Health and Medicine Encyclopedia - Vol 4

Health and Medicine Encyclopedia

Atrial Fibrillation and Flutter - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Atrial fibrillation and flutter are abnormal heart rhythms in which the atria, or upper chambers of the heart, are out of sync with the ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart. In atrial fibrillation, the atria "quiver" chaotically and the ventricles beat irregularly. In atrial flutter, the atria beat regularly and faster than the ventricles. Atrial fibrillation and flutter are tw…

8 minute read

Atrial Septal Defect - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

An atrial septal defect is an abnormal opening in the wall separating the left and right upper chambers (atria) of the heart. During the normal development of the fetal heart, there is an opening in the wall (the septum) separating the left and right upper chambers of the heart. Normally, this opening closes before birth, but if it does not, the child is born with a hole between the left and right…

3 minute read

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder characterized by distractibility, hyperactivity, impulsive behaviors, and the inability to remain focused on tasks or activities. ADHD, also known as hyperkinetic disorder (HKD) outside of the United States, is estimated to affect 3-9% of children, and afflicts boys more often than girls. Although difficult to assess in in…

11 minute read

Audiometry - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Normal results, Abnormal results

Audiometry is the testing of a person's ability to hear various sound frequencies. The test is performed with the use of electronic equipment called an audiometer. This testing is usually administered by a trained technician called an audiologist. Audiometry testing is used to identify and diagnose hearing loss. The equipment is used in health screening programs, for example in grade school…

4 minute read

Auditory Integration Training - Definition, Origins, Description, Purpose, Research and general acceptance

Auditory integration training, or AIT, is one specific type of music/auditory therapy based upon the work of French otolaryngologists Dr. Alfred Tomatis and Dr. Guy Berard. The premise upon which most auditory integration programs are based is that distortion in how things are heard contributes to commonly seen behavioral or learning disorders in children. Some of these disorders include attention…

7 minute read

Autism - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Autism is a severe disorder of brain function marked by problems with social contact, intelligence and language, together with ritualistic or compulsive behavior and bizarre responses to the environment. Autism is a lifelong disorder that interferes with the ability to understand what is seen, heard, and touched. This can cause profound problems in personal behavior and in the ability to relate to…

11 minute read

Autoimmune Disorders - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Autoimmune disorders are conditions in which a person's immune system attacks the body's own cells, causing tissue destruction. Autoimmunity is accepted as the cause of a wide range of disorders, and it is suspected to be responsible for many more. Autoimmune diseases are classified as either general, in which the autoimmune reaction takes place simultaneously in a number of tissues,…

11 minute read

Autopsy - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

An autopsy is a postmortem assessment or examination of a body to determine the cause of death. An autopsy is performed by a physician trained in pathology. Most autopsies advance medical knowledge and provide evidence for legal action. Medically, autopsies determine the exact cause and circumstances of death, discover the pathway of a disease, and provide valuable information to be used in the ca…

4 minute read

Aviation Medicine - Definition, Purpose, Description

Also known as aerospace medicine, flight medicine, or space medicine, aviation medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the physical and psychological conditions associated with flying and space travel. Since flying airplanes and spacecraft involves great risk and physical demands, such as changes in gravity and oxygen, pilots and astronauts need medical experts to protect their safety and …

5 minute read

Ayurvedic Medicine - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparations, Precautions, Side effects, Research and general acceptance

Ayurvedic medicine is a system of healing that originated in ancient India. In Sanskrit, ayur means life or living, and veda means knowledge, so Ayurveda has been defined as the "knowledge of living" or the "science of longevity." Ayurvedic medicine utilizes diet, detoxification and purification techniques, herbal and mineral remedies, yoga, breathing exercises, meditat…

12 minute read

Babesiosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Babesiosis is an infection of red blood cells caused by the single-celled parasite, Babesia microti, which is spread to humans by a tick bite. Babesiosis is a rare, tick-transmitted disease that is caused most often by the single-celled parasite Babesia microti. By 1995, fewer than 500 cases of babesiosis had been reported in the United States. The disease occurs primarily in New England and New Y…

3 minute read

Bacillary Angiomatosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

A life-threatening but curable infection that causes an eruption of purple lesions on or under the skin that resemble Kaposi's sarcoma. The infection, which occurs almost exclusively in patients with AIDS, can be a complication of cat-scratch disease. Bacillary angiomatosis is a re-emerging bacterial infection that is identical or closely related to one which commonly afflicted thousands of…

