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  • safe sex kit

    Set of items and information leaflets designed to encourage safe sex. Would include condoms and guide to their application as well as other information.

  • safety pin

    Pins for fastening separate articles, as garments, bent back on itself so as to form a spring, and with a guard or sheath to cover the point and prevent accidental unfastening.

  • salamander

    A type of amphibian found worldwide, except in Australia and the polar regions. It has an elongated body, a long tail and short legs.

  • salivette

    A trademarked device for saliva sampling.

  • salmonella

    A bacteria that inhabits the intestines of animals and humans, causing infection.

  • Salvarsan kit

    Also known as Arsphenamine or 606, Salvarsan is a synthetic form of arsenic that is used to treat syphilis.

  • sample

    Individual units, segments, or small quantities taken as evidence of the quality or character of the entire group or lot

  • samples

    Individual units, segments, or small quantities taken as evidence of the quality or character of the entire group or lot. W.

  • sand-glass

    Device to measure equal periods of time by the motion of sand or other free-flowing, fine-grained substances through a narrow aperture between two triangular or conical glass bulbs arranged mouth to mouth; probably introduced in the early 14th century and used then especially for timekeeping on board ships. Hour-glass or minute-glass are specific examples.

  • sanitary reform

    Reforms designed to improve working and living conditions. In the 1800s these were particularly targeted at the working class population.

  • sarcophagus

    A stone coffin, most notably used by the ancient Egyptians and Romans.

  • sarsaparilla

    a preparation of the dried rhizomes of various plants, especially smilax, used to flavour some drinks and medicines and formerly as a tonic.

  • satire

    An artistic form where human actions and errors are mocked.

  • scales - weighing device

    Instruments for determining the weight of objects or substances.

  • scalpel

    A small thin sharp blade used by surgeons.

  • scanning tunnelling microscope

    Scanning tunneling microscope (STM) is a non-optical microscope that scans an electrical probe over a surface to be imaged to detect a weak electric current flowing between the tip and the surface

  • scarification

    The process of making a series of cuts or scratches in the skin to allow a substance to enter the body.

  • scarificator

    A surgical instrument with several spring-operated lancets, used to break the skin.

  • scarlet fever

    An acute contagious disease caused by streptococcus bacteria occurring predominantly among children and characterized by a scarlet skin eruption and high fever.

  • scarlet fever test

    trial term S&H

  • schizophrenia

    A mental disorder that has symptoms of delusions, hallucinations and a loss of a sense of self and relationship to the external world that lasts over a long period of time (more than six months).

  • sciatica

    Syndrome characterised by pain radiating from the back into the buttock and into the lower extremity the term is also used to refer to pain anywhere along the course of the sciatic nerve (the hip region).

  • scissors

    Cutting tool consisting of two bevel-edged cutting blades with handles and being movable past one another on a pivot in the center by which they are held together.

  • sclera

    The white fibrous outer layer of the eyeball. It covers approximately the five sixths of its surface and continuous anteriorly with the cornea and posteriorly with the external sheath of the optic nerve.

  • Scold's bridle

    A punishment for women who spoke too much or were troublesome. Also referred to as 'the brank' or 'branks', it consisted of an iron cage that covered the head with a gag that projected into the mouth. This gag was often studded to heighten the punishment.

  • scoop

    A long handled spoon like instrument used for scraping parts of the body, or extracting foreign bodies.

  • scraper

    Any of various tools used for scraping, producing a clean or a smooth finished surface, cutting grooves, or shaping objects by scraping away superfluous material.

  • screwbarrel microscope

    A microscope that can be separated into many pieces and carried in a case.

  • scrofula

    A disease that leads to a swelling of the neck, and inflammations of the skin, bones and joints. It was once believed that the touch of a king could cure the disease, hence its alternative name: ‘King's Evil’.

  • scroll

    A roll, as of parchment or papyrus, used especially for writing a document.

  • scurvy

    Disease caused by a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which is contained in fresh fruit and vegetables. Symptoms include weakness, painful joints, and bleeding gums.

  • seal - artefact

    Refers to artefact bearing monograms, writing, numbers, symbols, or designs in intaglio that are used for making an impression in relief on some soft, tenacious substance such as clay or wax. They may be flat or cylindrical, the impression made by rolling the seal over the surface. The term also refers to the impressions that have been made in wax, clay, or another soft material by the impact of a seal or other hard engraved surface. Seals are generally used to authenticate documents or for decoration.

  • sedan chair

    Portable chair consisting of canvas hung on two long poles. Sedan chairs were sometimes used to transport the sick.

  • sedative

    Drugs used for their calming effect, to reduce anxiety and tension. At high doses they cause sleep.

  • seizure

    A sudden attack caused by a disorder, in particular a convulsion.

  • semisynthetic

    a substance that is prepared synthetically but derives from a naturally occurring material

  • septicaemia

    Blood poisoning caused by the spread of bacteria from an infection.

