N

Nerve block

Nerve block Quick Reference: Indicates blocking nerve pathways to prevent pain.

Advanced Reference: Carried out using local anaesthetic (LA) agents. Examples are wound infiltration (following surgery), digital block (provides pain relief following surgery on toes and fingers), intercostal block (carried out for rib fractures or following surgery), femoral block (useful in patients with fractured neck of femur) or ankle block (following surgery). In addition to LAs for this purpose, electrical nerve stimulation, acupuncture, cryotherapy as well as drugs and inhalation agents are all used as pain-blocking techniques.

Nerve stimulator Quick Reference: Peripheral stimulator used to assess neuromuscular blockade with muscle relaxants.

Advanced Reference: Used to monitor transmission across the neuro-muscular junction with reference to reversal of muscle relaxants. Also used during nerve blocks to produce muscular contractions when locating a nerve plexus.

Neurofibroma Quick Reference: Benign tumour.

Advanced Reference: A benign tumour arising from the sheath of a nerve.

Neuroleptic Quick Reference: (nuro-lep-tic) Drug which effects the nervous system in the way of quietening emotional behaviour and slowing psychomotor activity.

Advanced Reference: Term applied to a technique of anaesthesia which involves using opioid analgesics such as fentanyl and phenoperidine in combination with, e.g. droperidol. Produces neurolepsis and a reduction in motor activity.

Neuroma Quick Reference: A tumour consisting of nerve fibres. Advanced Reference: A tumour growing from a nerve.

Neurons Quick Reference: Or neurones. Nerve cell.

Advanced Reference:A nerve cell with conducting fibres.

Nifedipine Quick Reference: A calcium antagonist. Antihypertensive.

Advanced Reference: Used in the treatment of hypotension and angina.

Nikethamide Quick Reference: Respiratory-stimulant drug.

Advanced Reference: Used to relieve severe respiratory difficulties, e.g. respiratory depression, chronic respiratory disease.

Nipple Quick Reference: Projection at the top of the breast.

Advanced Reference: Structure through which a baby/offspring withdraws milk.

Nipride Quick Reference: Proprietary form of the antihypertensive drug sodium nitroprusside.

Advanced Reference: Used to treat high blood pressure (BP) and create hypotension during surgery by vasodilatation. Short acting. Used in

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs theatres as a preparation for reconstitution in 5% dextrose. Should be protected from light as it decomposes to form unstable solutions which may lead to cyanide toxicity.

Nitric oxide Quick Reference: Chemical symbol NO.

Advanced Reference: Used in intensive care units (ICUs), etc. in inhalant form as a pulmonary vasodilator.

Nitrogen Quick Reference: Inert colourless gas.

Advanced Reference: Present at a level of 78% in air. Not able to support life but plays a part in supporting the alveoli of the lungs.

Nitrous oxide Quick Reference: Laughing gas, N2O.

Advanced Reference: Weak analgesic and anaesthetic. Given in combination with oxygen during general anaesthesia. Available as a compressed liquid in blue cylinders.

Node Quick Reference: (or nodule) A protuberance or swelling.

Advanced Reference: Various nodes exist throughout the body, e.g. atrioventricular (AV) node and sino-atrial node in the heart which are responsible for impulse transmission. The nodes of Ranvier are present in nerve fibres. Also lymph nodes.

Nodule Quick Reference: A small swelling.

Advanced Reference: A small mass of rounded or irregular shape. As a tumour growth or calcification near an arthritic joint.

Non-depolariser Quick Reference: Refers to a specific group of muscle relaxants which act at the neuromuscular junction.

Advanced Reference: These drugs attach themselves to receptor sites on the post-synaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction and prevent acetylcholine reaching the end plate and producing depolarisation. Whereas depolarising muscle relaxants produce their effect (prolonged contraction and paralysis) at the membrane in the same way as acetylcholine.

Non-invasive Quick Reference: Indicates not entering inside the body.

Advanced Reference: As opposed to invasive, when devices, etc. are placed inside the body. An example is non-invasive BP using a limb cuff as opposed to cannulating an artery to obtain a direct recording.

Non-rebreathing Quick Reference: Refers to valves used in breathing systems.

Advanced Reference: With these circuits the patient continually receives a fresh flow of gas. Examples in common use are Ruben valve and those as used in bagvalve mask (BVM) devices for resuscitation.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs Quick Reference: NSAID. Group of drugs with analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic actions.

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