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Medical Terms

ablation Burning or freezing to scar tissue in the heart to block irregular electrical signals
aneurysm Bulge that occurs in the wall of the artery
angina Chest pain due to reduced blood flow to the heart
angioplasty Procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply the heart by using a balloon
arteriosclerosis Thickening or hardening of the arteries causing narrowing
bradycardia Slow heart beat
CABG Acronym for Coronary Artery By Pass Graft (open heart surgery in which new grafts replace diseased arteries)
cardiologist Doctor who studies the heart
cardiomegaly Enlarged heart
cardiomyopathy Heart disease
CHF Acronym for Congestive Heart Failure (chronic illness), in which heart pumps blood less efficiently; limb swelling
COPD Acronym for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a chronic, inflammatory lung disease with difficulty breathing; pt often on O2. Two common types: emphysema and chronic bronchitis
EKG Acronym for Electrocardiogram, records the electrical signal from the heart to check for different conditions
hypertension High blood pressure
ischemia Inadequate blood supply to the heart muscles, or other organ; narrowing of an artery due to disease
MI Acronym for Myocardial Infarction (heart attack)
myocardial infarction Heart attack
occlusion Blockage
pericarditis Inflammation of the membrane around the heart
pericardium Membrane around the heart
stent Small mesh tube placed in an artery to hold it open
tachycardia Rapid heart rate (more than 100 bpm at rest)
thoracic cavity Chest cavity space that contains the heart and lungs
CBC Acronym for Complete Blood Count, the kitchen sink of blood tests
anemia Blood disorder with lack of red blood cells in the blood, causing weakness and SOB. Types: sickle cell, aplastic, pernicious, iron deficiency, etc
Asphyxia/ asphyxiation Condition arising when the body doesn’t get oxygen, causing unconsciousness or death (suffocation, strangulation, drowning)
BP Acronym for Blood Pressure
capillary Smallest blood vessel in the lungs where oxygen is exchanged
cerebral vascular accident Stroke
CVA Acronym for Cerebral Vascular Accident (stroke)
DVT Acronym for Deep Vein Thrombosis, a blood clot usually in the leg
edema Swelling
embolism Blood clot that has traveled and blocks an artery or vein; pulmonary embolism can be fatal, sx sudden SOB
epistaxis Nosebleed
erythrocyte Red blood cell
hematoma Bruise
hematuria Blood in the urine
hemorrhage Excessive bleeding; bleeding out
HTN Acronym for Hypertension (high blood pressure)
hypodermic Beneath or under the skin (e.g., needle injection)
lymphatic system System made up of vessels, tissues and organs that help maintain fluid balance in the body; also part of immune system
lymphedema Swelling caused by blocked lymph drainage
lymphocyte White blood cell
orthostatic hypotension Dizziness when standing due to drop in blood pressure when standing
phlebitis Inflammation of a vein
phlebotomist Professional who draws blood
plasma Liquid portion of the blood
platelet Blood cells that form clots to stop or prevent bleeding
septicemia Sepsis, an infection in the blood; blood poisoning
syncope Fainting
thrombus Blood clot situated in an artery or vein
TIA Acronym for Transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke
venipuncture Blood draw
GI Acronym for Gastrointestinal
ascites Fluid collecting in the abdomen – causes pain, swelling, nausea and vomiting
borborygmus Rumbling or gurgling bowel sounds
calculi Stones, often in the kidney or gallbladder
colitis Inflammation of the colon
colonoscopy Scope into the colon
colostomy Opening into the colon to the outside, usually have a bag to collect fecal matter
Crohn's disease Inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation
diverticulitis Inflammation caused by infection of small pouches in the intestines
dysphagia Difficulty swallowing
aphasia Difficulty speaking
emesis basin Barf pan
endoscopy Scope into the upper GI tract – down the throat and into the esophagus
esophagus Food tube between throat and stomach
gastrectomy Removal of the stomach
gastritis Inflammation of the stomach
gastroenteritis Inflammation of the stomach and intestines
gastroenterologist Doctor who studies the GI system (esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, bile ducts, pancreas and gallbladder)
GERD Acronym for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
IBS Acronym for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a chronic condition of constipation and diarrhea
laparoscopy Scope into the abdomen
larynx Voice box
peritonitis Inflammation of the lining of belly or abdomen
pharynx Throat
