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Medical term glossary - D
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.
Dactylitis - Inflammation of a toe or finger.
Daltonism - Red/green colour-blindness.
Debridement - Cleaning a wound.
Decubitus ulcer - Bedsore.
Deep vein thrombosis - The formation of a blood clot in a vein in the leg. This may detach and travel through the blood stream. If it reaches the main artery to the lungs (the pulmonary artery) it may block it, causing a pulmonary embolism. This can be fatal.
Defibrillation - Deliberate electric shock designed to restore regular heart rhythm.
Delayed union - Abnormally slow healing of a bone fracture.
Dementia - Failure of brain function due to diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Demyelination - Degeneration of nerve insulation.
De Quervain's Syndrome - Abnormal clicking and pain in the thumb.
Dermal - Of or relating to the skin.
Dermatitis - Inflammation of the skin.
Dermatoplasty - Skin grafting, plastic surgery etc.
Devitalise - Decoupling the nervous system link of a tooth or organ.
Diaclasia - Deliberately fracturing a bone to reset a deformity.
Dialysis - The use of artificial blood filtration to remove toxins, replacing the function of a kidney.
Diaphoresis - Increased sweating.
Diaphysis - Core of a large bone.
Diplegia - Lower limb paralysis.
Diplopia - Double vision.
Disarticulation - Separation of joints (due to injury or surgery).
Dislocation - The bones of a joint becoming separated. No fracturing occurs.
Distal - The part of a limb furthest from the body (opposite of proximal).
Dominant hemisphere - Part of the brain which controls speech and left/right handedness.
Dorsal spine - The area where the ribs join the spine.
Dorsiflexion - Backward movement of joints.
Dorsum - Rear or outer surface, such as the back of the hand.
Dupuytren's contracture - Contraction of the fingers caused by thickening of fibrous tissue in the palms.
Dura mater - Membrane covering the brain and spinal cord.
Dural - Of or relating to the dura mater.
Dys- - Abnormal.
Dysarthria - Speech impediment.
Dyslexia - Mental disorder causing difficulties in processing writing.
Dysphagia - Difficulty swallowing.
Dysphasia - Communication difficulty in either expressing self or understanding others.
Dysplasia - Abnormal tissue growth.
Dyspnoea - Breathlessness.
Dystocia - Difficult childbirth.
Dysuria - Painful urination.
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