If you ask the general population, many won’t know or have even heard of it, yet according to the UK Sepsis Trust, it’s one of the most common causes of death in the UK, responsible for killing up to 44,000 people a year. It’s...
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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