46 Basic Medical Jargon And Their Meaning

46 Basic Medical Jargon And Their Meaning - Science - News

46 Basic Medical Jargon And Their Meaning

Understanding Medical Jargon: A Beginner’s Guide

Medicine is a vast and complex field. While some people dedicate their lives to studying it, the rest of us might only encounter medical terms when watching TV shows or visiting hospitals. Here’s a list of common medical jargon, their definitions, and meanings.


Describes a severe or painful condition that develops quickly and fades away.


A small, superficial scrape or injury to the skin.


Assisting a patient by manually squeezing a bag that delivers oxygen through a face mask.

Ad Lib:

Originating from the Latin phrase “at one’s pleasure,” ad lib means that a patient has the freedom to do as they wish, like moving out of bed or choosing a meal.


Non-cancerous tumor or growth.


Stitches used to join tissues during the healing process after surgery or injury.


Removing a small tissue sample for laboratory analysis to diagnose various diseases or conditions.

“O-sign” and “Q-sign”:

“O-sign” refers to a patient’s open-mouthed, slack-jawed appearance. “Q-sign” indicates the tongue protruding from the mouth.

Toxicology Screen:

Tests used to determine the presence and approximate amount of legal or illegal drugs in a patient’s system.

#: (Broken Bone)

Indicates a fracture or break in a bone.

ADR (Adverse Drug Reaction):

An unwanted or harmful side effect a patient experiences as a result of taking medication.

AKA (Above-the-Knee Amputation) and BKA (Below-the-Knee Amputation):

AKA refers to an amputation above the knee, while BKA indicates a below-the-knee amputation.

Body Mass Index (BMI):

A measure of body fat based on height and weight, representing the ideal weight for a given height.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus):

A common sexually transmitted virus that can cause various types of cancer, including cervical and other genital cancers.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):

A diagnostic imaging technique that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of internal structures, including organs and bones.

ACL Injury:

An injury to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in the knee, one of the most common injuries in contact sports like soccer and basketball.

“PRN” (Pro Re Nata):

A Latin term meaning “as needed,” often used to describe medication dosages or instructions.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

A chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, and altered bowel habits.

AMP (Average Manufacturer Price):

The average price a wholesaler pays for a medication directly from the manufacturer, not including discounts.

Surgical Suffixes:

Several suffixes are used to describe surgical procedures, including -ectomy (removal), -plasty (reconstruction or reshaping), and -mortem (death-related).


A prefix related to cells or cytoplasm.


A branch of medicine dealing with cancer, including diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

“Parenteral” and “Enteral”:

“Parenteral” means administering medications outside the gastrointestinal tract, such as intravenously or subcutaneously. “Enteral” refers to administration through the gastrointestinal tract, such as oral or rectal.


The study of how the body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes, and excretes medications or other substances.

“Same-day” Procedure:

A medical procedure where the patient is admitted, treated, and discharged on the same day.


Indicates that a patient’s condition is not getting worse, but it does not necessarily mean the patient is recovering or cured.


Related to the skin, including conditions and specialists dealing with various dermatological issues.


Related to sleep disorders or medications used for sleep management.


High blood pressure, with readings consistently above 140/90 mmHg.

Intravenous (IV):

Administration or happening within the veins, primarily for medications and fluids.


A tumor or growth containing cancerous cells, which can spread to other body parts.


The formation of a blood clot in the arteries or veins, potentially leading to blocked or limited blood flow.


Swelling caused by an accumulation of fluid in body tissues or organs.


Surgical removal of the uterus, preventing menstruation and pregnancy.


Inserting a tube into the patient’s mouth or nose and down to their trachea for administering oxygen, anesthesia, or ventilation.


The slowing or stopping of the normal flow of a patient’s bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, and feces.


A disease or infection that can be transmitted from animals to humans, such as rabies, trichinosis, and cat-scratch disease.


Joining adjacent vertebrae or bones to improve the patient’s stability.

“BID” (Twice a Day) and “TID” (Three Times a Day):

Abbreviations indicating the frequency of medication administration, with “BID” meaning twice daily and “TID” meaning three times daily.


A thin medical tube used for various purposes, such as administering fluids, draining urine, or performing diagnostic tests.

Clinical Trials:

Research studies involving human participants to test the safety, efficacy, and potential side effects of new drugs, treatments, or procedures.


Conditions or medical history present before the start of a new medical treatment.


A severe bruise caused by bleeding under the skin, resulting in a lumpy, rubbery, or spongy sensation.


Describing a condition or disease with an unknown cause.

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