Amoxil Quick Reference: Proprietary antibiotic.
Advanced Reference: Used in the treatment of systemic bacterial infections and those of the upper respiratory tract, ear, nose and throat, and urogenital tract. Is a preparation of a broad-spectrum penicillin, amoxycillin.
Amp Quick Reference: Ampere.
Advanced Reference: Unit of measurement of amount of electrical current.
Ampicillin Quick Reference: Broad-spectrum antibiotic.
Advanced Reference: Similar in effect to tetracyclines. Used in the treatment of urogenital tract, upper respiratory and ear infections. Many bacteria now have become resistant to this drug.
Amplitude Quick Reference: Width or breadth of range.
Advanced Reference: Maximum extent of vibration or oscillation from a position of equilibrium. The amplitude is the height/strength of an ECG signal.
Ampoule Quick Reference: Small glass or plastic container or vial.
Advanced Reference: Designed to contain a single dose of a drug or solution, as opposed to a multi-dose vial.
Anaemia Quick Reference: (an-eem-ea) Condition in which there is an insufficient amount of oxygen-carrying capacity in the blood.
Advanced Reference: Various forms exist, e.g. iron-deficiency anaemia, haemolytic anaemia, pernicious anaemia, thalassaemia, sickle-cell anaemia.
Anaerobic Quick Reference: (an-air-obic) Living without oxygen.
Advanced Reference: An anaerobic micro-organism is one that can survive in the absence of oxygen, e.g. those that cause tetanus and gas gangrene or are found in wounds and body cavities which are either free of or low in oxygen, i.e. the bowel.
Anaesthesia Quick Reference: Literally means without feeling.
Advanced Reference: Term which indicates both general and local N
anaesthesia (GA and LA, respectively) and also used interchangeably <
with analgesia. Commonly understood to indicate, being put to sleep in J
order to undergo surgery. J
Analgesia Quick Reference: Indicates without pain. §
Advanced Reference: Often used interchangeably with anaesthesia, | which actually indicates without feeling. Primarily involves drugs and medicines given for pain relief. Referred to as analgesics. Q
Anaphylaxis Quick Reference: (ana-falax-is) A category of shock caused by g a second exposure to a foreign protein (allergen), a substance capable of g-causing an allergy.
Advanced Reference: The initial exposure to the allergen has made the person abnormally sensitive and leads to an immediate reaction. Signs and symptoms are as for shock or allergic reaction, i.e. skin rash (urticaria), tachycardia, vasodilatation, hypotension, sweating, dyspnoea, bronchial swelling, etc. Symptoms are mainly due to histamine release. Anaphylactoid reaction is different from anaphylaxis in that it is not immune related but more a reaction to a substance which causes histamine release.
Anastomosis Quick Reference: Artificial opening between two hollow structures.
Advanced Reference: In surgery, anastomosis is the joining of two ends of a structure usually following resection, i.e. between the two cut-ends of stomach or intestine when part has been removed. Also when joining blood vessel ends or vessel end to a graft.
Anatomical snuffbox Quick Reference: Small cup-like depression on the back of the hand near the wrist.
Advanced Reference: Formed by tendons reaching towards the thumb and index finger.
Aneroid Quick Reference: Indicates absence of fluid or not containing water.
Advanced Reference: Used to describe a device that is in contrast to one that utilises or contains fluid, e.g. an aneroid sphygmomanometer, which contains no mercury.
Aneurysm Quick Reference: (an-your-ism) Local dilatation of an artery sometimes forming a sac.
Advanced Reference: May be congenital due to inflammation or caused by trauma. The pressure of blood causes it to distend and become prone to rupture. Common sites are the abdominal aorta, carotid artery in the neck. There are a number of variations including, dissecting aneurysm in which a tear occurs in the lining and blood makes its way between the layers of the vessel forcing them apart, also saccular aneurysm which involves only a part of the arterial circumference dilating. Treatment for N all usually involves surgery for repair, or more likely, grafting.
o Angina pectoris Quick Reference: Severe chest pain.
'■§ Advanced Reference: Pectoris indicates the region of the pectoral muscle
£ of the chest. The pain is due to occlusion or spasm of the main arteries
§ (coronary) supplying the heart, leading to lack of oxygen to the heart
| muscle itself. Hence, demand outstrips supply. Relieved by vasodilator
S. drugs, i.e. glyceryl trinitrate (nitroglycerine, GTN) which can be admin-
Q istered by tablet or absorbed from under the tongue (sublingual).
c g Angiography Quick Reference: X-ray of the cerebral vascular tree. S- Advanced Reference: Involves imaging following the injection of a radio-opaque medium into a main neck artery.
Angioplasty Quick Reference: Dilatation of a blocked blood vessel.
Advanced Reference: Balloon angioplasty usually involves dilatation of a blocked or constricted artery.
Anion Quick Reference: A negatively charged ion.
Advanced Reference: An ion in an electrolysed solution that migrates to the anode. The anode being the positive pole and cathode the negative.
Ankylosing spondylitis Quick Reference: (ankal-osing) Type of arthritis causing deformity and stiffness.
Advanced Reference: The resultant inflammation affects the joint capsules, attached ligaments and tendons. If present in the area of the neck and spine can cause severe deformity (kyphosis) which may lead to airway management problems during anaesthesia.
