Face mask (anaesthetic) Quick Reference: The face mask connects the patient to the breathing system and anaesthetic machine.

Advanced Reference: The anaesthetic face mask is made of black rubber and/or transparent plastic, with an inflatable cuff to ensure a snug fit over the face. It is designed to contour itself to the face and is available in several different sizes. The proximal end of the mask has a 22-mm inlet for connection to the angle piece. The angle piece fits to a catheter mount and/or a breathing system.

Designs include 'Ambu' and 'Rendell-Baker'. The 'goldman' mask is a nasal inhaler which is often used in dental chair anaesthesia.

Excessive pressure by the mask may cause injury to structures of the face, e.g. the branches of the trigeminal or facial nerves. It can also cause an increase in 'dead space' of up to 200 ml in adults.

Other masks used in anaesthetics/recovery include the variable performance masks (medium concentration (MC) mask) which give oxygen-enriched air to the patient and the Venturi masks which are fixed performance and give specific oxygen concentration to the patient.

Faciomaxillary Quick Reference: Refers to the surgical speciality dealing with facial injury and deformity.

Advanced Reference: Also referred to as maxillo-facial, or in slang terms 'max-fax'. Involves features of dentistry/orthodontics, ear, nose and throat (ENT), orthopaedic and plastic surgery.

Fahrenheit Quick Reference: (far-en-height) Temperature-measuring scale.

Advanced Reference: Sets the freezing point of water at 32° and boiling point at 212°. Body temperature using this scale is 98.4°.

Failed intubation Quick Reference: Indicates a patient not being able to be intubated following a number of attempts.

Advanced Reference: Often confused with difficult intubation but whereas this involves the reasons that may cause intubation to be difficult, failed intubation usually involves a policy or guidelines of what should be done in this situation. Commonly involves aspects such as how many attempts should be made before considering alternatives, as well as the assistant maintaining cricoid pressure, etc.


Falciform Quick Reference: (fals-e-form) Sickle-shaped ligament within the hepatic system.

Advanced Reference: A fold of peritoneum connected to the anterior abdominal wall and diaphragm and which separates the two lobes of the liver.

Fallopian tubes Quick Reference: Bilateral tubes which run from the ovaries to the upper corners of the uterus.

Advanced Reference: They are lined with ciliated epithelium which collects the egg from the ovaries and propels it down the tube into the uterus. If fertilisation takes place but the ovum does not travel to the uterus, an ectopic pregnancy can occur in the fallopian tube.

Fallot's tetralogy Quick Reference: Congenital heart condition.

Advanced Reference: This condition has four component defects; an opening in the interventricular septum, the partition between the right and left ventricles, a narrowing of the valve of the pulmonary artery, over-development of the right ventricle and displacement of the aorta to the right. A child suffering from this condition is cyanosed due to the circulating blood not being properly oxygenated.

Faradic stimulation Quick Reference: Electric current applied to a muscle. Faradism.

Advanced Reference: Physiotherapy technique where muscles are made to contract by the application of an intermittent current when patients are unable to contract the muscle voluntarily. Used sometimes in obstetrics and gynaecology to stimulate the muscles of the pelvis which have become lax usually following childbirth.

Fascia Quick Reference: (fash-ia) Fibrous tissue wrapped around muscles and organs.

Advanced Reference: Referred to as the packing material of the body. Found throughout the body, e.g. as the periosteum covering bones which merges with fascial sheaths of neighbouring muscles. Lies just under the skin as the superficial and deep fascia. The superficial contains fat, nerves and blood vessels while the deep is densely fibrous.

< Fasciectomy Quick Reference: (fash-e-ectomy) Removal of fascia.

£ Advanced Reference:The most common procedure is palmer fasciec-

2 tomy due to contracture (Dupuytren's) of fingers.

§ Fasiculation Quick Reference: (fas-ic-you-lay-hun) Flickering or twitching

g- Advanced Reference: Reaction produced when muscle relaxant

° suxamethonium is injected. Fasiculation occurs as the drug produces depolarisation.

g- FASIER Quick Reference: Follicle aspiration sperm injection and assisted rupture. Type of infertility treatment.

Fenestrated tracheostomy tube

Advanced Reference: Carried out under ultrasound guidance and used to remove the egg directly from a follicle. Next the sperm and egg are mixed inside the syringe and then injected into the patient.

Fat embolism Quick Reference: Fatty deposit entering the blood circulation.

Advanced Reference: Most common after orthopaedic procedures such as hip replacement when reaming of the bone has been carried out.

