Hospital Admissions Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Hospital Admissions article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Admitting physician: The doctor responsible for admitting a patient to a hospital or other...

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Advance directives: These directives pertain to treatment preferences and the designation ...

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Ambulatory: Able to walk about, not bedridden or immobile.

Ankle: The ankle joint is complex. It is made up of two joints: the true ankle joint and ...

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Ankle sprain: A common musculoskeletal injury in which the ligaments of the ankle partiall...

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Aromatherapy: A form of alternative medicine in which essential oils or other scents are i...

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Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Blood transfusion: The transfer of blood or blood components from one person (the donor) i...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

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Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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CT scan: Computerized tomography scan. Pictures of structures within the body created by a...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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ECG: Electrocardiogram.

Elective: In medicine, something chosen (elected). An elective procedure is one that is ch...

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Elective surgery: Surgery that is subject to choice (election). The choice may be made by ...

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Electrophysiology: The biomedical field dealing with the study of electric activity in the...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Health care proxy: An advance medical directive in the form of a legal document that desig...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Hospitalist: A hospital-based general physician. Hospitalists assume the care of hospitali...

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Hydrogen: The most plentiful element in the universe and one present in all organic compou...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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ICU: Intensive care unit. The intensive care unit is a designated area of a hospital facil...

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Informed consent: The process by which a patient learns about and understands the purpose,...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Insertion: A chromosome abnormality that is due to insertion of a segment from one chromos...

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Intensive care: See critical care.

Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Knee: The knee is a joint which has three parts. The thigh bone (the femur) meets the lar...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Limb: An arm or a leg.

Living will: An advance medical directive that specifies what types of medical treatment a...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Neonatal: Pertaining to the newborn period, specifically the first 4 weeks after birth.

Neonatal intensive care unit: An intensive care unit designed for premature and ill newbor...

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Neurological: Having to do with the nerves or the nervous system as, for example, a neurol...

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NICU: Newborn, or Neonatal, Intensive Care Unit, an intensive care unit designed for prema...

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Nurse: 1) A person trained, licensed, or skilled in nursing. 2) To feed an infant at the ...

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Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintena...

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Nursing home: A residential facility for people with chronic illness or disability, partic...

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On call: In medicine, the person who is ready to respond, the one on duty. As in "Who is t...

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Oncology: The field of medicine that is devoted to cancer. Clinical oncology consists of t...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Outpatient: A patient who is not hospitalized, but instead comes to a physician?s office, ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Palpitations: Unpleasant sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart. In ...

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Pediatric: Pertaining to children.

Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral vascular disease: A disease of blood vessels outside the heart. Peripheral vasc...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Plastic surgery: A surgical specialty that is dedicated to reconstruction of facial and bo...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury rest...

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Resident: In medicine, a physician who has finished medical school and is receiving traini...

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Resuscitate: To restore to life. Derived from the Latin resuscitare, to reawaken.

Rounds: The act of seeing patients in the hospital or another in-patient setting.

Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Sprain: An injury to a ligament that results from overuse or trauma. The treatment of a sp...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Thigh: The thick, muscular portion of the leg that extends from the hip to the knee. The t...

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Transfusion: The transfer of blood or blood products from one person (the donor) into the ...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Trauma center: A specialized hospital facility that is designed to provide diagnostic and ...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Vascular: Relating to blood vessels. For example, the vascular system in the body includes...

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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Ventilator: A machine that mechanically assists a patient in the exchange of oxygen and ca...

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

Vitamins: The word "vitamin" was coined in 1911 by the Warsaw-born biochemist Casimir Funk...

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Wrist: The part of the hand that is nearest the forearm and consists of the carpal bones a...

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Medical Dictionary