Advanced Reference: Also known by its drug name 'epinephrine'. Stimulates the heart action, raises blood pressure (BP), releases glucose and increases its metabolism, increases muscular blood circulation, relaxes air passages, etc. Hence, it is useful in situations of shock and resuscitation.

Advocate Quick Reference: One who acts on the behalf of others.

Advanced Reference: Anyone who acts in support of the patient, especially if they are unable to speak or act for themselves.

Afferent Quick Reference: Towards the centre.

Advanced Reference: Afferent vessels and structures run throughout the body, i.e. the small arterioles entering the glomerulus of the kidney, the sensory nerve fibres that convey impulses from the periphery to the brain, and lymphatic vessels that lead from the tissues to a lymph gland.

Agar Quick Reference: Culture medium.

Advanced Reference: Composed of seaweed with a broth or blood added as a nutrient. Resists the digestive action of bacteria and therefore used as a medium on which cultures can be grown. Not all micro-organisms will grow in such a way outside of the body. Viruses require living tissue to survive.

Agglutination Quick Reference: The coming together of small particles in a solution to form clumps.

Advanced Reference: In blood, it is brought about by the action of antibodies on antigens carried by red blood cells or bacteria and is therefore utilised to identify blood groups during cross-matching (X-matching).

Aggregate Quick Reference: To gather together.

Advanced Reference: Indicates the total of a group of substances or components making up a mass or complex.

Agonal Quick Reference: Pertaining to death and dying.

Advanced Reference: An agonal electrocardiography (ECG) rhythm indicates a trace that displays a dying heart.

Agonist Quick Reference: Opposite to antagonist; to act against or has opposing action.

Advanced Reference: The term applied to the action of drugs, i.e. an antagonist is given to block the effect of an agonist. Also used with

£ reference to the action of muscles.

Alberti Quick Reference: A diabetic protocol.

Advanced Reference: Involves 10 units of actrapid insulin and 10 mmol of potassium chloride added to 500 ml 10% dextrose and infused over 4 hours. A fail-safe system means that variations in infusion rate cannot produce an imbalance of glucose and insulin and so hypokalaemia.

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