Advanced Reference: Used with reference to the apex beat of the heart, located or felt at the level of the fifth left intercostals space in the mid-clavicular line.

Apgar scale Quick Reference: A scoring system used to assess the new born.

Advanced Reference: Involves assessment of pulse/heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, grimace/irritability and colour. Each is awarded a value (0,1,2) and total score indicates condition, maximum 10, below 9 requires attention and less than 6 indicates infant needs resuscitation. Taken at 1- and 5-minute intervals after birth.

Apnoea Quick Reference: Cessation of breathing.

Advanced Reference: Due to a number of factors. Commonly involves a drop in the necessary CO2 tension in the blood in order to stimulate the respiratory centre.

Appendicectomy Quick Reference: (appen-dis-ectomy) Surgical removal of the appendix.

Advanced Reference: Identification of the appendix at the ileo-caecal junction, i.e. the distal aspects of the ileum and the proximal aspects of ascending colon. Removal of the appendix utilising a purse-string suture. The McBurney point is the name given to the surgical incision site.

Apronectomy Quick Reference: A plastic surgery procedure carried out for obesity.

Advanced Reference: Involves removal of an apron of skin and underlying fat from the abdomino-pelvic region, mainly for cosmetic indications.

Aramine Quick Reference: Vasoconstrictor drug.

Advanced Reference: Proprietary form of metaraminol. Used to raise BP or in conditions of severe shock. During anaesthesia it is used as either injection or infusion.

ARDS Quick Reference: Adult respiratory distress syndrome.

Advanced Reference: Serious disease of the lungs, with a high mortality rate. A form of respiratory failure due to a number of causes. Predisposing factors include aspiration of gastric contents, sepsis, fluid

7 overload and lung contusion. <

J Arm board Quick Reference: Piece of equipment used to support and poses ition the patient's arm(s) during surgery.

i Advanced Reference: Positioned from the side of the operating table at

^ shoulder level as a support when the arm is at an angle to the table. ^ Intended to give access to the arm/hand for IV access and BP readings, ® etc., as well as keeping the arm clear of the surgical site. There are a num-g> ber of inherent hazards involved in the use of arm boards: (1) The angle is of the board must not exceed 90° as this could cause brachial plexus injury. (2) The board can drop below the table level causing a drag on the shoulder joint and associated nerves. (3) As some are made of metal, earthing of the patient's skin is possible if unprotected. (4) There are opposing views over whether the arm/hand should lie palm up or palm down and any benefits of the patient's head facing towards the arm out on a board in order to reduce anatomical stress. Also, having both arms out simultaneously creates the potential for injury if necessary precautions are not identified. There are designs of arm board available for both attaching to the table and sliding under the table mattress.

Arm support Quick Reference: Device for securing the patient's arms at their side during surgery.

Advanced Reference: Numerous models are available but all are a variation on an L-shaped plastic design. Intended to fit under the table mattress with the upper section supporting the arms, whether positioned at the patient's side or folded across the chest. If wrongly applied, can cause pressure damage to the arm itself and the ulnar nerve at the elbow as well as skin damage if placed directly under the patient and not the mattress.

Arrhythmia Quick Reference: (a-rith-mea) Any irregularity in the rhythm of the heartbeat.

Advanced Reference: Actually indicates no rhythm so is an inaccurate term. Dysrhythmia is more accurate. Drugs used to treat arrhythmias are known as anti-arrhythmics. Lignocaine and amiodarone are commonly used in the treatment of tachy-arrhythmias.

Artefact Quick Reference: Artificially made.

Advanced Reference: False signals, etc. Interference in radiology, ECG trace, etc.

Arteriosclerosis Quick Reference: Hardening of the arteries.

Advanced Reference: Loss of elasticity of the arterial walls due to thickening and calcification. Leads to raised BP.

Artery forceps Quick Reference: An instrument for holding 'bleeders' securely.

Advanced Reference: All artery forceps have serrated jaws designed to hold bleeding vessels securely. Some have sharp teeth at the ends of their jaws which provide a stronger grip on tough come in many sizes and shapes, with some of the most common being Mosquito, Halstead, Spencer Wells, Kelly and Kocher. Known as 'clamp'.

Arthritis Quick Reference: Inflammation of a joint. ol

Advanced Reference: Term applied to many types of joint disease, ®

although not always accurately. A degenerative condition in which the ■!

restriction of movement is a prominent factor. The three common types g-

of arthritis are: rheumatoid, osteo and gout. °

Arthroplasty Quick Reference: Replacement of a joint with an artificial device. g

Advanced Reference: The joint being replaced by a prosthesis. Arthro meaning joint and plasty indicating a moulding, i.e. total knee arthroplasty, where the distal end of the femur and the head of the tibia both replaced with a plastic prosthesis.

Articular Quick Reference: Pertaining to a joint.

Advanced Reference: Indicates a joint or the movement of joints.

Arytenoid Quick Reference: (aret-noid) cartilages (2) to the larynx.

Advanced Reference: Their function is to adjust the tension of the vocal cords to which they are attached.

ASA Quick Reference: American Society of Anaesthetists.

Advanced Reference: Refers to the criteria laid down by the ASA which involves a patient's pre-operative assessment, and classification which utilises a scale of 1-5 ranging from healthy to moribund which also includes emergency status.

Asbestos Quick Reference: Combination of minerals, i.e. magnesium silicate. At one time commonly used in the building trade in the structures or as insulation.

Advanced Reference: Inhalation of the dust can lead to pulmonary fibrosis and cancer. Asbestosis, accumulation in the bronchioles. One type of asbestos is responsible for mesothelioma. Now tightly controlled under Health and Safety Law.

Ascites Quick Reference: (a-site-ees) Accumulation of fluid in the peritoneum.

Advanced Reference: Leads to swelling in such conditions as heart, kidney and liver disease which can bring about exudation from the blood vessels. Paracentesis is a procedure performed to draw off the fluid with a needle entering through the abdominal wall.

Asepsis Quick Reference: Absence of any living organism.

Advanced Reference: Term often used interchangeably but wrongly with sterile. In relation to theatres, indicates an area intended to be free of micro-organisms by the use of antiseptics, barriers, washing techniques, etc.

Asthma Quick Reference: (as-th-ma) respiratory disease which produces

N attacks of breathing difficulty.

< Advanced Reference: Asthma attacks produce difficulty in expiration,

J due to hypersensitivity to foreign substances. Involves narrowing of the acr bronchi, this reverses either spontaneously or in response to medication.

§ Astringent Quick Reference: Agent that causes contraction of tissues upon

| application.

S. Advanced Reference: Used locally on skin, etc. Stops capillary bleeding,

Q loosens secretions, etc.

Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment