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g Asymmetrical Quick Reference: Unequal in size or shape.

S. Advanced Reference: Different in placement and arrangement (about an axis).

Asystole Quick Reference: (a-sis-toe-lee) Absence of the heartbeat.

Advanced Reference: Confirmed when no ventricular activity is seen on the Electrocardiograph (ECG) trace.

Ataxia Quick Reference: Impaired ability to co-ordinate movement.

Advanced Reference: Involves posture imbalance. Causing someone to stagger, etc.

Atelectasis Quick Reference: (atel-ac-tesis) Incomplete expansion of the lung. Advanced Reference: A term that may cover a number of causes and effects in both infants and adults. Also described as collapse of the lung.

Atenolol Quick Reference: A beta-blocker drug.

Advanced Reference: Used to reduce the heart rate and force of contraction.

Atheroma Quick Reference: Fatty deposit.

Advanced Reference: Causes thickening of arterial walls and blockages composed of fatty substances such as cholesterol.

Atherosclerosis Quick Reference: Disease of the walls of arteries.

Advanced Reference: The walls of the arteries become thickened, stiff and swollen following the laying down of atheromatous deposits.

Atracurium Quick Reference: Tracrium. A skeletal muscle relaxant.

Advanced Reference: Non-depolarising muscle relaxant with a duration of 20-25 min; often the drug of choice in renal and hepatic impairment. Undergoes spontaneous degradation due to a process known as Hoffman elimination and therefore spontaneous reversal.

Atropine Quick Reference: An anticholinergic.

Advanced Reference: Obtained from belladonna (deadly nightshade). Used in combination with neostigmine during reversal of non-depolarising muscle relaxants. Commonly used in combination with tranquillisers and narcotics as a premedication has the effects of drying salivary secretions and is an antispasmodic. Used to dilate the pupil of the eye for ophthalmic surgery.

Auditory Quick Reference: Pertaining to the sense of hearing. n

Advanced Reference: Audiology is the science of dealing with hearing < and audiometry is the measurement of the power of hearing. tic

Augmentin Quick Reference: Commonly used antibiotic. £

Advanced Reference: Proprietary preparation of the penicillin-like anti- §

biotic amoxycillin combined with an extending agent, clavulanic acid, ■!

which extends the action and power of amoxycillin. g o

Ausculation Quick Reference: (os-cue-lation) Method of examining the g> body by listening. is

Advanced Reference: Mostly applies to the chest and heart when being examined with a stethoscope.

Autoclave Quick Reference: A machine for sterilising equipment.

Advanced Reference: The autoclave is a machine that uses steam and pressure to sterilise surgical instruments. It will destroy most microorganisms, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) but will not kill Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).

Autograft Quick Reference: Graft from one part of the same body to another. Auto indicates self.

Advanced Reference: A graft where the donor is also the recipient, e.g. skin graft.

Autonomic nervous system Quick Reference: Regulates body functions other than voluntary movement and conscious sensation.

Advanced Reference: Composed of the sympathetic and parasympa-thetic nervous systems whose actions are generally opposed, e.g. the sympathetic accelerates the heart and the parasympathetic slows down, while e.g. on the intestine they function the other way round.

AV fistula Quick Reference: Fistula indicates a false or abnormal passage connecting one structure with another.

Advanced Reference: Atrio-ventricular (AV) fistula is the anastomosis of an artery and a vein for purposes of haemodialysis in patients with renal failure. It provides access for the artificial kidney machine.

AV node Quick Reference: Atrio-ventricular node of the heart.

Advanced Reference: Node situated between the atria and ventricles which transmits impulses and forms a pathway in the cardiac conduction system.

Avulsion Quick Reference: (avul-shon) To tear away.

Advanced Reference: Indicates to forcibly wrench away, as in avulsion of toe-nail when just the nail is removed but not including the bed. Also, avulsion of varicose veins.

Ayre's T-piece Quick Reference: (airs) Paediatric anaesthetic circuit.

Advanced Reference: Corresponds to the Mapleson E system. Suitable for children up to 20 kg. The Jackson Rees modification added an open-ended bag with an open tail and this enables artificial ventilation.

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