N

Naevus Quick Reference: (nevus) A birthmark.

Advanced Reference: Area of pigmentation on the skin due to dilated blood vessels.

Nail brush Quick Reference: Small brush used during the scrub-up procedure.

Advanced Reference: Available as a pre-sterilised item and in some designs impregnated with antiseptic/antibacterial solution, etc. Not recommended by all authorities, some views are that too harsh a brush may cause skin injury and actually disturb resident flora and so create a better environment for bacterial growth. However, as originally intended for nail cleaning, has undoubted benefits.

Naloxone Quick Reference: Opiate antagonist, e.g. narcan.

Advanced Reference: Used as an antidote to narcotic analgesic overdose.

Nanogram Quick Reference: Indicates one-thousand millionth.

Advanced Reference: A nanogram is one-thousand millionth of a gram. A nanometre is one-thousand millionth of a metre. One-thousandth of a micron.

Narcolepsy Quick Reference: A condition which produces an uncontrollable desire to sleep.

Advanced Reference: Those suffering the condition experience excessive daytime sleepiness and at the most inappropriate times.

Narcosis Quick Reference: Dulling of consciousness.

Advanced Reference: A state of unconsciousness usually produced by drugs of the narcotic category.

Narcotic Quick Reference: Any drug that produces narcosis.

Advanced Reference: Usually refers to morphine-type drugs. Other related terms are opiates and opioids.

Nares Quick Reference: The nostrils.

Advanced Reference: The nares reach from the outside of the nose to the nasopharynx. The two nostrils are separated at the entrance by the collumella and within the nasal passages by the nasal septum.

Nasal prongs/specs

Nasal prongs/specs Quick Reference: Oxygen-delivery system.

Advanced Reference: Designed to be inserted one in each nostril for delivering oxygen. Inaccurate in percentage delivered as factors, such as depth of insertion, patient mouth opening, etc. have an effect. Values of 40% are quoted but cannot be taken as accurate. Claimed to deliver 4% for each 1 litre of O2 flow, therefore a 6 litre O2 flow would give 24% + 21% (room air) = 45%. A similar style with one nostril prong is also available. Often referred to as oxygen 'specs' due the design which loops over the top of the ears.

Nasogastric tube Quick Reference: Tube (usually polyvinyl chloride, PVC) passed into the stomach.

Advanced Reference: Usually inserted for suction, lavage or feeding. Available in a number of bores, e.g. 10G through 18G, etc. Also referred to as Ryles tube, which is a nasogastric tube with a weighted tip. It has an integral radio-opaque line for placement detection by X-ray when in situ. In order to maintain some degree of rigidity, they are often kept in the department fridge.

Nasopharyngeal airway Quick Reference: Airway used primarily in anaesthesia.

Advanced Reference: Inserted via the nostrils and sits in the pharynx. Available in various diameters from neonate to large adult. Lengths also vary accordingly and may be assessed by comparing the distance from nares to ear.

Nasopharynx Quick Reference: Region behind the nose.

Advanced Reference: The nasopharynx is actually the upper pharynx, the portion above and behind the soft palate.

Nausea Quick Reference: Sensation of being about to vomit.

Advanced Reference: Actually indicates the feeling of sickness without vomiting actually occurring.

Navel Quick Reference: The umbilicus.

Advanced Reference: The scar in the centre of the abdominal wall where the umbilical cord joined the foetus to the placenta in the womb.

Nebuliser Quick Reference: Device that converts a liquid into a fine spray. Advanced Reference: Apparatus for administering a drug in the form of a spray, cloud or droplets. Also used to humidify inspired oxygen or E gases. Also referred to as an atomiser.

§■ Necrosis Quick Reference: Death of an organ or portion of it. ° Advanced Reference: Usually caused by damage or interruption to the blood supply or because of bacterial infection.

Needle holder Quick Reference: Instrument for holding sutures/needles during surgery.

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