Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jargon, Hacker and Otherwise

The Perfect Child is home from school for the summer - She's working toward her degree in an obscure offshoot of the medical services field that has hooks in the CDC/DHS/Emergency Services industry.

Most of her studies have revolved around hospital operations and control/containment issues, and given that we both posses a somewhat macabre sense of humor, we have lots of fun playing 'What If?' games centering around disaster scenarios. I know- morbid and creepifying.

I have a penchant for etymology and time wasters, evidenced by the fact that I have long possessed a bound hardcopy of the Jargon File (a link to the soft copy can be found over at Borepatch's site here...). Knowing my interest in things of this nature, the PC sent me the following list of terms, which I figured I'd share with you Constant Readers.
(Caution: some terms may be considered extremely tasteless or crass. If you are easily offended, I suggest clicking THIS link instead of reading further.)

Anaerobe: a term borrowed from bacteriology used to refer to a patient with chronically poor lung function whose blood oxygen levels seem too low to be compatible with life, yet who seems to function normally nonetheless.

A.R.T: Assuming room temperature. A recently deceased patient.

Banana bag: an intravenous solution containing a liquid multivitamin that colors the fluid a bright yellow, used in undernourished or alcoholic patients.

Beans: kidneys. "Better watch that Gentamycin level — you don't want to fry her beans."

Bed plug: a low-maintenance patient occupying a bed that might otherwise be filled with a more difficult case.

Bright lights: surgery (also, "bright lights and cold steel"). "The meds aren't doing squat — sounds like this guy needs some bright lights."

C.T.D: Circling the drain. Description of a patient who is slowly deteriorating and likely to die.

Code brown: bowel incontinence that can be smelled throughout the ward. "Code brown on 3 East — better take the back stairs."

C.T.S.: Cut all to shreds. E.R. lingo for victims with multiple lacerations, usually MVAs with through-the-windshield trauma.

Deceleration Trauma: The patient/victim has jumped/fallen/been thrown from from a high location and impacted the ground with high delta-V.
"It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden deceleration trauma immediately thereafter."  (See also: Terminal Deceleration Syndrome)

Ditzel: a small, unidentified mass seen on an X-ray, usually benign by implication. "The CAT scan was fine except for a vague ditzel in the parietal lobe, probably a calcium deposit." (See also goombah.)

D.N.R.: do not resuscitate. Instructions allowing a patient to die undisturbed in the event of a sudden catastrophic event; no C.P.R., no respirator, no electric shocks.

Doc-in-the-box: an urgent-care walk-in clinic. "He's moonlighting at a doc-in-the-box downtown."

D.R.T: Dead Right There. Usually the recipient of some type of trauma (GSW, MVA) where the victim has succumbed and is A.R.T. prior to the arrival of the EMTs

Fascinoma: a very unusual or fascinating case. "They're presenting the fascinoma from 4 East at grand rounds this morning."

F/C/S/N/V/HA/C.P.: fever, chills, sweats, nausea, vomiting, headache, chest pain. A list of symptoms so commonly checked off in questioning that the savvy resident can "name that tune" with only one or two letters.

F.D.G.B: Fall Down, Go Boom - Patient (usually a child) in N.A.D. with an overly protective/concerned parent, arriving at the E.R. after a household fall.

Fleas: Internists, because of their constant attention to the minutiae of daily patient care. In a less complimentary light, as a patient's death becomes imminent, the consulting specialists will often sign off the case, which internists, as primary care doctors, are unable to do. So internists resemble fleas, which are — as the saying has it — "the last ones to jump off a dying dog."

Gomer: shorthand for "Get out of my emergency room." Any undesirable patient, usually one that is unkempt, demented, combative or any combination of the above. (The phrase is now sharply discouraged due to a new sensitivity to the image of doctors, in reaction to the uncaring image presented by H.M.O.'s.)

Goombah: a large unidentified mass seen on an X-ray, usually implied to be malignant. "He's got some kind of goombah in the left upper lobe on his chest film." (See also ditzel.)