Fatty liver disease Quick Reference: Also called steatosis. It is a build-up of fat in liver cells.

Advanced Reference: Caused by long-term alcohol abuse. Along with hepatitis and cirrhosis, it is one of the three primary types of alcohol-induced liver disease.

Fazadinium Quick Reference: Non-depolarising neuromuscular-blocking drug.

Advanced Reference: Onset of action is approximately 1 min and this is why it was thought to be an alternative to suxamethonium.

Febrile Quick Reference: Related to fever.

Advanced Reference: Associated with pyrexia. Febrile convulsions in children are caused by fever.

Feeding tube Quick Reference: Refers to invasive catheters, etc. inserted into the body to provide nutrition.

Advanced Reference: The term commonly applies to total parenteral nutrition (TPN) lines (Nutri-Cath), etc. inserted into a central vein rather than direct gastrostomy tubes, etc. Inserted when the patient cannot take nutrition normally (enteric route) due to obstruction, removal of sections of the gastrointestinal tract or when on long-term ventilation in intensive therapy unit (ITU).

Femora-popliteal bypass Quick Reference: Vascular surgery procedure.

Advanced Reference: Involves the restoration of blood flow to the leg with a graft bypassing the occluded section of the femoral artery.

Femur Quick Reference: The thigh bone. ^

Advanced Reference: Said to be the largest and strongest bone in the ce human body. At the upper end its rounded head fits into the acetabulum |>

(cup-shaped socket) of the pelvis to form a ball and socket joint while its £

lower end forms a joint at the knee. ent

Fenestra Quick Reference: A window or opening. &

Advanced Reference: A common example is the opening between the a middle and inner ear. E

Fenestrated tracheostomy tube Quick Reference: Curved plastic tube used to assist in breathing, the fenestration allows the patient to speak.


Advanced Reference: Tracheostomy tubes are used for intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV), upper airway obstruction, maintenance of an airway and long-term control of bronchial secretions.

A tracheostomy tube is composed of an introducer, wings for attachment of securing tape, inflatable cuff (usually), 15 mm connector (usually) on proximal end.

Complications of use can include haemorrhage, occlusion, infection and ulceration of the trachea.

The fenestrated tube allows the patient to speak by channelling air to the vocal cords.

Fenestration Quick Reference: Making an opening or window.

Advanced Reference: An ENT procedure designed to assist hearing when deafness is due to otosclerosis. Involves making an opening in the bony labyrinth of the ear.

Fentanyl Quick Reference: (fent-an-il) A narcotic analgesic, e.g. sublimaze.

Advanced Reference: Synthetic analgesic derived from pethidine. Used as a supplement during anaesthesia. It is a powerful respiratory depressant.

Fentazin Quick Reference: Perphenazine. Primarily an antipsychotic drug.

Advanced Reference: Used to treat anxiety or as an anti-emetic prior to surgery.

Ferric Quick Reference: Ferrous or iron.

Advanced Reference: Ferrous sulphate is used to treat iron-deficiency anaemia. Other preparations include ferrous succinate and fumarate.

FESS Quick Reference: Functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Endoscopic examination of the sinus cavity within the skull.

Advanced Reference: The insertion of a fine telescope into the nasal or other skull cavity to determine the cause of blocked sinuses.

Fibre-optics Quick Reference: Refers to the light-carrying system used in fibrescopes.

Advanced Reference: Utilises glass or plastic fibres to carry images and N light, which also means that the instrument has a degree of flexibility < and so more readily introduced into the body than rigid scopes.

'■§ Fibrillation Quick Reference: Rapid uncoordinated contractions of the £ heart muscle.

§ Advanced Reference: May be atrial (AF) or ventricular (VF). Produces an ineffective pumping action of the heart.

® Fibrinogen Quick Reference: An enzyme involved in the clotting of blood. g> Advanced Reference: Fibrinogen is a soluble protein dissolved in the atir plasma and is converted into threads of an insoluble protein, fibrin, S. which forms a mesh and eventually becomes a clot after serum has been squeezed out.


Fibrin sealant Quick Reference: Biological tissue glue composed of thrombin and fibrinogen used to stop air leaks and control bleeding.

Advanced Reference: Applied topically to help stop bleeding. The main active ingredient is fibrinogen and works by forming a flexible covering over the oozing blood vessel and can control bleeding within 5 min.

Fibroadenoma Quick Reference: Solid benign lump in the breast.

Advanced Reference: Mostly painless and mobile. However, may cause discomfort and become larger, especially during pregnancy. Can be removed surgically if necessary.