Anorexia Quick Reference: Dietary disease also known as the slimmer's disease.
Advanced Reference: Correct term is anorexia nervosa. Symptoms include patients refusing to eat or eat only under protest, they may also vomit to get rid of food. Leads to nutritional deficiency and hormonal upset. Occurs mainly in females between the ages of 14 and 17.
Antacid Quick Reference: Substance used to neutralise stomach acid.
Advanced Reference: In relation to the peri-operative period, antacids are used for patients who are at risk of regurgitation possibly due to hiatus hernia, gastro-oesophageal reflux, etc., given pre-operatively. Sodium citrate is common for Caesarean section patients. Sodium bicarbonate, aluminium hydroxide, magnesium trisilicate are further examples of antacids.
Antagonist Quick Reference: An opposite or opposing action to another.
Advanced Reference: Examples would be the muscles, biceps and triceps; one relaxes to allow the other to contract. With reference to drugs, indicates one which blocks or reverses the action of another.
Antecubital fossa Quick Reference: Inside area of the elbow.
Advanced Reference: Area on the inside of the elbow where access for ^
cannulation is made via the basilic and cephalic veins (ante: before; cubi- g tus: forearm; fossa: depression or pit). g
Anteflexion Quick Reference: Bending forward. c
Advanced Reference: The uterus is a prime example of an organ that £ bends forward. g.
Antepartum Quick Reference: Before childbirth. g>
Advanced Reference: Actually indicates the 3-month period prior to |j giving birth. An antepartum haemorrhage is bleeding from the uterus S. before delivery caused by the dislodged placenta lying below the baby.
Anterior Quick Reference: Indicates front.
Advanced Reference: Opposite to posterior. Foremost, front surface of, etc. Ventral is also used to indicate the front surface of the body.
Anteverted Quick Reference: Tilted forward.
Advanced Reference: Indicates the forward tilting of an organ, as with the uterus which has a normal position of being tilted slightly forward.
Anti-arrhythmic Quick Reference: (a-rith-mic) Range of drugs used to regulate the heartbeat.
Advanced Reference: As there are a number of ways in which the heartbeat can become irregular, the range of drugs to treat this is also broad. Irregularities include atrial and ventricular tachycardia, atrial flutter and fibrillation as well as the changes that may follow a heart attack. Common anti-arrhythmic drugs include: digoxin, verapamil, lignocaine and amiodarone.
Antibacterials Quick Reference: Drugs and substances that destroy bacteria but may have less effect on other micro-organisms.
Advanced Reference: The major group involved is antibiotics, although sulphonamides are sometimes categorised as such, they have specific uses or are administered in combination with antibiotics especially where resistant strains or sensitivity are involved.
Antibiotic Quick Reference: A class of drugs used to treat infections.
Advanced Reference: Collective name for a class of substances produced by living organisms which are capable of destroying or hindering growth of pathogenic organisms. The term is also used to cover similar synthetic compounds which have the same function. The action of one type of microbe opposing the growth of another (antagonism) is termed antibiosis.
Antibody Quick Reference: Against (the body).
Advanced Reference: Specific substances produced in the blood as a reaction to an antigen (foreign substance).
Anticancer Quick Reference: The drugs involved here are mostly cytotoxics. ry Advanced Reference: They work by interfering with cell replication or
< production and so preventing growth of new tissue. Inevitably, this means that normal cell production is also affected and therefore may 2 produce some severe side effects.
§ Anticholinergic Quick Reference: Drugs that inhibit the action, release or ■I production of the substance acetylcholine.
g- Advanced Reference: Acetylcholine plays an important part in the ner
° vous system, tending to relax smooth muscle. Atropine is an example of an anticholinergic drug.
g- Anticholinesterases Quick Reference: (anti-cole-in-est-erase) Agents which inhibit cholinesterases.
Advanced Reference: These drugs increase the concentration of acetyl-choline at the neuromuscular junction and as this substance causes depolarisation they tend to have a depolarising action.
Antidote Quick Reference: Substance given to counteract or neutralise the effects of, e.g. a poison.
Advanced Reference: Example would be an alkali neutralising an acid. Commonly used in reference to snake venom.
Anti-emetic Quick Reference: Drug given to prevent vomiting.
Advanced Reference: This group of drugs work by either directly affecting the vomit centre in the brain or by stimulating gastrointestinal emptying.
Antigen Quick Reference: A substance treated as alien to the body's natural components.
Advanced Reference: Any substance which invokes the action of an antibody.
Antihistamine Quick Reference: Drug which counteracts the effects of histamine.
Advanced Reference: Antihistamines work by blocking the receptors for histamine. Used in the treatment of drug allergies, allergic and itching rashes and urticaria.
Antiseptic Quick Reference: Substance that destroys or arrests the development of bacteria.
Advanced Reference: Used interchangeably but wrongly with disinfectant. One difference being that antiseptics can be safely applied to the body whereas disinfectants generally cannot. Antiseptics are used primarily to prevent infection.
Antisialagogues Quick Reference: (anti-sial-og-us) Drying of salivary secretions.
Advanced Reference: Drugs in this group, atropine being most common, have the action of drying both salivary and bronchial secretions. Useful in premedication.
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