GSW: Gun Shot Wound
Heme: blood, often used as a euphemism in the presence of conscious patients to avoid upsetting them. "A little suction, nurse. I'm getting a little heme at the biopsy site."

HIBGIA: "Had it before, got it again." Serial E.R. customers.

Hit: a new patient. "Better grab some dinner quick — we've got three hits coming up from the E.R."

Incidentaloma: an incidental finding noted on a radiograph performed for an unrelated purpose. "The M.R.I. of the C-spine was normal except for an incidentaloma in the thyroid."

I's and O's: intake and output — a daily count of the patient's total fluid intake and measurable output (urine, blood, wound drainage, etc.). An accurate tally allows assessment of the patient's hydration status.

K: the chemical symbol for potassium. "Mrs. Zilka's K was pretty low this morning — better give her a dose of K-phos."

L.O.L.: little old lady. (Oddly, there is no male equivalent.)

Lead Poisoning: Usually a victim of a GSW.

M.V.A.: Motor Vehicle Accident

N.A.D.: no apparent distress. The classic description of a patient in a state of well-being: "L.O.L. in N.A.D."

Neuron: neurologist. "Better get an M.R.I. before you get that neuro consult — the neurons don't go to the bathroom without seeing an M.R.I. first."

O sign: a persistently open mouth, as seen on a mouth-breathing sleeping patient, or on a demented conscious patient. "He's resting comfortably; positive O sign." (See also Q sign.)

O.C.: obsessive-compulsive. "Dr. Heller gets pretty O.C. about checking I's and O's on his patients."

PBS: Pretty Bad Shape - Kind of self-explanatory.

Pimp: to test the medical knowledge of an underling, usually in a public and unexpected manner. "The chief made rounds with us this morning, and I got pimped wicked about hepatitis."

Pleasantly demented: a standard description of a patient who, though deep in the throes of senility, can carry on an appropriate conversation and occasionally give the impression of having perfect mental capacity.

Q sign: an open mouth with a tongue dangling from it. "Looks like Mr. O'Reilly's not going to need his sleeping pills tonight — he's already got a positive Q sign showing." (See also O sign.)

Rock: a very stable patient, often used at sign-out, when one physician is turning over care to another. "Mr. Green on 3 South just had a hernia repair — nothing to do there, he's a rock."

Scut puppy: an underling, usually a third-year medical student, assigned to perform menial tasks like drawing blood and retrieving lab results.

Snake: to perform a procedure involving insertion of a fiber-optic scope into a body orifice; also, the instrument itself. "Mrs. Goldstein's ulcer seems to be acting up — we better snake her and take a look."

S.O.B: shortness of breath. "Mr. Hanson complains of three weeks of intermittent C.P. accompanied by S.O.B."

Tail-light sign: when a patient (usually elderly) is dropped off at an emergency room by relatives who drive away before an evaluation is complete, forcing the patient to be admitted to the hospital whether or not his medical condition requires it.

Terminal Deceleration Syndrome: Usually a victim of a MVA or Motorcycle accident.

Train wreck: a patient with multiple medical problems. "Dr. Jacobs can't come down right now — he's tied up with a train wreck in the E.R."

Veteran (variant: veteranoid): a grizzled, elderly patient, usually male, who has great forbearance with testing and readily agrees to any procedures that are advised; reminiscent of the type of patient normally found in a V.A. hospital.

Wallet biopsy: checking a patient's insurance or financial status before embarking on expensive procedures. "They were going to keep her a couple more days, but the wallet biopsy showed she could be treated at home instead."

W.N.L.: within normal limits, as in a lab or X- ray result; or, alternatively, "We Never Looked."

W.N./W.D.: well-nourished and well-developed. Standard opening shorthand in any physical examination: `W.N./W.D. female in N.A.D."

Zebra: an outlandish or unlikely diagnosis. A medical school aphorism holds, "If you're walking down Fifth Avenue and you hear hoofbeats, you think of horses, not zebras," meaning that a common diagnosis is more likely to be correct than a rare one.

- Most references by SHEILENDR KHIPPLE


1 comment:

Old NFO said...

ROTF, those are some good ones... And I've used a few of those before! ;-)