A review commissioned by the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has provided recommendations for when patients die following NHS treatment. Professor Williams’ review recommends that patient deaths which aren’t referred to a coroner...
This medical term glossary provides explanations in plain English of a number of technical terms you may encounter in the process of pursuing a clinical negligence claim.
Babinski reflex - Reflexive extension of the big toe when the sole of the foot is scratched. May be caused by brain damage, for example following a stroke.
Baritosis - Lung disease caused by barium dust.
Barotrauma - Injury caused to the interior or the ear by pressure differences. May result from changes in depth at sea or altitude when flying.
Basal ganglia - Brain cells concerned with regulation of movement and sensory impulses. They may be damaged in cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease.
Behaviour therapy - Psychological therapy intended to regulate abnormal behaviour.
Bilateral - Present on both sides.
Binocular - Relating to both eyes.
Biopsy - Surgery to remove tissue for diagnostic purposes.
Blepharitis - Inflamed eyelids.
Bone conduction - The vibration of bones in the ear which conducts sound, allowing hearing.
Bone graft - Removal of bone from one location and transference to another where it is then fused.
Bowel - The intestine.
Brace - Artificial bone support.
Brachial plexus - A junction of nerves at the base of the neck.
Bradykinesia - Unusually slow movements, a symptom of Parkinson's disease.
Brain stem - Lower rear part of the brain which contains vital centres controlling breathing and heart function. Serious brain stem injury can cause death.
Break - Fracture of a bone.
Broca's area - The area of the brain that controls speech. Disease or damage may result in aphasia or dysphasia.
Bronchi - Passages which lead from the windpipe to the lungs.
Bronchial - Of or related to the bronchi.
Bronchoscopy - Examination of the bronchi.
Bruise - Soft tissue trauma. Discolouration caused by bleeding.
Bucket handle tear - Common type of tear of the cartilages in the knee.
Bulbar - Relating to the medulla, a part of the brain stem.
Bulbar palsy - Disease or injury to the part of the brainstem known as the bulbar. May cause difficulty swallowing.
Burr hole - A hole drilled in the skull to remove pressure caused by bleeding etc.
Bursa - Pouches of fibrous tissue containing fluid which are positioned between the skin and bones at areas of friction to permit smooth movement.
Bursitis - Inflammation of a bursa.
Butterfly fragment - A triangular fragment of bone found in some tibial fractures.
Byssinosis - A disease of the lungs caused by inhalation of cotton flax or hemp dust.
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