3 minute read

Bacteremia - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Bacteremia is an invasion of the bloodstream by bacteria. Bacteremia occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream. This may occur through a wound or infection, or through a surgical procedure or injection. Bacteremia may cause no symptoms and resolve without treatment, or it may produce fever and other symptoms of infection. In some cases, bacteremia leads to septic shock, a potentially life-threate…

4 minute read

Bad Breath - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis

Bad breath, sometimes called halitosis, is an unpleasant odor of the breath. Bad breath is likely to be experienced by most adults at least occasionally. Bad breath, either real or imagined, can have a significant impact on a person's social and professional life. Bad breath can be caused by a number of problems. Oral diseases, fermentation of food particles in the mouth, sinus infections, …

2 minute read

Balance and Coordination Tests - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Balance is the ability to maintain a position. Coordination is the capacity to move through a complex set of movements. Balance and coordination depend on the interaction of multiple body organs and systems including the eyes, ears, brain and nervous system, cardiovascular system, and muscles. Tests or examination of any or all of these organs or systems may be necessary to determine the causes of…

4 minute read

Balanitis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Balanitis is an inflammation of the head and fore-skin of the penis. Balanitis generally affects uncircumcised males. These are men who have a foreskin, which is the "hood" of soft skin that partially covers the head of the penis. In balanitis, the head and foreskin become red and inflamed. (In circumcised men, who lack a foreskin, these symptoms only affect the tip of the penis.) Th…

3 minute read

Balantidiasis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Balantidiasis is an infectious disease produced by a single-celled microorganism (protozoan) called Balantidium coli that infects the digestive tract. It is primarily a disease of the tropics, although it is also found in cooler, temperate climates. Most persons with balantidiasis do not exhibit any noticeable symptoms (asymptomatic), but a few individuals will develop diarrhea with blood and mucu…

4 minute read

Balloon Valvuloplasty - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks

Balloon valvuloplasty is a procedure in which a narrowed heart valve is stretched open using a procedure that does not require open heart surgery. There are four valves in the heart, which are located at the exit of each of the four chambers of the heart. They are called aortic valve, pulmonary valve, mitral valve, and tricuspid valve. The valves open and close to regulate the blood flow from one …

4 minute read

Barbiturate-Induced Coma - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Risks, Normal results

A barbiturate-induced coma, or barb coma, is a temporary state of unconsciousness brought on by a controlled dose of a barbiturate drug, usually pentobarbital or thiopental. Barbiturate comas are used to protect the brain during major brain surgery, such as the removal of arteriovenous malformations or aneurysms. Coma may also be induced to control intracranial hypertension caused by brain injury.…

3 minute read

Barbiturates - Definition, Purpose, Description, Recommended dosage, Precautions, Side effects, Interactions

Barbiturates are medicines that act on the central nervous system and cause drowsiness and can control seizures. Barbiturates are in the group of medicines known as central nervous system depressants (CNS). Also known as sedative-hypnotic drugs, barbiturates make people very relaxed, calm, and sleepy. These drugs are sometimes used to help patients relax before surgery. Some may also be used to co…

7 minute read

Barium Enema - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

A barium enema, also known as a lower GI (gastrointestinal) exam, is a test that uses x-ray examination to view the large intestine. There are two types of this test: the single-contrast technique where barium sulfate is injected into the rectum in order to gain a profile view of the large intestine; and the double-contrast (or "air contrast") technique where air is inserted into the…

6 minute read

Bartholin's Gland Cyst - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

A Bartholin's gland cyst is a swollen fluid-filled lump that develops from a blockage of one of the Bartholin's glands, which are small glands located on each side of the opening to the vagina. Bartholin's gland cysts and abscesses are commonly found in women of reproductive age, developing in approximately 2% of all women. The Bartholin's glands are located in the lips…

5 minute read

Bartonellosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Bartonellosis is an infectious bacterial disease with an acute form (which has a sudden onset and short course) and a chronic form (which has more gradual onset and longer duration). The disease is transmitted by sandflies and occurs in western South America. Characterized by a form of red blood cell deficiency (hemolytic anemia) and fever, the potentially fatal acute form is called Oroya fever or…

4 minute read

Battered Child Syndrome - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Battered child syndrome refers to injuries sustained by a child as a result of physical abuse, usually inflicted by an adult caregiver. Alternative terms include: shaken baby; shaken baby syndrome; child abuse; and non-accidental trauma (NAT). Internal injuries, cuts, burns, bruises and broken or fractured bones are all possible signs of battered child syndrome. Emotional damage to a child is also…

