N

Dendrite Quick Reference: Filament of a nerve cell.

Advanced Reference: Carries electrical signals from the synapse to the £ cell body. Each neurone (nerve cell) has many dendrites.

Deoxygenate

Deoxygenate Quick Reference: (de-ox-a-gen-ate) Deprived of oxygen. Advanced Reference: To become deplete of oxygen. Desaturate.

Depolarisation Quick Reference: The neutralisation of an electric charge. Advanced Reference: A depolarising block involves skeletal muscle paralysis associated with the loss of polarity of the motor end plate as occurs following the administration of a cholinergic antagonist.

Depo-medrone Quick Reference: Proprietary corticosteroid.

Advanced Reference: Used in the treatment of inflammation and to relieve allergic disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, hay fever and asthma. Is a preparation of the steroid methylprednisolone.

Dermatology Quick Reference: The medical speciality dealing with skin diseases.

Advanced Reference: The dermis being the connective tissue underlying the epithelium of the skin. A dermatome is an instrument for cutting slices of skin for skin grafting.

Dermatomes Quick Reference: The area of skin innervated by the branches of a single spinal nerve.

Advanced Reference: Useful with regional anaesthesia in determining the extent of the block as areas of the skin are supplied by particular spinal nerves.

Dermoid cyst: Quick Reference: A congenital type of cyst.

Advanced Reference: Formed by a collection of cancerous cells that contain one or more of the three primary embryonic layers of skin, hair or teeth.

Desflurane Quick Reference: (dez-floor-ane) Volatile anaesthetic agent. Advanced Reference: Requires an elaborate vaporiser which is heated and pressurised. Relatively insoluble so induction and recovery are rapid.

Detached retina Quick Reference: Can occur spontaneously or as a result of trauma.

Advanced Reference: The retina, or part of it, separates from the choroids. The patient complains of a gradual decline in their field of vision.

Detergent Quick Reference: Cleansing agent.

Advanced Reference: Detergents work by lowering surface tension which enables water to penetrate better and remove grease by forming an emulsion.

Detruser Quick Reference: (det-rus-er) A muscle that has the action of expelling a substance.

Advanced Reference: The detrusor muscle in the urinary bladder provides a muscular coat. Dysfunction of this muscle can lead to urinary incontinence.

Diabetes

Dettol Quick Reference: Antiseptic and disinfectant.

Advanced Reference: Used to treat abrasions and minor wounds as well as disinfecting instruments. It is a preparation of chloroxylenol.

Dextran Quick Reference: An IV plasma substitute.

Advanced Reference: A carbohydrate consisting of glucose units. Used as a plasma expander in haemorrhage or shock, such as burns. Can interfere with cross-matching (X-matching) of blood. Two major preparations are namely Dextran 40, a 10% solution in glucose or saline and used to improve blood flow in the limbs and preventing thrombosis and Dextran 70 a 6% concentration in glucose or saline 70 and used to expand blood volume.

Dextrocardia Quick Reference: Abnormal position of the heart.

Advanced Reference: Dextrocardia is a rare heart condition, caused by the unusual positioning of the heart which is usually rotated to the right, the patient may not even know of any problems until connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG) for the first time, where an abnormality will show up on the waves representing the heartbeat, the waves will show an inversion of activity, i.e. the P-wave will be completely opposite to its original position, most individuals who are affected by this rare condition (which is present from birth) can lead a normal life.

Dextrolyte Quick Reference: (dex-tro-light) Proprietary sodium solution.

Advanced Reference: Used to treat mild to moderate sodium depletion as in dehydration. Produced in an oral preparation containing sodium chloride, potassium chloride, glucose and sodium lactate.

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