Friday, December 4, 2009

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MEDICAL SLANG – TERMS



Slang Term
Meaning
Ambo
Transporting ambulance
Ambu
Ambu Bag/BVM/bag valve mask
Amp
Abbreviation for Ampule, which is a sealed plastic or glass capsule containing a single dose of a drug in a sterile solution for injection.
(“The patient was given an amp of epi…(Epinephrine)”)
Amp and gent
Ampicillin and gentamicin (you need to spell them out completely unless client-specific)
Appy
Appendectomy (spell it out)-removal of appendix
Art line
Arterial line (spell it out)
A’s and B’s
Apnea and Bradycardia…sometimes, particularly when referring ton a neonate. (A note to the dictator might be in order here, especially if dictated in the diagnosis or if the meaning is unclear.)
AVPU
(Alert Verbal Painful Unresponsive) Mnemonic (relating to memory) for assessing level of consciousness
Banana Bag
Acceptable term; an IV potassium drip
Banger/gang banger
ER patient, often referred to as being in the ER dur to traumatic injury, involved in gang activities, specifically violent acts
BIBA
Brought In By Ambulance
Bili
Bilirubin (spell it out)
Binky test
Ability of an infant to evidence basic stability and an interest in “the important things in life” by placidly sucking on a pacifier
Bleed
Routine lingo for a hemorrhage
Blue bloater/pink panther
Stereotypical description of bodily appearance COPD patients with chronic bronchitis and emphysema
Body Packer
Drug courier who swallows bags/condoms of drugs
Bounce back
Patient who returns to ER with same complaint shortly after being released
Bruisability
Not a word in the true sense but used a great deal by dictators to indicate that the patient bruises easily. (Okay to type as dictated)
Cap gas
Capillary blood gas; spell it out
Catcher’s mask
Device used for patients with bleeding varices in throat to stop bleeding
Catched
Catheterized (spell it out)
Champagne tap
Clear tap; no blood
Chandelier sign
Intense amount of physical response, including near levitation from the bed to the chandelier on the ceiling, induced by examining for cervical motion tenderness in cases of pelvic inflammatory disease
Chapter
Usually refers to a delusional or hallucinatory patient
Chicken spray
Nickname for ethyl chloride spray, liquid used for transiently numbing injection sites
Circling the drain
Patient's future prospects of life are dim; rapid deterioration
Coag
Coagulation (time)
Code black
Deceased patient
Code call
Urgent medical emergency
Code green
Ambulatory injury, walking wounded
Code red
Critical patient
Code yellow
Urgent trauma
Coke
Street name for cocaine
Consented
What is actually meant, of course, is that the patient signed an Informed Consent form. However, the misused form of "consent" is becoming quite popular, and the meaning is not distorted by this phrase. See "bovied" and "double-doc'ed" for further discussion on such terms.
Crack
Street name for a particularly potent crystalline solid form of cocaine
Crank
Mixture of crack cocaine and another stimulant, such as amphetamine
Crasher
Someone who passes out in ER (usually family member)
Crispy critter
Severely burned patient
Crit
Hematocrit; spell it out
Crock
Patient whose physical complaints are without organic or discernible basis or frankly bogus
Cap gas
Capillary blood gas; spell it out
Catcher’s mask
Device used for patients with bleeding varices in throat to stop bleeding
Catched
Catheterized (spell it out)
D&D
"Death and donuts"-slang for morbidity/mortality conference
DC
Discontinue (or) discharge; when the meaning is obvious, as it usually is, spell it out.
Dead shovel
Obese male patient who dies while shoveling snow
Decels
Decelerations; expand to full words in reports
Dehisced
Actually, a wound does not dehisce; it is in a state of dehiscence, but here again the word has become acceptable through usage. See "bovied."
DeLee’d
A better way would be to substitute "DeLee suctioned"
Demoral sponge
Great capacity, tolerance to, and desire for high doses of narcotics by patients with chronic pain management problems
Dex
Spell out dexamethasone
DFO
"Done fell out"-dialectical expression of syncope
Di-di twins
Spell out dichorionic-diamniotic
Diff
As in "CBC with diff." It's best to spell out the word differential; however, the short form is acceptable in most facilities.
Diffusely positive
Review of systems patient who reports findings or complaints broadly through each system of the body during the history interview of formal examination
Dig (“dij”)
Spell out digitalis. Even if the doctor is indicating digoxin, both are digitalis-derived drugs, and "dig" by itself is confusing and interrupts flow of thought.
Digitalized
Not a proper term, but widely used. See "bovied"
Digitation
Aside from the dictionary definition(s), ED doctors sometimes use this to mean amputation of a digit. When the meaning is clear, it should be transcribed as "amputation of digit" to avoid confusion with the legitimate definition
Dope addict
Patient addicted to (illicit) substances, usually cocaine or heroin
Double doc’ed
Meaning that two procedures are planned to be performed on the patient involving two surgeons such as an orthopedist and a plastic surgeon requiring two consents to be signed. You could possibly change the statement to say that the patient was consented (or signed consents) for both procedures. This one is a dilemma, and quite often we resort to putting this spurious term in quotes.
