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  • Ishita Bhagwati

Most Commonly Used Medical Terms

I love watching medical series and shows which display the working of a hospital, of course dramatically, but with real medical equipment and procedures being talked about. I always got curious about what these medical terms which they use really mean because I never came across such abbreviations and words in my daily life. I took the time to research a few of these terms and found out what they meant. It is really interesting if you too, just like me, have keen interest in these shows. Let me tell you about a few of the most used ones which I have come across plenty of times.


Abrasion: It is a non-severe cut.


Biopsy: It is a test of a sample tissue or cells. Many times, people associate one to having cancer but it is not always for that.


Benign: It means non-cancerous.


V-fib: Many times, when the machine showing the patient’s heartbeat beeps, the nurse or doctor says ‘He is going into V-fib’ V-fib is an abbreviation of the term ‘Ventricular fibrillation’. It means there is an inadequate, rapid heartbeat which is life-threatening.


Defibrillator: When a person goes into V-fib, have you seen the doctor take this device with two pad-like structures and tell the nurse to charge a certain amount of current and say ‘Clear!’ This device is a defibrillator, it literally electrifies the patient to get the heart to start working again.


Coding: There are different codes in a hospital. One which every medical show displays is ‘Code-Blue’. It means the doctors and nurses on that floor have to stop what they are doing and tend to that patient because they are in immediate need of medical service. Over here, they try to revive the patient and give them a C. P. R.


Push Epi: Epi is the short form of ‘Epinephrine’ which is nothing but adrenaline.

Adrenaline is pushed into the body during CPR to reverse cardiac arrest (heart stops beating).


E.K.G./ E.C.G.: Its full form is electrocardiogram. It records the electrical signal from the heart to check for different heart conditions.


Autopsy: A post-mortem (after death) examination which determines the cause of death.


To understand these terms, let us create a little scenario. Ram walks in a hospital with an abrasion, although the doctor notices something and orders a biopsy for him. Due to the fact that biopsy is often associated with cancer, he gets a bit scared. However, it turns out he is benign. Although, that same day Ram goes into V-fib which was seen in the EKG beside him. The button with ‘code blue’ written on it was pressed and within minutes, it was all hands on deck. The doctors said to ‘Push one of epi’ and used a defibrillator to revive him. After some quick action taken, Ram manages to survive. He gets a few tests done and it turns out that he had a heart condition which was straining his heart. Thank God he survived or else it would have been an autopsy which would be making us aware of this condition.

I know the story is not too good but the purpose of it is to help you understand these medical terms better just like it helped me do so. Now you can enjoy your favourite medical shows even more due to knowing what they are talking about.

Bibliography:

  1. n.a. “25 Important Medical Terms You Need To Know” Selecthealth.org. n.d. Web. 23 Jul, 2022. <https://selecthealth.org/blog/2016/08/25-important-medical-terms-you-need-to-know>


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