MAC Quick Reference: Minimal alveolar concentration.

Advanced Reference: Refers to inhalational/volatile anaesthetic agents and is the minimum concentration of the agent in the alveoli that prevents a response to a surgical stimulus in 50% of subjects. Therefore, it is a measure of potency or the strength of the agent. MAC can be used to compare potencies of different agents, i.e. an agent with a low MAC value will require a lesser concentration than one with a high MAC value.

Macintosh blade Quick Reference: A curved laryngoscope blade used for intubation.

Advanced Reference: Refers to a curved adult laryngoscope blade designed to pass into the vallecula and lift local structures in order to facilitate intubation.

Macrodex Quick Reference: Proprietary form of Dextran 70.

Advanced Reference: Used intravenously (IV) as a plasma expander and to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Available in dextrose or saline base.

Macula Quick Reference: Central area found in the retina containing the


Advanced Reference: Central area of the retina, where vision is the clearest.

Magill's forceps Quick Reference: Angled forceps for introducing endotracheal (ET) tubes.

Advanced Reference: Ergonomically designed forceps used for grasping the ET tube as an aid to placement into the larynx and retrieving foreign bodies from the pharynx.

Magnesium Quick Reference: Metallic element.

Advanced Reference: Used as an antacid and in treatment of refractory ventricular fibrillation (VF).

Malignant Quick Reference: Term used to distinguish severe or progressive forms of a disease.


Advanced Reference: When used in relation to a tumour indicates cancerous as opposed to benign which is a simple growth that does not invade other tissues.

Malleable Quick Reference: Pliable, able to be formed into a different shape.

Advanced Reference: Substance that is able to be re-shaped without tendency to return to original form. In relation to theatres as with anaesthetic face masks, intubating stylette, wound retractor, etc.

Malpractice Quick Reference: Professional negligence.

Advanced Reference: Involves failure to exercise reasonable care and judgement which may result in injury or harm due to lack of professional knowledge, experience or skill, that can be expected of others in the same profession.

Mandible Quick Reference: Lower jaw.

Advanced Reference: It is a single bone that is loosely jointed with the skull at the temporo-mandibular joint in front of the ear.

Mannitol Quick Reference: A powerful diuretic. Hypertonic solution.

Advanced Reference: It is a form of carbohydrate. Therapeutically it is used to treat oedema and to decrease pressure in certain body areas, i.e. intracranial, eyeball in glaucoma, etc. Sometimes used to assist renal perfusion prior to clamping of the aorta during vascular surgery.

Manometer Quick Reference: Device used for measuring pressure.

Advanced Reference: The manometer measures pressure by the use of a head of fluid moving against a measuring scale. Common example is with central venous pressure (CVP) measurement, where a column of fluid (saline) indicates pressure on a centimetres scale (cmH2O).

Manubrium Quick Reference: Or manubria. Upper section of the breastbone (sternum).

Advanced Reference: It articulates with the clavicle and the first costal cartilage.

Marrow Quick Reference: Soft core of a bone.

Advanced Reference: At birth the bones are filled with red marrow but in adult life the red marrow of the limbs is replaced by yellow marrow consisting mainly of fat, however, in the rest of the skeleton red marrow persists. Red marrow is actively engaged in producing various blood cells.

Marsupialisation Quick Reference: (mar-soup-eal-ise-ashun) To shell out, as from a pouch.

Advanced Reference: Example is marsupialisation of a cyst or abscess of the Bartholins gland of the vagina.


Massive transfusion Quick Reference: Definition involving blood replacement.

Advanced Reference: Although used as a term, is in fact a definition; Massive transfusion is replacement of half the patient's blood volume within one hour.

Mastectomy Quick Reference: Surgical removal of the breast.

Advanced Reference: Carried out in different forms. Simple is the removal of the breast alone whereas radical indicates removal of the breast, muscles and lymph nodes. Lumpectomy involves removal of a smaller lump or growth.

Masticate Quick Reference: To chew food.

Advanced Reference: Involves upper and lower jaws. Mastication breaks up food and mixes it with saliva which aids swallowing.

Mastoid Quick Reference: Bone situated behind the ear.

Advanced Reference: A knob of bone projecting down from the skull behind the ear and attaches to the front part of the sternomastoid muscle.

Mastoidectomy Quick Reference: Surgical removal of diseased bone.

Advanced Reference: Surgical removal of the diseased bone and drainage of the infected mastoid air cells.

MAST suit Quick Reference: Device used for initial resuscitation and transport. Military anti-shock trouser (MAST).

Advanced Reference: Theatre staff may encounter this during accident and emergency (A&E) resuscitation events. The principle involved is that the suit, once on the patient, can be inflated and by applying pressure reduces venous pooling and therefore aid the transfer of blood to central areas of greater need.

Maxilla Quick Reference: Jaw bone.

Advanced Reference: In particular, indicates the upper jaw.

McCoy Quick Reference: Laryngoscope blade.

Advanced Reference: The McCoy has a hinged tip which can be lifted up by pressing a lever connected to the handle of the laryngoscope. Can be used to lift up the epiglottis and improve the view of the larynx. Useful as an alternative to other blades (Macintosh) during difficult intubation situations.

Mean Quick Reference: Occupying a position midway between the extremes of a set of values.

Advanced Reference: Mean arterial pressure (MAP) is calculated by adding the systolic reading to two times the diastolic then dividing by three.

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