Packed red cells Quick Reference: Intravenous (IV) blood product.

Advanced Reference: Also termed plasma-reduced blood. It is whole blood with a volume of plasma removed which is then used in the production of alternative blood products.

Pallor Quick Reference: Unusual paleness of the skin.

Advanced Reference: Caused by a reduced flow of blood or deficiency in normal pigments.

Palmer Quick Reference: Relating to the palm of the hand.

Advanced Reference: Also the palmer arches which indicates the anastomosis of the radial and ulna arteries in the hand.

Palmer fasciectomy Quick Reference: (fas-she-ec-tommy) Operation to remove abnormal, thickened tissue in the palm.

Advanced Reference: Also known as Dupuytren's contracture. The condition is produced by a progressive thickening and contraction of the palmer aponeurosis resulting in flexion of the ring, middle and little fingers. Excision of abnormal tissue (fasciectomy) allows return of finger movement.

Palpate Quick Reference: To palpate, to feel, with the hands. Palpation.

Advanced Reference: Examination via the surface of the body of the position, size and shape of internal organs.

Pan Quick Reference: All.

Advanced Reference: Examples are pandemic (affecting all of the population), pan-procto-colectomy (removal of all of the colon).

Panadol Quick Reference: Painkiller.

Advanced Reference: Alternative name paracetamol. It has similar action to aspirin but has no anti-inflammatory action. It is used in preference to aspirin with children.

Pancreas Quick Reference: Large gland situated across the back wall of the upper abdominal cavity behind the stomach.

Advanced Reference: A dual purpose gland which forms part of the digestive system. Its exocrine secretions help to neutralise acid while

Pancuronium its endocrine secretion; insulin, passes directly into the bloodstream and is involved in the chemical control of sugar in the body.

Pancuronium Quick Reference: Non-depolarising muscle relaxant.

Advanced Reference: Alternative name is Pavulon. A synthetic non-depolarising muscle relaxant with an approximate duration of action of 30min. May produce slight tachycardia and rise in blood pressure (BP). Not thought to cause histamine release and does not cross the placenta in significant amounts. Metabolised in the liver.

PaO2 Quick Reference: Symbol for arterial oxygen level.

Advanced Reference: Partial pressure of O2 in arterial blood.

Papaveretum Quick Reference: (pa-pav-er-ertum) Compound preparation of alkaloids of opium, e.g. omnopon.

Advanced Reference: Comprised of mainly morphine plus codeine, noscapine and papaverine. Used as a narcotic analgesic for both pre-medication and post-operative pain relief.

Papaverine Quick Reference: A smooth muscle relaxant.

Advanced Reference: It is technically an opiate but possesses little or no analgesic effect. Used in the treatment of bronchospasm in asthma. Used with relation to theatres in vascular surgery to relax vessel ends for anastomosis and to relax an artery after inadvertent injection which has caused spasm.

Para Quick Reference: Next to or to the side of.

Advanced Reference: Examples are paramedian (incision)(situated to the side of the midline), paramedical (professions and services working alongside the medical sciences), etc.

Paraldehyde Quick Reference: Fast-acting sedative.

Advanced Reference: Used in the treatment of severe and continuous epileptic seizures. Administered by injection but may be given rectally. Recognised by its distinctive strong smell.

Paraphimosis Quick Reference: (para-fi-mosis) Tight foreskin.

Advanced Reference: Occurs when a tight foreskin is drawn back behind the glans of the penis and swelling or engorgement prevents replacement. If persistent a circumcision is performed.

Parasite Quick Reference: Creature that lives at the expense of another. Advanced Reference: In humans most parasites have the potential to cause illness. These can include viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and worms.

Parathyroidectomy Quick Reference: Surgical removal of the parathyroid glands.


Advanced Reference: Carried out because of hyperparathyroidism, when usually all four glands are removed. Overactivity causes an increased level of calcium in the blood which can result in stone formation in the renal tract.

Parathyroid glands Quick Reference: Group of small yellow-coloured glands situated behind or attached to the thyroid glands.

Advanced Reference: Their function is to secrete the hormone parathormone which regulates the use of calcium in the body. If the blood concentration of calcium falls, the parathyroids are stimulated to produce more of the hormone and this increases the solubility of calcium in the bones and restores the blood levels to normal. Overactivity or stimulation of the parathyroids is often due to a tumour, may produce an excess of parathormone and consequently too much calcium is then withdrawn from the bones and they become fragile. The surplus calcium is excreted in the urine and can lead to kidney stones. If the condition warrants it, surgical removal is usually carried out sometimes involving splitting of the sternum.

Parenteral Quick Reference: Indicates outside of or away from enteral route. Not via mouth or bowel.

Advanced Reference: Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) indicates a feeding process other than the alimentary route (enteral). TPN involves intravenous (IV) feeding for patients unable to take food orally or absorb in the gut due to disease, surgery, etc.

Parietal Quick Reference: (par-e-atal) Indicates the inner walls of a body cavity.

