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Glossary

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E

  • electrotherapy

    The passing of electric currents through the body's tissues to stimulate the functioning of nerves and the muscles.

  • electrotherapy machine

    machine used to deliver therapeutic electric shocks to patients

  • elephantiasis

    Condition in which there is large swelling of the tissues due to blockage of lymph vessels. It is usually caused by parasitic worms.

  • embalming

    The application of chemical preservatives to slow the natural decomposition of a corpse. Modern methods were greatly refined in the 1800s. Although they have been widely used in Europe, the custom remains most commonly used in North America. Formaldehyde is the primary embalming fluid used today. It is a preservative injected into the blood system to replace the blood which is drained out. Embalming fluid can also be pumped into the body cavities as well.

  • embryo

    An animal or human at an early stage of development, before birth. In humans the term refers to an unborn child up to the eighth week of development.

  • emetic

    A substance that causes vomiting.

  • endoscope

    an instrument to look at the internal parts of the body. The modern endoscope is a flexible, fibreglass instrument that can be swallowed by a patient or introduced through a tiny incision in the body.

  • endotracheal tube

    A flexible tube inserted nasally, orally, or through a tracheotomy into the trachea to provide an airway

  • enema

    A liquid injected into the anus. Enemas can be carried out for medical reasons, as a treatment for constipation, or as a way to give drugs.

  • enema syringe

    A syringe for adminstering enemas

  • engraving

    A technique to obtain prints from an engraved surface. Engraving is the practice of cutting into a hard, usually flat surface.

  • envelope

    Rectangular, flat container made of flexible material that is folded to produce overlapping seams that are adhered together on two or three edges; often with a flag closure, and intended for small objects or documents.

  • enzyme

    One of a group of complex organic substances formed in the living cells of plants and animals. A catalyst for the chemical reactions of biological processes.

  • epidemic

    A sudden widespread occurance of an infection with high numbers of people affected.

  • epidemiology

    The study of epidemic disease, including its spread, causes and methods of control.

  • epidural

    A technique used in childbirth and gynaecological surgery. An anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space of the spinal cord, usually via a catheter. Sensation is lost in the abdominal, genital and pelvic areas as a result.

  • epilepsy

    A disorder of brain function characterized by seizures that occur suddenly. The seizures can be triggered by fast flashing lights, especially strobe lighting.

  • ergotism

    Poisoning induced from too much medicinal ergot or eating grain infected by ergot (fungus). Symptoms include spasms, cramp and gangrene. Historically known as St Anthony’s fire because a pilgrimage to his tomb was said to cure the symptoms.

  • etching

    Print made from an etched printing plate, which is a metal plate on which a design is made by coating the plate with an acid-resistant substance, creating a design in the coating, and then exposing the plate to acid, which etches the plate where the metal is exposed. For designs incised directly into a copper plate using a burin or graver, use "engravings (prints)."

  • ether

    A volatile liquid (resulting from the action of sulphuric acid upon alcohol) formerly used as an anaesthetic. Ether was usually inhaled.

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