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Incl. specialized surgical & radiological terms; quick reference list of pharmaceuticals; medical slang etc.
AA (acetabular anteversion).
AAA ("triple A")-medical slang for abdominal aortic aneurysm.
AAMI (age-associated memory impairment).
AAMT (American Association for Medical Transcription)-a membership organization for medical transcriptionists. See certified medical transcriptionist.
Aaron's sign-pain on pressure over McBurney's point in a patient with appendicitis.
Aarskog syndrome-characterized by shawl scrotum, long philtrum, short stature, downward eye slant, and thoracic deformity.
ab, AB (abortion or miscarriage) (ObGyn)-common abbreviation used in dictation. AB 2 (or ab 2) means that the patient has had two abortions or miscarriages.
Abbe-McIndoe vaginal construction- uses split-thickness skin grafts.
ABBI (advanced breast biopsy instrumentation) system-a device used to perform breast biopsies, said to minimize the amount of pain, disfigurement, and scarring associated with open breast biopsy, allowing the surgeon to use local instead of general anesthesia, and reducing the time required for the procedure. In a one-step process, the ABBI device removes the entire specimen for biopsy. May also be referred to as the ABBI procedure or system.
Abbokinase (urokinase) thrombolytic drug.
Abbott-Rawson tube-a long gastrointestinal double-lumen tube.
Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS).
ABC (airway, breathing, circulation).
ABC (argon beam coagulator).
ABCD (amphotericin B colloid dispersion)-a drug used to treat cryptococcal meningitis in AIDS patients.
ABCD rule of dermatoscopy-diagnostic method of identifying malignant melanoma with the use of a microscope. The parameters are asymmetry, border, color, and differential structure. See dermatoscope abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS)-a sustained increase in intra-abdominal pressure due to alterations in respiratory mechanics, cardiovascular hemodynamics, and renal function. The syndrome may follow laparotomy for severe abdominal trauma, ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, and intrabdominal infection. Only recently cognized, it carries a death rate of over 50% .
abdominal sacral colpoperineopexy (Ob-Gyn)-a modified version of the abdominal sacral colpopexy to correct posterior compartment defects and perineal descent associated with vaginal vault prolapse.
abduct-to draw away from a position parallel to the median axis. Cf. adduct.
"a-b-duction"-dictated by a physician to clarify that abduction, not adduction, is intended.
Abelcet (amphotericin B lipid complex) (formerly ABLC)-an antifungal agent used to treat candidiasis and severe systemic fungal infections in patients who have not responded to conventional amphotericin B therapy.
Aberdeen knot (Surg)-a crochet knot popularized by Cuschieri, used in laparoscopic suturing procedures. See convertible slip knot.
aberrant-wandering or deviating from the normal; abnormal. Cf. apparent.
ab-externo laser sclerotomy.
ABGs (arterial blood gases)-refer to P02, PC02, and oxygen saturation. From these data and the serum pH, the bicarbonate (or base excess) can be calculated.
ab-interno laser sclerotomy.
abirritant-a soothing agent.
ablation-separation, eradication, extirpation, as in cryoablation, radiofrequency ablation.
ablative therapy with bone marrow rescue-an acceptable mode of therapy for many types of cancer.
ABLC (amphotericin B lipid complex) -a drug used to treat cryptococcal meningitis in AIDS patients.
ABMT (autologous bone marrow transplantation).
abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB).
ABPA (allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis).
ABPM (ambulatory blood pressure monitoring).
ABPP (bropirimine)-a drug used to treat AIDS.
ABR (auditory brain stem response)an audiometric technique to test for sensorineural hearing loss.
abreaction (Psych)-the reliving of an experience in such a way that previously repressed emotions associated with it are released.
absent bow-tie sign-used to identify bucket-handle tears of the knee menisci on MR imaging. Cf. to bow-tie sign of cervical fracture.
abscess-circumscribed, localized collection of pus, usually caused by infection, and by the decomposition of tissue. Example: collar button abscess. See Brodie's abscess. Cf. aphthous.
Absolok-endoscopic clip applicator.
absolute neutrophil count (ANC).
absorbent-an agent or material that takes up or soaks up another material (usually a liquid). Cf. adsorbent.