polyp Non-cancerous growth from a mucous membrane, such as in the intestines. Can develop into cancer
proctologist Doctor who specializes in colon and rectal issues
ulcer Sores in the lining of the stomach
pulmonary Pertaining to the lungs
apnea Period of not breathing (i.e., sleep apnea)
costochondritis Inflammation of the ribs and cartilage
DOE Acronym for Dyspnea On Exertion, which is difficult breathing that worsen with exertion
dyspnea Shortness of breath
emphysema Lung disease that makes it hard to breathe – cough, sputum production, wheezing
Pleuritis/pleurisy Inflammation of the lining of the lungs and chest cavity; painful
pneumonia Infection in the lungs (PNA)
pulmonary edema Fluid build-up in the lungs
pulmonologist Doctor who specializes in the respiratory system
sarcoidosis Auto-immune disease in which granules form in the body, most commonly the lungs and lymph nodes
SOB Acronym for Shortness of Breath
sputum Mucus or phlegm expelled from the lungs
trachea Windpipe
tracheotomy Opening into the windpipe
cephalic Pertaining to the head
hemiplegia Paralysis on one side of the body
meningitis Inflammation of the lining of the nerves
shingles Type of herpes infection that causes painful rash or blisters on the skin
O2 Oxygen
Neuralgia Nerve pain
Parkinson’s Disease Movement disorder in which brain doesn’t produce enough dopamine
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Acronymn ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease), a neurological progressive disease that affects the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord
cirrhosis Chronic liver disease, usually the result of alcoholism or hepatitis
HBV Acronym for Hepatitis B, a highly infectious inflammation of the liver
HCV Acronym for Hepatitis C (now curable)
hepatitis Inflammation of the liver – types A - E
hepatomegaly Enlargement of the liver
jaundice Yellowing of skin and eyes caused by excess bilirubin, liver disease
alopecia Abnormal Hair loss, baldness
cellulitis Bacterial infection (staph or strep) of the skin
debridement Scraping or excising dead tissue so new tissue can grow
decubitus ulcer Bed sore, pressure ulcer
dermatitis Inflammation of the skin
epidermis The outer layer of the skin
epithelial Tissue cells covering the skin and organs
gangrene Dead or rotting tissue or skin
IM Acronym for Intramuscular, as in an injection that is received through the muscle
necrosis Dead tissue
nevus Mole
pruritis Intense itching, often a result of diabetes or other conditions
rhinoplasty Nose job
transdermal Through the skin, i.e. medication delivered through the skin like a patch
arthralgia Pain in a joint
arthritis Inflammation and stiffness of joints
arthroscopy Procedure to visualize and treat problems in a joint
axillary Underarm area
BKA Acronym for Below the Knee Amputation
cartilage Strong flexible connective tissue that protects joints and bones – often found at the ends of bones
cervical Referring to the top section of the spine, or also to the cervix , the lower part of uterus
coccyx Tail bone, or last part of the spine
femur Longest leg bone in thigh
kyphosis Spinal disorder in which the there is an excessive curve of the upper back
laminectomy A surgical operation to remove the back of one or more vertebrae, usually to give access to the spinal cord or to relieve pressure on nerves
ligaments a short band of tissue that connects bones to bones
lumbar Lower region of the back/spine
metacarpals Bones in the wrist
orthopedist Medical specialty focused on injuries and diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system
osteoporosis Medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile; decreased bone mass
podiatrist Doctor specializing in the foot and ankle
rheumatologist Doctor specializing in arthritis and other immune-related diseases and conditions
sacral The next to the lowest part of the spinal column – fused bones
spondylitis Inflammation of the joints in the spine and lower back
tendons Flexible but inelastic cord of tissue attaching muscles to bones
thoracic Second section of the spine or the chest cavity
BPH Acronym for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that obstructs the flow of urine
cervical Pertaining to the cervix
endometriosis Condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain
HPV Acronym for Human Papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). Many don't develop symptoms but can still infect others through sexual contact. Sxs include warts on the genitals or surrounding skin. Gardasil =vaccine
hysterectomy Removal of the uterus
mastitis Inflammation of the breast tissues often caused by an infection. Common in breast feeding persons.