Advanced Reference: Common example is the parietal pleura, which is attached to the chest wall.

Parotid Quick Reference: Salivary gland situated just in front of the ear and the angle of the lower jaw.

Advanced Reference: It has a duct which opens into the mouth. Can become enlarged by inflammation, infection or presence of a stone. n

Pascal Quick Reference: The SI unit for pressure. Abrreviated as Pa. J

Advanced Reference: Due to small size of the pascal, pressure is usually 2 measured in kilopascals. Bar and mercury (mmHg) are also used to meas- ~ ure pressure. 1 atmosphere (atm) = 760 mmHg = 1 bar = 100,000 Pa = £ 100 kPa = 15 lb/in.2. f o

Passive Quick Reference: Indicates inactivity. g>

Advanced Reference: An example to theatres could be passive-scavenging is system which involved expired gases diverting to container where S. volatile agents adhered to carbon/charcoal granules.


Pasteurisation Quick Reference: (past-your-isa-shon) Disinfection process. Advanced Reference: Involves the use of heat (hot water) at a temperature of between 60°C and 80°C. Not a sterilising process. Used for surgical instruments, rigid scopes, anaesthetic equipments, etc.

Patch test Quick Reference: Skin test for identifying allergies.

Advanced Reference: Allergies, such as those due to food, pollen, animal fur, etc. but can be used for chemicals, such as skin preps, etc.

Patent Quick Reference: Open, clear.

Advanced Reference: Not occluded. As with vessels such as fallopian tubes and blood vessels.

Pathogenic Quick Reference: A disease-producing agent.

Advanced Reference: Pathogenic organisms are capable of causing disease.

Patties Quick Reference: Small swab used in neurosurgery.

Advanced Reference: Small piece of lint with a length of cotton attached. Usually used wet to absorb blood and to cover and delicate exposed tissue during craniotomy.

PCA Quick Reference: Patient-controlled analgesia.

Advanced Reference: System in which the small doses of analgesic, sometimes combined with an anti-emetic, are administered by the patient themselves as and when required, usually into the post-operative period. This involves an infusion device pre-programmed to deliver set doses in increment form or as boluses. The machines also have many safety aspects designed to avoid overdosage.

PEG tube Quick Reference: Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube. Advanced Reference: Feeding tube inserted directly into the stomach and used when patients are unable to take nutrition orally due to various conditions.

Pelvis Quick Reference: Lower limb girdle composed of the lower part of the backbone and the two hip bones.

Advanced Reference: The pelvis is the large complex of bones shaped like a basin and connects the spine with the legs and contains the lower part of the abdominal cavity. It is composed of the two hip bones, namely sacrum and the coccyx. In front the two hip bones meet at the symphysis pubis and behind they join the sacrum.

Penbritin Quick Reference: Broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Advanced Reference: Proprietary form of ampicillin. Used to treat respiratory infections and those of the urinary tract and middle ear.


Penicillin Quick Reference: First antibiotic to be used.

Advanced Reference: First reported use in 1941. There are now many closely related antibiotics which are compounds of aminopenicillanic acid. The acid itself being first extracted from moulds.

Pentaspan Quick Reference: Pentastarch. Synthetic colloid.

Advanced Reference: Plasma expander that increases plasma volume by 1.5 times. Does not interfere with clotting as with some alternatives.

Penthrane Quick Reference: Volatile anaesthetic agent.

Advanced Reference: Now withdrawn mainly due to its potential toxic effects on the kidneys.

Peptic (ulcer) Quick Reference: Ulceration in either stomach or duodenum.

Advanced Reference: Causes include; overproduction of acid and pepsin, stress, etc.

Percutaneous Quick Reference: Per means through, by way of; cutaneous, means pertaining to the skin.

Advanced Reference: Indicates to pass through the skin in order to reach an inner area for treatment, e.g. percutaneous lithotripsy.

Perfuse/sion Quick Reference: Passage of a liquid through body tissues or an organ.

Advanced Reference: Tissue perfusion indicates body fluid, usually blood, etc. accessing various areas (tissue perfusion) as with cerebral perfusion, perfusing of a kidney for transplantation.

Perinatal Quick Reference: Pertaining to birth, being born.

Advanced Reference: Indicates the time and process of giving birth.

Perineal post Quick Reference: Table attachment involved in patient positioning.

Advanced Reference: It is positioned into the peritoneum and acts as a limiting device with a number of orthopaedic table attachments when the patient is positioned for hip/femur surgery. Has the potential for causing injury if care is not applied during positioning, e.g. the genitalia and pudendal nerve.

Peri-operative Quick Reference: Indicates the entire operative period.

Advanced Reference: Usually indicates the pre-, intra- and post-operative phases of a patient's surgical treatment in one term.

Peripheral Quick Reference: (per-if-er-al) Towards the surface of the body. Advanced Reference: Applies to structures close to the surface as opposed to central, as with blood vessels.

Peristalsis Quick Reference: Wave of relaxation followed by a wave of contraction, as in the intestinal tract.

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