ABVE (Adriamycin, bleomycin, vincristine, etoposide)-chemotherapy protocol used to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma.
ACA (anticentromere antibody).
ACRD (atherosclerotic carotid artery disease).
Acanthamoeba keratitis-an inflammation of the cornea caused by Acanthamoeba.
acanthosis-diffuse hyperplasia and thickening of the prickle-cell layer of the epidermis, as in psoriasis.
acarbose (Prandase)-for treatment of type II diabetes.
ACAT (automated computerized axial tomography).
Accel stopcock-used with high-flow percutaneous catheter introducer.
accelerated idioventricular rhythm (AIVR).
Accellon Combi biopsampler-a cervical cytology collecting device that simplifies Pap smear process so that its fibers contact both exo- and endocervical mucosal surfaces.
Accents-permanent lash liner applied by plastic surgeon.
access-admittance, as "This gave easy access to the abdominal cavity." Cf. axis, excess.
Access MV system-a beating-heart bypass system which creates easier access and facilitates multiple vessel procedures.
Accolate (zafirlukast)-used for prophylaxis and treatment of chronic asthma.
accommodation-adjustment, as of the eye for distance.
accordion sign-a finding indicative of pseudomembranous colitis on CT scans in patients who received oral contrast material. The accordion appearance depends on the degree of edema of the haustral folds and the amount of contrast material trapped between the folds.
Accu-Chek InstantPlus system-small monitor that uses a test strip and a fingerstick blood sample to provide a total cholesterol value in three minutes or a blood glucose value in 12 seconds.
Accu-Chek II Freedom-self-monitoring blood glucose system for visually impaired diabetics. It talks users through self blood-testing with clearly spoken cues.
Accucore II-core biopsy needles with echo-enhanced tip for ultrasound guidance and precise depth markings.
accuDEXA-a bone mineral density assessment device. See DEXAscan.
AccuLength arthroplasty measuring system-an intraoperative hip length measuring device for use during total hip arthroplasty.
Accu-Line knee instrumentation-to assist in total knee arthroplasty. Includes tibial resector, distal femoral resection instrument, dual pivot, chamfer resection guide, and patellar instruments.
AccuPoint hCG Pregnancy Test Disc-for quick diagnosis.
Accupril (qumapril)-a once-a-day ACE inhibitor for hypertension.
Accurate Surgical and Scientific Instruments (ASSI)-a trade name, not a comment on quality.
AccuSharp instrument-used in carpal tunnel release.
AccuSite injectable gel-fluorouracil in a sustained-release formulation used for treatment of genital warts.
AccuSpan tissue expander. Also, PMT AccuSpan.
AccuSway balance measurement system-used to measure balance and sway in physical and rehabilitation therapy...
|A Medical Transcriptionist's Fantasy||xv|
|In Defense of Sterilely||xvii|
|Medical Slang--Its Use and Abuse||xix|
Most medical transcriptionists are either hospital-based or work for off-site transcription services. They transcribe and edit the very detailed and highly technical medical and surgical reports that are used in the delivery of medical care. These written reports assure that everyone involved in that care knows the patient's medical history, what was found on physical examination and on laboratory examinations, the pathology discovered, the treatment given, the medications administered, and the response to therapy noted.
These reports are of importance medically and legally, and in research. They are valued by everyone who uses them (they are often the only legible documents in a patient's record), but the people who transcribe them are large-ly unknown, individually and as a profession.
New medical terms crop up daily-new medications, new operative pro-cedures, new instruments, new equipment, new techniques, new research terms, new laboratory tests, new abbreviations-many of them-and with little docu-mentationexcept for a physician's occasional attempt at spelling. It therefore becomes necessary to provide a reliable and immediate source of information to tens of thousands of medical transcriptionists.
References are made throughout the book to "the dictator." These defini-tions were originally written for an "in-group" of medical transcriptionists who know that "the dictator" refers to the physician or medical student or other healthcare professional who dictates the medical and surgical reports. Perhaps an explanation is in order at this time to help familiarize new readers with how I research terms, and how I arrive at conclusions (or deci-sions) when research fails.