Fibroid Quick Reference: (fibe-roid) Overgrowth of muscle and connective tissue in the wall of the uterus.

Advanced Reference: Described as smooth muscle tumours, usually benign and can vary in size. Can cause pain, pressure on adjacent organs, vaginal bleeding and infertility. May be treated conservatively or with surgery.

Fibrosarcoma Quick Reference: Type of soft tissue sarcoma.

Advanced Reference: A malignant tumour of fibrous tissue which grows relatively slowly often in muscles near the surface of the body. Can invade neighbouring tissue and metastasise the lungs.

Fibrosis Quick Reference: Growth of scar tissue.

Advanced Reference: Can be due to infection, inflammatory injury, or even healing. Common conditions include cystic fibrosis and pulmonary fibrosis.

Fibrositis Quick Reference: Inflammation of fibrous tissue.

Advanced Reference: Involves pain and stiffness. Common sites affected are the back and neck. Sometimes referred to as muscular rheumatism.

Filters Quick Reference: Devices used to remove substances from gases and fluids.

Advanced Reference: Filters are used within breathing systems to remove bacteria and prevent cross infection. Positioned usually as close to the patient end as possible in an anaesthetic circuit and at the inlet tubing to ventilators. Blood filters are designed to remove micro-aggregates N during transfusion. These have formed during the storage period from <: platelets, leucocytes and fibrins and are suspected to be a cause of pul- 8 monary micro-embolism. Further examples of filters are drawing-up needles g that contain filters intended to prevent minute particles from glass vials i being injected and in-line bacterial epidural filters. ^

Finger cot Quick Reference: A small finger glove. S.

Advanced Reference: Finger cots were used to perform rectal examinations. Q

Fissure Quick Reference: (fish-ure) A cleft or groove in a structure. g

Advanced Reference: A common example is an anal fissure, which is S. a crack in the mucous membrane of the anus often caused by hard faeces.


Fistula Quick Reference: A pipe or tube. Plural is fistulae.

Advanced Reference: An abnormal connection between the cavity of one organ with another or the surface of the body. Examples include vesico-vaginal (urinary bladder and vagina), fistula in ano (anal canal and skin) and an atrioventricular (AV) fistula (artery and vein).

Fitzpatrick Quick Reference: System for classifying skin types by their colour and response to sunlight.

Advanced Reference: Involves the amount of melanin a person has in their epidermis. The classification covers 1-6 types from those who always sunburn to dark/black skin types who cannot burn.

Fixation Quick Reference: To render something stable or immovable.

Advanced Reference: Usually applied to the repair and stabilisation of bones and joints.

Flagyl Quick Reference: (flag-il) Antibacterial preparation.

Advanced Reference: Proprietary form of the amoebicidal drug metron-idazole with high activity against anaerobic bacteria. Available as an infusion for intravenous (IV) use.

Flail chest Quick Reference: Chest injury involving broken ribs or sternum. Advanced Reference: The fracture causes disruption to the normal functioning of the thorax in that the broken section becomes detached and no longer moves outwards on inspiration but is drawn inwards by negative pressure and is pushed outwards during expiration while the rest of the thorax contracts.

Flamazine Quick Reference: Proprietary antibacterial cream.

Advanced Reference: Used to treat wounds, burns, ulcers, bedsores and skin graft donor sites. It is a preparation of silver sulphadiazine in a water-soluble base.

Flap Quick Reference: Usually refers to a section of tissue used for grafting. Advanced Reference: The flap is left attached to its blood supply and can be used to repair defects either close by or some distance from the donor site.

Flexion Quick Reference: Indicates bending.

Advanced Reference: The movement of bending a joint. Opposite to extension. A flexor muscle is any muscle that causes the bending of a limb or other body part.

Floating ribs Quick Reference: Refers to the last pairs of ribs.

Advanced Reference: These are connected only to the vertebrae but not the sternum as are the rest of the ribs.

Flowmeter Quick Reference: A flowmeter measures the flow of gas through them and are always used on anaesthetic machines.


Advanced Reference: Flowmeters measure the flow rate of a gas passing through them. They are individually calibrated at room temperature and atmospheric pressure for each gas. In the anaesthetic machine, the flow rate is measured in litres per minute.

The flowmeter consists of a flow control valve, a tapered plastic tube (wider at the top) and a lightweight bobbin.

When the needle valve is opened, gas enters the tapered tube. The bobbin is kept floating within the tube by the gas flow passing around it. The higher the flow rate, the higher the bobbin rises. A rotating bobbin indicates that it is floating and not just stuck in position.

