, countertops, or clothing that can become contaminated with pathogens and pass them on to individuals who come into contact with them. A carrier refers to an individual who has the pathogen in their body but may not show symptoms, while an arthropod is a type of invertebrate animal, such as a mosquito or tick, that can transmit diseases.

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  • 43. 

    When two individuals in sterile attire pass one another in the sterile field, they should:

    • A.

      Pass back-to-back

    • B.

      Both face the wall

    • C.

      Pass side-to-side

    • D.

      Both face the sterile field.

    Correct Answer
    A. Pass back-to-back
    Explanation
    When two individuals in sterile attire pass one another in the sterile field, they should pass back-to-back. This is because passing side-to-side or facing the wall would increase the risk of contamination as their bodies or attire may come into contact with each other or with non-sterile surfaces. By passing back-to-back, they minimize the chance of contamination and maintain the sterility of the environment. Both facing the sterile field is not necessary as it does not provide any additional benefit in terms of preventing contamination.

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  • 44. 

    What is the local tissue reaction of the body to injury?

    • A.

      Fever

    • B.

      Infection

    • C.

      Inflammation

    • D.

      Immune reaction

    Correct Answer
    C. Inflammation
    Explanation
    Inflammation is the local tissue reaction of the body to injury. When the body is injured, it responds by releasing chemicals that cause blood vessels to dilate, leading to increased blood flow to the affected area. This results in redness, heat, swelling, and pain. Inflammation is a natural response that helps the body to remove harmful stimuli, initiate the healing process, and restore normal tissue function.

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  • 45. 

    Which of the following characterize bacteria of the genus Clostridium?

    • A.

      Aerobic

    • B.

      Anaerobic

    • C.

      Coagulase-negative

    • D.

      Nonspore-forming

    Correct Answer
    B. Anaerobic
    Explanation
    Bacteria of the genus Clostridium are characterized as anaerobic, meaning they do not require oxygen for growth and can even be harmed by its presence. This is a key characteristic of Clostridium bacteria and distinguishes them from aerobic bacteria that require oxygen for survival.

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  • 46. 

    Cleaning the operating room prior to the first scheduled procedure of the day should:

    • A.

      Include flat surfaces of tables and equipment.

    • B.

      Be done with a dry towel.

    • C.

      Be done with an antiseptic.

    • D.

      Concentrate on anesthetic equipment.

    Correct Answer
    A. Include flat surfaces of tables and equipment.
    Explanation
    Cleaning the operating room prior to the first scheduled procedure of the day should include flat surfaces of tables and equipment. This is important because these surfaces can harbor bacteria and other pathogens that can potentially cause infections. By cleaning these surfaces, the risk of contamination and infection can be minimized, ensuring a safe and sterile environment for the surgical procedure. Using a dry towel or an antiseptic may not be sufficient for thorough cleaning, and concentrating only on anesthetic equipment may neglect other potential sources of contamination.

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  • 47. 

    Sodium bicarbonate is administered to treat which of the following?

    • A.

      Acidosis

    • B.

      Alkalosis

    • C.

      Hypotension

    • D.

      Hypertension

    Correct Answer
    A. Acidosis
    Explanation
    Sodium bicarbonate is administered to treat acidosis because it acts as a buffer and helps to neutralize excess acid in the body. Acidosis occurs when there is an accumulation of acid or a loss of bicarbonate in the body, leading to a decrease in pH levels. By administering sodium bicarbonate, the bicarbonate ions can combine with hydrogen ions to form carbonic acid, which can then be easily eliminated from the body, restoring the pH balance.

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  • 48. 

    In an emergency, which of the following drugs may be used to raise the patient's blood pressure?

    • A.

      Morphine sulfate

    • B.

      Procaine (Novocaine)

    • C.

      Succinylcholine (Anectine)

    • D.

      Epinephrine (Adrenalin)

    Correct Answer
    D. Epinephrine (Adrenalin)
    Explanation
    Epinephrine (Adrenalin) can be used to raise a patient's blood pressure in an emergency situation. Epinephrine is a hormone that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increased heart rate and vasoconstriction, which can elevate blood pressure. It is commonly used in emergency medicine to treat severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and cardiac arrest. By activating the body's "fight or flight" response, epinephrine helps to improve blood flow and maintain vital organ perfusion during critical situations.

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