Glossary

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H

Haem-

If a term begins with ‘haem’, this usually means that it is something to do with blood.

Haematuria

The passing of blood in urine.

Haemoglobin

This is what makes red blood cells red. It’s a kind of pigment that carries the oxygen to all parts of the body. Each red blood cell contains about 350 million haemoglobin molecules!

Haemoptysis

Coughing up Blood.

Halitosis

Another word for bad breath.

Hamstrings

These are large muscles that run down the back of the leg.

Handicap

A partial or total inability to perform an activity that the affected person wants to do.

Head Injury

An injury resulting from an impact to the head.

Headache

A pain within the skull. The most common cause of headaches is fatigue or stress.

Health Needs Assessment

A process that assesses the health needs of a person or population. Its main aim is to lead policy on how healthcare resources are used in the most efficient way possible.

Heart

This pump made of muscle inside the ribcage. The heart pumps all the time to push blood around the body.

Hematoma

This is a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. One of the most common forms of hematoma is bruising on the skin.

Hepatitis

A disease that makes the liver swollen and inflamed. There are different types of hepatitis – A, B and C are the most common. Each type is passed on in a different way, through blood or bodily fluids, or polluted water.

Hernia

This is a condition where a muscle has a weak spot which lets the insides bulge out through it. It's fixed in an operation.

Hickman Line

This is a registered name for a soft plastic tube (also known as a central line) which is inserted under the skin and used to deliver medicines directly into a patient’s bloodstream.

Hip

Your hip is the joint between the pelvis and thighbone. It’s a ‘ball and socket’ joint that allows rotational movement.

Hip Replacement

A surgical procedure developed to replace a diseased hip joint with a prosthetic.

Hippocratic Oath

A code of behaviour still followed by doctors today, created by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates.

Holter monitor (24 hour)

A Holter monitor is a portable device that monitors the electrical activity of the heart over a 24-hour period.

Hormones

These are chemical messengers that switch on and off processes in the body. For instance, starting puberty or producing more urine.