DRT
"Dead right there''-patient has been deceased long enough to greatly decrease the probability of resuscitation
Duck
Slang for a male urinal from its typical white enamelware construction and its similar silhouette to the bird
Dumbbells
Mnemonic for cholinergic overdose (diarrhea, urination, miosis/muscle weakness, bronchorrhea, bradycardia, emesis, lacrimation, salivation/sweating)
Echo
Echo what? Echocardiogram? ECHOvirus infection? Echoencephalogram? Be certain of the meaning if you are going to expand the term. Otherwise, leave the prefix as dictated.
Epi
Epinephrine (spell it out)
Epi sick
Pale, green, nauseous, chest-pounding, tachycardiac appearance of patient who has received aggressive subcutaneous epinephrine therapy in anaphylaxis or status asthmaticus
Ex lap
Spell out exploratory laparotomy
Exam
An acceptable short form of the word examination
Face plant
Victim fell forward injuring face against floor or other object
Fame
Mnemonic for assessment of endocarditis
FLB
"Funny-looking beat"-indeterminate or chaotic aberrance on the cardiac monitor that is not well described or not well seen as the tracing went by
Floater
Patient who has drowned and been in water for some time
Fluctuance
Used to indication the presence of a fluctuant mass. (Not "fluctuants") This particular non-word has been hotly discussed on MT chat pages on the internet. It has become acceptable through usage
FOF
Found on floor
FOS
Full of stool-clinical or radiographic determination that the patient's intestinal tract is full of stool found on sidewalk
Four H’s
Hypoxemia, hypoglycemia, hypovolemia, and high bladder
Frequent flyer
Fixing to die-patient's future prospects of life are dim; rapid deterioration
FTD
Fixing to die-patient's future prospects of life are dim; rapid deterioration
FUBAR’ed
Fouled up beyond all recognition-used to describe either the severely traumatized individual or an intoxicated state so profound as to alter the patient's ability to be recognized as himself
GGF1
Grandpa’s got a fever-battery of tests for elderly with fever of unknown origin
GI cocktail
Donnatal, Viscous lidocaine, and Mylanta
Glove up and dig in
Bowel impaction
Glyco
Hemoglobin
Golden hour/golden window
1st hour after myocardial infarction
Gomer
Get out of my emergency room---term for elderly patients with multiple complicated medical complaints
Gorked
Obtunded or not alert, either acutely or chronically
H.flu
Okay to leave the H. as an abbreviation, but spell out as influenzae
Heparinized
Same principle as “bovied”
HOD
Heroin overdose
Impossible meningioma
Okay to transcribe as dictated; refers to meningioma near the optic foramen
Incentaloma
Okay to type; means a mass discovered on sonogram that was not previously palpable
Jake
Can refer to one of the Jako instruments or any instrument the surgeon wants it to. See joker.
JIC tube
Just in case---when drawing blood for lab studies, JIC tube is drawn just in case the doctor adds more to the lab order later on
Joker
May refer to any instrument a surgeon or ED doctor is used to being handed at this point in a surgery or repair procedure.
Jump start
Cardiac defibrillation
Jumper
Patient who commits suicide by jumping from a structure
Junky
Patient addicted to illicit substances, usually cocaine or heroin
Junky lungs
Nonspecific lung disease/noise; worthy of a note to the dictator.
Knife and gun club
Used to describe potential patients who could come into the ER by virtue of either form of penetrating traumatic injury, i.e., the traumatic epidemiology from weapons that contributes to the case load of an ER
Lab
Laboratory/laboratory data; an acceptable short form
Laboring
In OB/GYN usage, labor should be a noun; the patient is in labor, not laboring (although many women would disagree). If dictated as "The patient was laboring satisfactorily" this should be recast to read "The patient was having satisfactory labor."
Landmark walking
Practice of the ataxic, infirm, seasick, drunk, and others of unconfident stability and gait, of walking from one object to another to steady oneself or rest before moving on to the next
LWBS
"Left without being seen"---abbreviation placed upon charts to account for patients who no longer can be accounted for
Lytes
Electrolytes (spell it out)
Meat wagon
Transporting ambulance
Mec, mec-staining
Referring to meconium, which spell out
Mets, metz
Can mean at least two things; metastases and/or Metzenbaum scissors, and should be typed out in the proper context of the report.
