Glossary

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A

Anaemia

A condition where red blood cells cannot carry enough oxygen. Tiredness and pale complexion are common symptoms. There are several variations some more serious than others.

Anaesthetic

Used to sedate patients during operations or numb feeling of a particular part of the body. A general anaesthetic will let you 'sleep' while everything's going on, so you won't feel anything.

Anaesthetist

An anaesthetist is a special doctor who administers anaesthetic to patients.

Analgesia

Another word for pain relief.

Anaphylactic shock

An extreme form of Anaphylaxis that is commonly caused by adverse reactions to wasp and bee stings, peanuts and latex.

Anaphylaxis

A severe type of allergic reaction that can be life-threatening or result in sudden death.

Anascara

A large swelling of the legs, torso and genitals as a result of fluid retention.

Anatomy

The science of where everything is in your body and how it is formed.

Aneurysm

An excessive localised swelling of the wall of an artery. They can occur in any blood vessel and can be fatal if occurring in the brain or other vital region of the body.

Angina

A pain in the centre of the chest caused when demand for blood by the heart exceeds the supply of the coronary arteries.

Angiogram

This is a special X-ray picture of an artery - that's the vessel that takes blood from your heart and around your body.

Anorexia nervosa

A type of psychiatric illness where a person starves themselves by avoiding food and eating.

Anosmia

An absence of the sense of smell.

Anoxemia

A condition where there is a less than normal concentration of oxygen in the blood stream.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)

One of four major ligaments of the human knee. It is critical to knee stability.

Antibiotic

Used to treat infections caused by organisms such as bacteria and fungi. Antibiotics use a substance taken from microorganisms that destroy or slow down the spread of other microorganisms.

Antibiotics

Bacteria (germs) can sometimes make you ill, and that's where antibiotics come in. Antibiotics are medicines that attack bacteria that are making you feel unwell. Although they hurt the bacteria, they won't hurt you.

Antibody

A Y-shaped protein produced by plasma cells and used by the body’s immune system to eliminate pathogens such as viruses and bacteria.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines can help to stop a bad reaction. They're usually in tablet form but come in the form of a syrup.

Antiseptic

Something that prevents infection. You can get antiseptic mouthwash, antiseptic cream, and antiseptic hand wipes, all of which prevent infection.