neonatal Newborn
oophorectomy Removal of the ovaries
orchidectomy Removal of one or both testicles
peritoneum Membrane in the abdomen that lines the abdominal cavity and holds all the organs in place
postpartum After birth
catheter A flexible tube inserted into the body, such as a urinary tract. Multiple uses for these tubes in procedures.
cholecystectomy Removal of the gall bladder
cystalgia Pain in the bladder
cystectomy Removal of the bladder
cystitis Inflammation of the bladder
cystostomy A surgical opening into the bladder; when a tube is inserted so that urine can drain
diuretic Water pill, medication for urinary retention, makes you pee
ESRD Acronym for End Stage Renal Disease
hemodialysis Kidney dialysis, a treatment that filters wastes and water from the blood. Used when kidneys are no longer healthy enough to do this work.
nephrectomy Removal of a kidney
Graves disease an autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone
hyperthyroidism Overactive thyroid. Speeds up the body's metabolism, which can cause many symptoms, such as weight loss, hand tremors, and rapid or irregular heartbeat.
hypoglycemia hypoglycemia
IDDM Acronym for Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, also called Type 1
NIDDM Acronym for Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, also known as Type 2
pancreas An organ with dual roles. In the digestive system (exocrine ), it produces enzymes that help to digest food, particularly protein. In the endocrine system, it makes the hormone insulin, which helps to control blood sugar levels.
polydipsia Excessive thirst, a sign of diabetes
polyuria Excessive urination, a sign of diabetes
hyperglycemia High blood sugar
adenoma Benign tumor in a gland, like the pituitary
benign Non-cancerous
biopsy Procedure to remove cells to see if they are cancerous
Bx Abbreviation for Biopsy
CA Abbreviation for Cancer
carcinoma Cancer that begins in the skin or the tissue that covers body organs. Most common type and includes breast, pancreas
dysplasia Abnormal cells
glioblastoma Malignant tumor affecting the brain or spine. Spreads rapidly often creating pressure. 5-yr survival rate is 7%
leukemia Cancer of the boy’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system
malignant Cancerous
melanoma Most dangerous type of skin cancer
metastasis Spreading of cancer
Myeloma or multiple myeloma Cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow
oncologist Doctor specializing in cancer
oncology Area of study of cancer
osteomyelitis Infection in the bone caused by bacteria that is serious.
palliative Comfort care, focuses on symptom management not cure
pathologist Doctor who specializes in studying disease, tissues and samples for diagnostic purposes
PCA pump Acronym for Patient Controlled Analgesia pump, which gives pain meds on demand
sarcoma Cancer that starts in connective and supportive tissue, such as muscle, bone, and cartilage
Stage 0 cancer Cancer stage that is precancerous and non-invasive. Also known as “carcinoma in situ,” or cancer that is only present in the cells where it started. It has not spread to any nearby tissues.
Stage 1 Cancer Cancer stage in which tumor is usually small and has just begun growing into nearby tissues, but its invasion does not have much depth. The tumor(s) have not spread to nearby lymph nodes or major organs.
Stage 2 Cancer Cancer stage in which tumors are larger, have grown into nearby tissue, and have potentially spread into the lymph nodes.
