Albumin Quick Reference: A plasma protein.

Advanced Reference: Also an intravenous (IV) plasma expander (HAS, human albumin solution).

Aldasorber Quick Reference: Passive scavenging system.

Advanced Reference: Prior to establishment of active scavenging systems, the Aldasorber passive system was used in many centres. Involves a scavenging valve and tubing which is connected to a small container of activated charcoal which absorbs halothane from expired gases. Containers had to be disposed of when they reached a stated weight.

Aldehyde Quick Reference: Colourless volatile fluid with suffocating smell.

Advanced Reference: Obtained by oxidation of alcohol, acetaldehyde. Seen in the theatres as formaldehyde and gluteraldehyde.

Aldosterone Quick Reference: Hormone released by the renal cortex.

Advanced Reference: Responsible for the regulation of sodium levels in the body by re-absorption in the kidney. In order to balance electrolytes, this hormone also plays a part in potassium excretion.

Alfentanil Quick Reference: Narcotic analgesia, e.g. Rapifen.

Advanced Reference: Used for short surgical procedures and outpatients/day-case surgery. Also used as infusion during prolonged procedures.

Alimentary Quick Reference: Refers to the alimentary canal or digestive tract.

Advanced Reference: The alimentary tract is composed of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach and intestine.

Alkali Quick Reference: Substance which neutralises acid to produce a salt.

Advanced Reference: Most common alkalis are oxides, hydroxides or carbonates and bicarbonates. Examples are sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium trisilicate and aluminium hydroxide. Alkalis turn red litmus blue. Alkalosis is an increase in body alkali reserve, in other words a high pH. Due to several causes, such as acid loss through vomiting, etc., or in the event of an alkali (bicarbonate) intake.

Alkaloids Quick Reference: Large group of alkaline substances found in plants.

Advanced Reference: Widely used in medicine. Common examples are atropine, cocaine, caffeine, morphine, codeine, quinine and nicotine. All have names ending in 'ine'.

Alkalosis Quick Reference: Condition in which the body's pH increases.

Advanced Reference: An acid-base imbalance in which there is a decrease in the hydrogen ion concentration and an increase in the pH.

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