3 minute read

Bed-Wetting - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Bed-wetting is the unintentional (involuntary) discharge of urine during the night. Although most children between the ages of three and five begin to stay dry at night, the age at which children are physically and emotionally ready to maintain complete bladder control varies. Enuresis is a technical term that refers to the continued, usually involuntary, passage of urine during the night or the d…

10 minute read

Bedsores - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prevention, Prognosis

Bedsores are also called decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers, or pressure sores. These tender or inflamed patches develop when skin covering a weight-bearing part of the body is squeezed between bone and another body part, or a bed, chair, splint, or other hard object. Each year, about one million people in the United States develop bedsores ranging from mild inflammation to deep wounds that involve…

7 minute read

Behcet's Syndrome - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

A group of symptoms that affect a variety of body systems, including musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and the central nervous system. These symptoms include ulceration of the mouth or the genital area, skin lesions, and inflammation of the uvea (an area around the pupil of the eye). Behcet's syndrome is a chronic disease that involves multiple body systems. The disease is named for a Turk…

2 minute read

Bejel - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Bejel, also known as endemic syphilis, is a chronic but curable disease, seen mostly in children in arid regions. Unlike the better-known venereal syphilis, endemic syphilis is not a sexually transmitted disease. Bejel has many other names depending on the locality: siti, dichuchwa, njovera, belesh, and skerljevo are some of the names. It is most commonly found in the Middle East (Syria, Saudi Ara…

2 minute read

Bell's Palsy - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Bell's palsy describes an unexplained weakness or paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face. Afflicted individuals may be unable to close the eye on the affected side of the face, and may also experience tearing, drooling, and hypersensitive hearing. The onset can be quite sudden, sometimes occurring overnight. Although Bell's palsy is unsettling and inconvenient, it is typica…

8 minute read

Bence Jones Protein Test - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparation, Normal results, Abnormal results

Bence Jones proteins are small proteins (light chains of immunoblobulin) found in the urine. Testing for these proteins is done to diagnose and monitor multiple myeloma and other similar diseases. Bence Jones proteins are considered the first tumor marker. A tumor marker is a substance, made by the body, that is linked to a certain cancer, or malignancy. Bence Jones proteins are made by plasma cel…

2 minute read

Bender-Gestalt Test - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Normal results

The Bender Visual Motor Gestalt test (or Bender-Gestalt test) is a psychological assessment used to evaluate visual-motor functioning, visual-perceptual skills, neurological impairment, and emotional disturbances in children and adults ages three and older. The Bender-Gestalt is used to evaluate visual-motor maturity and to screen children for developmental delays. The test is also used to assess …

3 minute read

Benzodiazepines - Definition, Purpose, Description, Recommended dosage, Precautions, Side effects, Interactions

Benzodiazepines are medicines that help relieve nervousness, tension, and other symptoms by slowing the central nervous system. Benzodiazepines are a type of antianxiety drugs. While anxiety is a normal response to stressful situations, some people have unusually high levels of anxiety that can interfere with everyday life. For these people, benzodiazepines can help bring their feelings under cont…

9 minute read

Beriberi - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Beriberi is a disease caused by a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1) that affects many systems of the body, including the muscles, heart, nerves, and digestive system. Beriberi literally means "I can't, I can't" in Sing-halese, which reflects the crippling effect it has on its victims. It is common in parts of southeast Asia, where white rice is the main food. In the U…

9 minute read

Berylliosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Berylliosis is lung inflammation caused by inhaling dust or fumes that contain the metallic element beryllium. Found in rocks, coal, soil, and volcanic dust, beryllium is used in the aerospace industry and in many types of manufacturing. Berylliosis occurs in both acute and chronic forms. In some cases, appearance of the disease may be delayed as much as 20 years after exposure to beryllium. In th…

4 minute read

Beta2-Microglobulin Test - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Normal results, Abnormal results

Beta2-microglobulin is a protein found on the surface of many cells. Testing is done primarily when evaluating a person for certain kinds of cancer affecting white blood cells including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and multiple myeloma or kidney disease. Beta2-microglobulin is plentiful on the surface of white blood cells. Increased production or destruction of thes…

4 minute read

Beta Blockers - Definition, Purpose, Description, Recommended dosage, Precautions, Side effects, Interactions