Dangers in use include flowmeters sticking (caused by, e.g. dirt or static electricity) and giving the wrong reading, pressure rise at the common gas outlet can result in wrong readings.

Floxapen Quick Reference: Proprietary antibiotic.

Advanced Reference: Used in the treatment of skin and ENT infections, especially those caused by Staphylcoccus and have become resistant to penicillin, e.g. flucloxacillin.

Fluid balance Quick Reference: Relates to the intake and output of fluids usually on a daily basis.

Advanced Reference: Average adult daily intake is approximately 1500 mls daily but can vary with climate etc. Output involves the fluid in urine, faeces, sweat, evaporation,etc. Surgical patients fluid balance must be monitored effectively by including loss from fasting, bleeding, urinary output, evaporation etc. Input during surgery is mainly through intravenous methods.

Fluid retention Quick Reference: Failure to excrete excess fluid from the body.

Advanced Reference: May be due to renal, cardiovascular or metabolic disorders.

Flumazenil Quick Reference: Benzodiazepine antagonist.

Advanced Reference: Also known as anexate. Reverses the sedative effects of the benzodiazepine group of drugs.

Fluoroscope Quick reference: Viewing screen used in radiology/radio- 7

Advanced Reference: It is a fluorescent screen which enables images to '■§

be viewed directly rather than taking X-ray films. £

Flutter Quick Reference: Refers to an irregular heartbeat, an arrhythmia. ^

Advanced Reference: Atrial flutter, referred to as 'saw-tooth' when viewed ^ on an electrocardiographical (ECG) trace. Due to rapid atrial discharge and can be up to 300 per minute. In relation to theatre can be caused by insertion of a central venous pressure (CVP) line, hypovolaemia, pulmonary embolism. Treated with cardioversion, pacing and drug therapy (digoxin, amiodarone, verapamil).


Foetus Quick Reference: (fe-tus) Unborn offspring developing in the uterus.

Advanced Reference: Also has a spelling of fetus. Before the 8th week and after conception the child is called an embryo but between the 8th week and the end of pregnancy is referred to as the foetus.

Follicle Quick Reference: A very small secreting gland.

Advanced Reference: In the ovary the ovum develops in a small cystic space filled with fluid called a graffian follicle. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is one of the hormones of the anterior pituitary gland, which stimulates the formation of the ovum in the ovary and spermatozoa in the testis.

Fontanelle Quick Reference: (font-an-el) Space between the cranial bones of an infant.

Advanced Reference: When first born, a baby's skull bones have not completely come together and there are six places where the gaps are closed by membrane. The largest is on top of the head where the frontal bone and the two parietal bones at the sides leave a gap of approximately a square inch and this is called the anterior fontanelle. This gap usually closes by about 18 months.

Foramen Quick Reference: An opening or hole.

Advanced Reference: A natural opening especially into or through bone for the passage of blood vessels or nerves. The largest is the foramen magnum at the base of the skull through which the spinal cord passes into the vertebral column.

Foreign body Quick Reference: Anything found within the body which is not naturally there.

Advanced Reference: Can be within the digestive tract, lungs, etc., either swallowed or inhaled. Many need to be removed surgically.

Foreskin Quick Reference: (for-skin) Skin covering the end of the penis.

Advanced Reference: The prepuce. Covers the glans penis and its inner surface secretes a lubricating fluid.

N Formaldehyde Quick Reference: (for-mal-dee-hide) A pungent gas soluble

J Advanced Reference: Used as a powerful disinfectant and for sterilising

[s instruments that cannot withstand heat. Available in tablet form which i gives off a strong and irritant vapour. Also used in a water solution as

^ formalin as a fixative for laboratory specimens.

S. Forrester spray Quick Reference: Throat spray.

Q Advanced Reference: Design of throat spray used in anaesthetics to deliver local anaesthetic (LA).

S. Fortral Quick Reference: Proprietary narcotic analgesic.

Advanced Reference: The active constituent is the opiate pentazocine.


Fossa Quick Reference: A depression or hollow area.

Advanced Reference: Many are found in or are related to bones such as the iliac fossa which is the depression on the inner surface of the iliac bone. The cubital fossa is the triangular depression at the front of the elbow where veins are sometimes used for IV cannulation.

Fothergill's operation Quick Reference: Gynaecological operation.

Advanced Reference: An operation carried out to correct prolapse of the uterus. Involves amputation of the cervix with anterior and posterior colporrhaphy.

Frenulum Quick Reference: Section of tissue which limits the movement of an organ.

Advanced Reference: Is a fold of mucous membrane as in the fold under the tongue or that at the back of the penis.

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