Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

A&E

Stands for Accident and Emergency.

Abasia

The inability to walk despite there being no physical cause being identified.

Abdomen

The part of the body below the diaphragm. The abdomen contains the organs used for digestion such as the stomach.

Aberrant/Aberration

Something out of the ordinary.

Abrasion

A graze or minor wound to the surface of the skin. Can also be used to describe the wearing of teeth as a result of excessive brushing.

Abscess

A collection of pus, which usually happens as a result of an infection. Pus is made up of old white blood cells and broken down tissue cells. Abscesses can be very painful and may need to be drained.

Accident

A traumatic incident involving any part of the body.

Acetaminophen

Another name for paracetamol.

Acrocyanosis

A discoloration of hands and feet as a result of slow blood circulation through the small blood vessels in the skin.

Acute

If it's acute, it's strong or intense or comes on suddenly.

Adenoids

Lymph nodes at the back of your nose, above your tonsils. If they become inflamed and too large, they can cause breathing difficulties and may need to be removed.

Adenoma

A non-cancerous (benign) collection of tumour cells.

Adolescence

The period in between childhood and adulthood (otherwise known as a teenager.)

Adrenal glands

Found above the kidneys, they produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline.

Allergen

Something that causes an allergic reaction. Common examples are dust, pollen and other irritants.

Allergy

Something that your body negatively reacts to. Can often be the result of certain foods or materials that you come into contact with. Hayfever is a prime example. Usually, they are harmless but to some people, they can be very serious and even life threatening.

Alopecia

Lose some or all of your hair. This can be caused by medicines, or it can be due to an autoimmune disease.

Alzheimer’s disease

The most common form of dementia that occurs during middle and old age. A chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time.

Ambulance

The vehicle that brings you to and from hospital. Also used for emergency response.

Amnesia

A total or partial loss of memory.