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Vaccine Quick Reference: (vax-seen) Vaccination. To introduce a substance usually by injection in order to confer immunity.

Advanced Reference: A modified virus or bacterium which provokes immunity but does not produce the disease itself. Vaccination is now used synonymously with immunisation and inoculation.

Vagal-tone Quick Reference: Indicates a level of activity in the parasympa-thetic nervous system.

Advanced Reference: Inhibitory control of the vagus nerve over heart rate and atrioventricular (AV) conduction.

Vagina Quick Reference: Lower part of the female reproductive tract.

Advanced Reference: A muscular passage lined with mucous membrane extending from the uterus to the exterior.

Vaginal hysterectomy Quick Reference: Surgical removal of the uterus via the vaginal route.

Advanced Reference: Classified as a subtotal procedure; involves removal of the body of the uterus leaving the cervix in place.

Vagotomy Quick Reference: Surgical division (or partial) of the vagus nerve.

Advanced Reference: The object of removing vagal nerve influence from the stomach is to reduce the secretion of acid. Selective (highly) vago-tomy diminishes the gastric secretions but leaves the emptying mechanism of the stomach intact, whereas complete (truncal) vagotomy may be accompanied by a pyloroplasty or gastro-enterostomy to ensure emptying of the stomach.

Vagus nerve Quick Reference: Component of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Advanced Reference: Tenth cranial nerve is also called vagus. It carries autonomic fibres to the organs of the abdomen and thorax, supplies motor fibres to the oesophagus, larynx and pharynx, sensory fibres to the larynx, pharynx, tongue and ear.

Valgus Quick Reference: Bent, twisted outwards.

Advanced Reference: Abnormal position of a limb. Indicating away from the midline.

Valium

Valium Quick Reference: A mild tranquilliser with mild muscle-relaxant properties.

Advanced Reference: A proprietary preparation of benzodiazepine which may be used as a skeletal-muscle relaxant.

Vallecula Quick Reference: (val-ek-you-la) Any crevice or depression on the surface of an organ or structure.

Advanced Reference: A groove between the base of the tongue and the epiglottis.

Valsalva's manoeuvre Quick Reference: A test of the baroreceptor reflex. Advanced Reference: Involves the patient exhaling forcefully against a closed larynx resulting in an increased intrathoracic pressure. This leads to decreased venous return and in turn a reduction in cardiac output coupled with a fall in blood pressure (BP). The reduced baroreceptor discharge to the vasomotor centre then causes vasoconstriction and an increase in heart rate.

Valve Quick Reference: A fold of membrane, e.g. heart valve.

Advanced Reference: A valve may consist of two or three flaps or folds attached to the vessel wall like pockets.

Valvotomy Quick Reference: A surgical procedure involving incision into a valve.

Advanced Reference: Usually performed to correct a defect and allow effective opening. Removes fibrosed tissue which can affect the function of the valve, e.g. mitral valvotomy for mitral stenosis.

Vancomycin Quick Reference: An antibacterial antibiotic.

Advanced Reference: Can be taken orally in the treatment of colitis or via intravenous (IV) infusion for endocarditis and other serious infections.

Vaporiser Quick Reference: A piece of anaesthetic equipment which converts a fluid to a vapour.

Advanced Reference: A device that allows controlled vaporisation of liquid anaesthetic agents.

Varices Quick Reference: (var-is-seas) Dilated friable veins, e.g. around the gastro-oesophageal junction.

Advanced Reference: Normally associated with life-threatening bleeding in patients with oesophageal varices.

Varicocoele Quick Reference: (varic-o seal) Varicose swelling of the testicu-lar veins.

Advanced Reference: If symptomatic, treated by surgery which involves excision of the effected veins.

Varicose veins Quick Reference: Swollen or dilated veins especially in the legs.

Vector

Advanced Reference: Abnormal swelling of veins in the legs due to a weakness in the valves in the walls of the veins.

Vascular Quick Reference: Relating to blood vessels. Also a surgical speciality.

Advanced Reference: May also relate to blocked, injured or diseased arteries and veins.

Vas deferens Quick Reference: The duct of the testis.

Advanced Reference: It carries spermatozoa via the prostate to the urethra.

Vasectomy Quick Reference: Male sterilisation.

Advanced Reference: Division and tying off of the vas deferens usually carried out via an incision in the scrotum.

Vasoconstriction Quick Reference: Reflex widening or narrowing of blood vessels.

Advanced Reference: Selective constriction or dilatation of vessels that can change or compensate blood pressure.

Vasomotor Quick Reference: Indicates the vasomotor centre in the medulla oblongata.

Advanced Reference: Responsible for the regulation of BP and cardiac function via the autonomic nervous system.

Vasopressin Quick Reference: A natural body hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland.

Advanced Reference: Also known as antidiuretic hormone or ADH.

Vasopressor drugs Quick Reference: Drugs that cause vasoconstriction.

Advanced Reference: These drugs are used to bring about vasoconstriction and/or increase the BP. One example would be adrenaline during resuscitation. Also, adrenaline in combination with lignocaine causes local vasoconstriction and so extends absorption time of the local anaesthetic (LA).

Vasovagal attack Quick Reference: Fainting. Also referred to as vagova-gal, a reflex response.

Advanced Reference: Stimulation of the vagus nerve. A reflex action in which irritation of the larynx or trachea results in bradycardia. Vasovagal response generally causes a drop in BP, bradycardia, fainting, etc.

Vasoxine Quick Reference: A vasoconstrictor drug.

Advanced Reference: Used to raise BP. It is a preparation of methoxamine hydrochloride.

Vector Quick Reference: An animal carrying infective organism, e.g the mosquito in malaria.

Advanced Reference: An animal that carries organisms or parasites from one host to another. To the same species or cross species.

Getting to Know Anxiety

Getting to Know Anxiety

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