Beta blockers are medicines that affect the body's response to certain nerve impulses. This, in turn, decreases the force and rate of the heart's contractions, which lowers blood pressure and reduces the heart's demand for oxygen. The main use of beta blockers is to treat high blood pressure. Some also are used to relieve the type of chest pain called angina or to prevent hear…

8 minute read

Bile Duct Cancer - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

Bile duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma, is a malignant tumor of the bile ducts within the liver (intrahepatic), or leading from the liver to the small intestine (extrahepatic). It is a rare tumor with poor outcome for most patients. Bile is a substance manufactured by the liver that aids in the digestion of food. Bile ducts are channels that carry the bile from the liver to the small intestine. L…

7 minute read

Biliary Atresia - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Biliary atresia is the failure of a fetus to develop an adequate pathway for bile to drain from the liver to the intestine. Biliary atresia is the most common lethal liver disease in children, occurring once every 10,000–15,000 live births. Half of all liver transplants are done for this reason. The normal anatomy of the bile system begins within the liver, where thousands of tiny bile duct…

4 minute read

Binge-Eating Disorder - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by a loss of control over eating behaviors. The binge eater consumes unnaturally large amounts of food in a short time period, but unlike a bulimic, does not regularly engage in any inappropriate weight-reducing behaviors (for example, excessive exercise, vomiting, taking laxatives) following the binge episodes. BED typically strikes individuals sometim…

4 minute read

Biofeedback - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparations, Precautions, Side effects, Research and general acceptance

Biofeedback, or applied psychophysiological feedback, is a patient-guided treatment that teaches an individual to control muscle tension, pain, body temperature, brain waves, and other bodily functions and processes through relaxation, visualization, and other cognitive control techniques. The name biofeedback refers to the biological signals that are fed back, or returned, to the patient in order…

9 minute read

Bipolar Disorder - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Bipolar, or manic-depressive disorder, is a mood disorder that causes radical emotional changes and mood swings, from manic highs to depressive lows. The majority of bipolar individuals experience alternating episodes of mania and depression. In the United States alone, bipolar disorder afflicts almost two million people at an annual cost of over $45 billion, according to a report by the National …

15 minute read

Birth Defects - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Birth defects are physical abnormalities that are present at birth; they are also called congenital abnormalities. More than 3,000 have been identified. Birth defects are found in 2-3% of all newborn infants. This rate doubles in the first year, and reaches 10% by age five, as more defects become evident and can be diagnosed. Almost 20% of deaths in newborns are caused by birth defects. Abnormalit…

10 minute read

Birthmarks - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Birthmarks, including angiomas and vascular malformations, are benign (noncancerous) skin growths composed of rapidly growing or poorly formed blood vessels or lymph vessels. Found at birth (congenital) or developing later in life (acquired) anywhere on the body, they range from faint spots to dark swellings covering wide areas. Skin angiomas, also called vascular (pertaining to vessel) nevi (mark…

10 minute read

Bites and Stings - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Humans can be injured by the bites or stings of many kinds of animals, including mammals such as dogs, cats, and fellow humans; arthropods such as spiders, bees, and wasps; snakes; and marine animals such as jellyfish and stingrays. DOGS. In the United States, where the dog population exceeds 50 million, dogs surpass all other mammals in the number of bites inflicted on humans. However, most dog-b…

23 minute read

Black Lung Disease - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Black lung disease is the common name for coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) or anthracosis, a lung disease of older workers in the coal industry, caused by inhalation, over many years, of small amounts of coal dust. The risk of having black lung disease is directly related to the amount of dust inhaled over the years; the disease typically affects workers over age 50. Its common name comes…

4 minute read

Bladder Cancer - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Bladder cancer is a disease in which the cells lining the urinary bladder lose the ability to regulate their growth and start dividing uncontrollably. This abnormal growth results in a mass of cells that form a tumor. Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that in 1998, approximately 55,000 new cases of bladder cancer will b…

11 minute read

Bladder Stones - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Bladder stones are crystalline masses that form from the minerals and proteins, which naturally occur in urine. These types of stones are much less common than kidney stones. Bladder stones can form anywhere in the urinary tract before depositing in the bladder. They begin as tiny granules about the size of a grain of sand, but they can grow to more than an inch in diameter. These stones can block…

4 minute read

Bladder Training - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Risks, Normal results

Bladder training is a behavioral modification treatment technique for urinary incontinence that involves placing a patient on a toileting schedule. The time interval between urination is gradually increased in order to train the patient to remain continent. Bladder training is used to treat urinary urge incontinence. Urge incontinence occurs when an individual feels a sudden need to urinate and ca…

