Meniscus appearance on X-ray. He considered this due to gastric acid contents with a pH of less than 2.5 entering the lungs. Can happen during induction and recovery from anaesthesia and more commonly with certain risk groups such as emergency surgery, Caesarean section, hiatus hernia, etc.

Meniscus Quick Reference: Piece of cartilage separating joint surfaces. Advanced Reference: Usually a semicircular or crescent-shaped section of cartilage, as in the knee joint.

Menorrhagia Quick Reference: (menor-ag-ea) Excessive blood loss at the monthly period (menstruation).

Advanced Reference: Can be due to a number of factors including hormonal imbalance, clotting disorders and irregular ovulation.

Menstruation Quick Reference: Female monthly period.

Advanced Reference: Involves the monthly loss of blood and mucous membrane (endometrium) lining the uterus following the expectation of pregnancy which has not occurred.

Mesentery Quick Reference: A double layer of peritoneum which attaches the intestine to the posterior abdominal wall.

Advanced Reference: Carried within the mesentery are the blood and lymphatic vessels and nerves that supply the gut.

Mesothelioma Quick Reference: A tumour of the pleura, peritoneum or pericardium.

Advanced Reference: Pleural mesothelioma; it is often due to asbestos exposure.

Metabolism Quick Reference: Chemical process by which the substance of the body is produced and maintained.

Advanced Reference: Metabolism consists of catabolism (breakdown of molecules) and anabolism ( reconstruction of molecules).

Metacarpal(s) Quick Reference: Bones of the hand/wrist.

Advanced Reference: Comprised of the five bones of the hand that connect the wrist (carpus) to the fingers (phalanges).

Metals Quick Reference: Refers to the metals used in implants and medical devices, etc.

Advanced Reference: Metals which are used as implants; and are to enter the body require certain properties, i.e. insoluble, non-carcinogenic, non-toxic, non-irritant as well as possessing necessary strength as in the case of joints and plates. These include stainless steel, chrome, titanium, molybdenum, alloy and cobalt. Gold and silver could also be used, but cost alone excludes them.


Metastasis Quick Reference: (met-ast-a-s-sees) Migration of disease from one area of the body to another.

Advanced Reference: Generally used in relation to cancer spread from primary growth to secondary site.

Metatarsals Quick Reference: Small bones of the foot.

Advanced Reference: There are five in number and they run between the ankle and the toes.

Methadone Quick Reference: Powerful narcotic analgesic.

Advanced Reference: Used to relieve severe pain and in the treatment of heroin addiction.

Methanol Quick Reference: Methyl alcohol. Better known as wood alcohol and used as a solvent.

Advanced Reference: Much stronger than ethyl alcohol which comprises alcoholic drinks and if ingested can cause blindness and death. The blindness being due to damage to the optic nerve. Methylated spirit is a mixture of 5% methanol and 95% ethyl alcohol combined with other petroleum hydrocarbons. One form is known as surgical spirit or rubbing alcohol.

Methicillin Quick Reference: Form of penicillin. A derivative of anti-staphylococcal or penicillinase-resistant penicillin.

Advanced Reference: Main usage is in the treatment of penicillin-resistant Staphylcoccus aureus. Given only by injection.

Methylene blue Quick Reference: (meth-il-ine) A blue dye.

Advanced Reference: Used in staining material for microscopy and IV to test renal function and to identify various structures during surgery. Also used in the treatment of methaemoglobinaemia.

Metoclopramide Quick Reference: An anti-emetic / anti-nauseant. Also available as Maxolon and Primperan.

Advanced Reference: Has a dual action whereby it acts centrally by depressing the vomiting centre and peripherally by stimulating gastrointestinal emptying.

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