Many years ago when my younger daughter was five or six, I overheard an argument she was having with one of her playmates. I don't now recall what it was all about, but I do remember my daughter's clinching argument-"My mother says . . . " Her friend was not prepared to challenge Taffy's mother; end of argument.
No one since then has appointed me The Higher Authority, and the self-appointed are setting themselves up for being leaders with no followers. So I feel that ours must be a collaborative venture. We give our opinions, our reasons for them, and our sources. Our readers may evaluate our conclusions, discuss their differences of opinion, and decide to accept them or not. I hasten to add that we all have a strong instinct for self-preservation and try to make certain that our sources are generally respected and accepted and that our conclusions are those we can defend.
Where do we find entries for Current Medical Terminology? From words encountered in medical transcription, from questions from medical transcriptionists, from dozens of medical journals we read regularly. We consult medical textbooks, talk to physicians, and have friends in central supply. Over the years we have learned to be less trusting of the written, as well as the spoken, word.
Of all sources, dictionaries are perhaps my most trusted, although I have found errors in even the most respected. Next are books, although I am finding that they, too, often have errors; apparently proofreading is considered an expendable luxury. I should mention that books do have the disadvantage of being dated, even when newly published. Somewhere at the top of the list would be the trusted person in central supply who will read the label on the equipment, instrument, or medication container, although there are times when there may be more than one spelling, as in Tycron and Ti-Cron. Next are journals, in which I find the most current information available, but I do find errors in even the most prestigious.
A close tie for last place on my list of trusted sources would be catalogs of instrument manufacturers and the spelling given us by physicians. An old newspaperman once told me that typesetters were given instructions to "follow the copy, even if it goes out the window." There are a few physicians whose spelling is impeccable and whose dictation I would "follow out the window," but, unfortunately, they are all too few.
In researching words, sometimes hunches and the educated guess based on experience and the knowledge of analogous words or terms are all one has to go on and are useful. Here is an example: I came across the word Versatex as a cardiac pacemaker. I should tell you that it is fatal in this situation to trust; it is essential that one question-everything and always. At any rate I felt uncomfortable with that spelling (it was guilty until proven innocent), and I decided to pursue it further. Unable to document it, but finding analogous terms (Activitrax and Spectrax), I felt quite comfortable with the spelling Versatrax.
A reader inquired about Angiocath PRN and wanted to know the meaning of PRN. My first information about Angiocath PRN, trade name of a catheter manufactured by Siemens Medical Systems, came from the Journal of Neurosurgery. I can only hazard a more-or-less educated guess as to what is meant. As you know, p.r.n. (L. pro re nata) means "as circumstances may require. " This catheter has many different uses and the PRN may perhaps make reference to that.
Medical equipment manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies are most imaginative in creating names for their products. They are so clever, and running these things to earth is so frustrating. Sometimes they provide clues, e.g., Cefobid is a third-generation cephalosporin medication (which accounts for the first syllable) and is to be taken twice a day (b.i.d.), which accounts for the last syllable.
Sometimes there is no clue; one has to know what the device or medication is used for to know what the abbreviation means, e.g., the EID percutaneous central venous large-bore catheter manufactured by Arrow International, Inc. The EID turns out to mean emergency infusion device! Or how about the SRT vaginal speculum by Amko Manufacturing Company? The SRT is from smoke removal tube; the device has a supplementary tube used when smoke evacuation is necessary in laserinduced tissue vaporization.
A few years ago I searched for the definitive spelling of a needle we've been spelling Verres for many years. I got a letter from a medical transcriptionist who said she had been told by a physician that that spelling was in error, that it should be Veress. She said that she had looked in a dozen different textbooks and the spelling she found was indeed Veress, and she also sent me a photocopy of an article about this needle, written by the physician who had developed it, a Dr. Veress. We must assume that Dr. Veress knows how to spell his name, so we have now changed our spelling of this instrument to Veress.
In the medical field we don't have to look far or wait long for new words, abbreviations, and acronyms to appear. Just stand still for a couple of hours and a dozen new ones will have been born!
Vera Pyle, CMT