Stage 3 Cancer Cancer stage that is more advanced and aggressive than Stage II.
Stage 4 Cancer This is the highest stage of cancer. These cancers have metastasized, or spread to distant parts of the body.
Lisinopril Medication to treat blood pressure
Metoprolol (brand Toprol) Medication to treat high blood pressure, CAD
Atorvastatin (brand Lipitor) Medication to treat high cholesterol
Levothyroxine (brand Synthroid) Medication to treat thyroid
Albuterol (brand Ventolin) Medication, a bronchodilator
esomprazole (brand Nexium) Medication to reduce stomach acid
Omeprazole (brand Prilosec) Medication to treat heartburn, a stomach acid reducer
escitalopram (brand Lexapro) Medication to treat depression
duloxetine (brand Cymbalta) Medication to treat depression and pain
Fluoxetine (brand Prozac) An anti-depressant medication
Trazadone Medication to treat depression, sleep issues
lorazepam (brand Ativan) Medication to treat anxiety
alprazolam (brand Xanax) Medication to treat anxiety
amoxicillin An antibiotic (medication)
methylphenidate (brands Ritalin, Concerta, others) Medication to treat ADHD
azithromycin (brands Z-Pak and Zithromax) Antibiotic (medication)
warfarin (brand Coumadin) Anticoagulant medication
hydrocodone (brands Vicodin, Lortab, Norco) Medication to treat pain
meloxicam (brand Mobic) Medication to treat pain
hydrocodone, oxycodone (brand OxyContin) Medication to treat pain
fentanyl patch (brand Duragesic patch) Medication to treat pain
hydromorphone (brand Dilaudid) Medication to treat pain
acetaminophen (brand Tylenol) Medication to treat pain
tramadol (brand Ultram) Medication to treat pain
prednisone a steroid medication to treat inflammation
gabapentin (brand Neurontin) Medication to treat seizures and nerve pain
glucophage (brand metformin) Medication to treat type 2 diabetes
furosemide (brand Lasix) A diuretic, water pill for HTN and fluid retention
ondansetron (brand Zofran) An anti-nausea medication
alimentation Feeding, nutrition
AMA discharge Against Medical Advice discharge
analgesic Pain relieving (medication or treatment)
atrophy Decrease in size or function
autopsy Postmortem (after death) examination to determine the cause of death or extent of disease
bariatric The branch of medicine that studies and treats obesity
bilateral Both sides
Bx Abbreviation for biopsy
cephalic Pertaining to the head
cyanosis a bluish discoloration of the skin resulting from poor circulation or inadequate oxygenation of the blood
diaphoresis sweating
ETOH alcohol
excision Surgical removal of tissue
Fx fracture
geriatrician Doctor who specializes in older adults and aging
GSW Gun Shot Wound
H & P History and Physical (assessment by provider)
HA or H/A Headache
HOH Hard of hearing
Hx History
hypochondriac Person who is abnormally worried about their health
inguinal Pertaining to the groin
laparoscopy Scope into the abdomen
MRSA Antibiotic resistant staph infection (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
NKA No Known Allergies
nosocomial infection Hospital-acquired infection
NPO Nothing by mouth (patient should not eat or drink)
O2 oxygen
otalgia Ear pain
otolaryngologist Ear, nose and throat doctor
PRN As needed
r/o rule out
resection The surgical removal of part of an organ or structure
ROM Range of motion
Rx Prescription
shock Critical condition of suddenly having loss of blood flow
STAT immediately
Sx symptoms
tinnitus Ringing in the ears
Tx treatment
ultrasound an imaging method that uses sound waves to produce images of structures within your body
VRE Antibiotic resistant infection (vancomycin-resistant enterococcus bacteria)
WNL Within normal limits
Bid, tid, qd, qhs, q2h Twice a day, three times a day, every day, at night, every two hours
Created by: jb56
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