2 minute read

Blastomycosis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Blastomycosis is an infection caused by inhaling microscopic particles (spores) produced by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis. Blastomycosis may be limited to the lungs or also involve the skin and bones. In its most severe form, the infection can spread throughout the body and involve many organ systems (systemic). Blastomycosis is a fungal infection caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis. Although…

5 minute read

Bleeding Time - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Normal results, Abnormal results

Bleeding time is a crude test of hemostasis (the arrest or stopping of bleeding). It indicates how well platelets interact with blood vessel walls to form blood clots. Bleeding time is used most often to detect qualitative defects of platelets, such as Von Willebrand's disease. The test helps identify people who have defects in their platelet function. This is the ability of blood to clot f…

4 minute read

Bleeding Varices - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Bleeding varices are bleeding, dilated (swollen) veins in the esophagus (gullet), or the upper part of the stomach, caused by liver disease. Engorged veins are called varices (plural of varix). Varices may occur in the lining of the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, or in the upper part of the stomach. Such varices are called esophageal varices. These varices are fragile …

5 minute read

Blepharoplasty - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes fat deposits, excess tissue, or muscle from the eyelids to improve the appearance of the eyes. The primary use of blepharoplasty is for improving the cosmetic appearance of the eyes. In some older patients, however, sagging and excess skin surrounding the eyes can be so extensive that it limits the range of vision. In those cases, blepha…

5 minute read

Blood-Viscosity Reducing Drugs - Definition, Purpose, Description, Recommended dosage, Precautions, Side effects, Interactions

Blood-viscosity reducing drugs are medicines that improve blood flow by making the blood less viscous (sticky). The main use of blood-viscosity reducing drugs is to relieve painful leg cramps caused by poor circulation, a condition called intermittent claudication. Physicians also may prescribe this medicine for other conditions, including stroke, impotence, male infertility, Raynaud's dise…

2 minute read

Blood Count - Definition, Purpose, Description, Normal results, Abnormal results

One of the most commonly ordered clinical laboratory tests, a blood count, also called a complete blood count (CBC), is a basic evaluation of the cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) suspended in the liquid part of the blood (plasma). It involves determining the numbers, concentrations, and conditions of the different types of blood cells. The CBC is a useful screening and dia…

4 minute read

Blood Culture - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Normal results, Abnormal results

A blood culture is done when a person has symptoms of a blood infection, also called bacteremia. Blood is drawn from the person one or more times and is tested in a laboratory to find and identify any microorganism present and growing in the blood. If a microorganism is found, more testing is done to determine the antibiotics that will be effective in treating the infection. Bacteremia is a seriou…

8 minute read

Blood Donation and Registry - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Blood donation refers to the process of collecting, testing, preparing, and storing blood and blood components. Donors are most commonly unpaid volunteers, but they may also be paid by commercial enterprises. Blood registry refers to the collection and sharing of data about donated blood and ineligible donors. The purpose of the blood collection and distribution system is to help ensure an adequat…

7 minute read

Blood Gas Analysis - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Blood gas analysis, also called arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis, is a test which measures the amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, as well as the acidity (pH) of the blood. An ABG analysis evaluates how effectively the lungs are delivering oxygen to the blood and how efficiently they are eliminating carbon dioxide from it. The test also indicates how well the lungs and kidneys are …

4 minute read

Blood Sugar Tests - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Blood sugar tests include several different tests that measure the amount of sugar (glucose) in a person's blood. These tests are done either on an empty stomach, or after consuming a meal or premeasured glucose drink. Blood sugar tests are done primarily to diagnose and evaluate a person with diabetes mellitus. The body uses sugar, also called glucose, to supply the energy it needs to func…

8 minute read

Blood Typing and Crossmatching - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Blood typing is a laboratory test done to determine a person's blood type. If the person needs a blood transfusion, another test called crossmatching is done after the blood is typed to find blood from a donor that the person's body will accept. Blood typing and crossmatching are most commonly done to make certain that a person who needs a transfusion will receive blood that matches …

12 minute read

Blood Urea Nitrogen Test - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

The blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test measures the level of urea nitrogen in a sample of the patient's blood. Urea is a substance that is formed in the liver when the body breaks down protein. Urea then circulates in the blood in the form of urea nitrogen. In healthy people, most urea nitrogen is filtered out by the kidneys and leaves the body in the urine. If the patient's kidneys are …

2 minute read