Mikes
Micrograms; spell out in a sentence; use standard abbreviation when dictated with a quantity
Mud pies
Mnemonic for anion gap acidosis
Nitro
Used for many types of nitroglycerin; an acceptable term in most medical facilities. Aside from that we cannot assume WHICH form of nitroglycerin is being referred to
Olive
Not really slang; a term meaning a hard knot found in the right upper quadrant in pyloric stenosis
Osteo
Osteoporosis? Osteomyelitis? Osteopenia? Here again we cannot second-guess the dictator, so we must leave the prefix stand alone
Oxy hood and oxy tent
Oxygen hood, oxygen tent
Peds
Spell out pediatrics
Pee
Unless the doctor is quoting the patient, please substitute the word urinate for pee
Perfed appy
Ruptured appendix
Perineal towel sign
Refers to panty liner, sanitary napkin, tissues, incontinence diapers, washcloths, or towels worn in underwear of elderly women with urinary incontinence which, in the context of otherwise unexplained illness or early urosepsis
Peristalsing
Peristalsis is a noun and should not be back formatted to become a verb, even though often dictated that way. Recast the sentence to use correct format; e.g. instead of "Bowel sounds are peristalsing normally," it should read, "Peristalsis is normal."
Popper
A drug abuser who self-injects subcutaneously, usually because the drug habit has sclerosed all peripheral IV sites of access, leaving no other way for injection
Pothole sign
Method to gauge sufferers of an acute appendicitis attack
Preemie
Premature infant (best spelled out in medical reports)
Primip
Type out primipara
Pulse ox
Acceptable, as there is only one meaning, but "pulse oximetry" is better spelled out.
Pumper
Bleeding vessel seen during examination of or repair of a wound
Rally pack
Combination of sodium chloride, folic acid, thiamine, and multivitamins frequently given to malnourished patients
Retic count
Reticulocyte blood count test
Rig
Transporting ambulance
ROMI, romied
Meaning, "rule out myocardial infarction," which may be spelled out or the acronym used for the dictated.
Roofie
Barbiturate which can be slipped into a drink for abuse, often Rohypnol
Rule of 9’s
For assessing percentage of body surface area in burns
Sad person
Mnemonic for suicide risk factors
Sat, satting
In the proper context, "sat" or "sats" refers to saturation of oxygen. The term "satting at..." is certainly unacceptable. Substitute "having saturations at..."
Saucerized
Corruption of the word saucerization, and an acceptable term
Scanning a patient
Used to describe ordering or performing an imaging study of the patient in the form of CT scan or ultrasound nuclear medicine scan
Scoop and run
In the event that no treatment is possible at accident scene, patient is urgently transported to ER
Sed rate
Sedimentation rate blood test
Segs
Segmented cells; acceptable abbreviation
Shoot and boot
Medicate and discharge
Shooter
User of injected illicit drugs; perpetrator who actually commits the act of firing on a victim with a firearm
Skeletonized
An acceptable back-formation used in surgery dictation, which means that an anatomical part (usually an artery) was stripped of surrounding tissue.
Skin popping
Used to describe self-injection of drugs subcutaneously, usually because the drug habit has sclerosed all peripheral IV sites of access
Sludge
Mnemonic for cholinergic overdose
Smurf sign
Slang for Chadwick sign and/or Jacquemier sign ("Smurf" because it refers to a blue discoloration of vaginal tissue in pregnancy). Okay to type as dictated.
Stepdown unit
A monitored setting not as intense as any type of ICU
Sundowner/sundown
Well-known tendency for senile or demented syndrome patients to have a nocturnal worsening of their mental status and confusion
Swiss cheese
A colorful descriptive term sometimes used in radiology to describe severe osteoporosis. All we can do is type as dictated
Temp
Better to spell out Temperature
Tet syndrome
Tetralogy of Fallot syndrome (spell out)
The dwindles
Slow, vague failure to thrive or senile physical deterioration
The vapors
Vague somatization and physical complaints
Theo level
Theophylline level; spell out
Thump
Vigorous thrust to the chest in order to try to stimulate heart
Trach
Spell out when the meaning is known, which should be obvious; tracheostomy or tracheotomy
Triple A
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Trumpet
Nasopharyngeal airway, said to be so named due to the flared end that keeps the tube from slipping backwards
Tweak score
Scale for assessing alcoholism dependence
Twisted gut
Volvulus; decision to be made on an individual basis as to the advisability of using this rather unprofessional description
UA
An abbreviation which can be used in laboratory data for urinalysis or for uric acid; better to spell out for clarity
Unit
Transporting ambulance
V-fib
Ventricular fibrillation
V-tach
Ventricular tachycardia
Vanc
Vancomycin (spell out in reports)
Walking wounded
Injured, not critical
Wheezer
Asthmatic patient
Whipple Procedure
A pancreatotomy, where the distal stomach, gallbladder, and duodenum are usually also taken out during the surgery, and they usually leave a little of the distal pancreas behind.
White coat syndrome
This is a perfectly acceptable term. The patient is anxious/nervous about being in the doctor's office which results in benign temporary hypertension
Yuppie flu
(OK to transcribe as dictated)

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