  • sepulchral slab

    Stone slab used to mark the site of a grave

  • sepulchral vase

    Piece of sepulchral sculpture in the form of a vase form part of a tomb

  • serrenoeud

    An instrument for tightening a ligature

  • sexually transmitted infection

    Any disease transmitted by sexual intercourse. STIs include HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhoea, some chlamydia infections and genital herpes.

  • shaving bowl

    Bowl used by barber or shaver,used either to collect blood from shaving cuts, or to rest razor during pauses in shaving.

  • sheep

    trial term

  • sheet music

    Music printed on unbound sheets of paper.

  • sheet music cover

    cover for sheet music

  • Shintoism

    The native religion of Japan. It involves the worship of spirits representing a place, a natural object or process, or the spirits of ancestors.

  • shoe

    A durable covering for the human foot, made of leather or similar material with a rigid sole and heel, usually extending no higher than the ankle.

  • shop sign

    Use broadly for signs identifying places of business.

  • short-sightedness

    A defect of the eye where images are produced in front of the retina rather than on it. This causes object that are close to the viewer to appear blurred. Usually treated with glasses or corrective surgery.

  • shoulder flash

    something worn on the shoulder of a military uniform as an emblem of a division etc.

  • shrapnel

    Fragments of shells, bombs or bullets.

  • shrine

    Originally a container, usually made of precious materials, used especially for a relic and often a cult image. Today it has come to mean a holy or sacred place that is visited by believers.

  • sick siphon

    Scroll shaped silver tube with a hook on one side to attach it to a cup of liquid. The lower end is closed by a hinged and pierced cover to strain the food.

  • Siddha

    A medical practice based mainly in Tamil Nadu, India, that uses the pulse as one of its main diagnostic tool and treatments based on metals.

  • SIDS

    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected death of an infant of less than two years old. The term is only applied to a death that remains unexplained after post-mortem investigation.

  • sight developing apparatus

    apparatus designed to aid or improve sight or sight deficiencies, such as glasses or monacle.

  • sight testing apparatus

    Apparatus used in tests on sight

  • sign

    An entity that signifies another entity. Often a publicly displayed board giving information

  • sign - promotional or advertising artefact

    Lettered notice or other display that bear names, directions, warnings, advertisements, or symbols that are displayed or posted for public view. For smaller, less public identifying notices, use "labels (identifying artifacts)." For systems of signs arranged to communicate directions or essential information, use "signage."

  • silicone implant

    An implant that is inserted into the body by surgery, typically to enhance a particular area (commonly breasts). Silicon is a synthetic material that remains unaltered by changes in temperature and is resistant to chemical attack.

  • silkworm

    Moth caterpillar that feeds chiefly on mulberry leaves. The common domesticated Bombyx mori is raised commercially for its silk cocoon

  • single eyeglass - quizzing

    Eyeglasses consisting of a single lens in frame with long handle, but without nosepiece, used to compensate for defective vision in one eye. Handle usually fitted with ring for carrying ribbon or cord.

  • skeleton

    The bones or bony framework of an animal body considered as a whole; also, more generally, the harder (supporting or covering) constituent part of an animal organism.

  • skin grafting

    A process to move skin from one part of the body to another. Usually carried out as treatment for burns or other extensive skin wounds.

  • skull

    The skeleton of the head of a vertebrate animal, including the brain case, or cranium, and the bones and cartilages of the face and mouth. The skull can be subdivided into two parts: the cranium and the mandible. The human skull is made up from 22 bones.

  • skull saw

    A saw used to cut through the skull. This was often used in preperation for brain surgery.

  • skyphos

    drinking cup

  • slab

    A broad, flat, thick piece of pottery or metal

  • sleeping sickness

    A serious disease that is common in much of tropical Africa, transmitted by tsetse flies. Symptoms include fever, headache, lethargy, confusion, tremors, and loss of weight.

  • slide rule

    Simple mechanical device used for calculations such as multiplication and division.

  • smallpox

    Smallpox is an infectious virus unique to humans. It results in a characteristic skin rash and fluid-filled blisters. After successful vaccination campaigns throughout the 1800s and 1900s, the World Health Organisation certified the eradication of smallpox in 1979. Smallpox is the only human infectious disease to have been completely wiped out.

  • smelling salts

    Used to arouse consciousness. The salts release a small amount of ammonia, which triggers the nasal passage's inhalation reflex.

  • smoking

    A practice where a substance, most commonly tobacco is burned and the smoke inhaled. It is currently practiced by over one billion people worldwide (2008)

  • Snellen test types

    Chart used for vision testing. The chart shows lines of black letters varying in size from large to small down the chart. Which a patient is asked to read. The optician is able to tell the level of the patient's eyesight when s/he can not read any further.

  • snuff

    Tobacco that has been finely powdered. Snuff is usually sniffed through the nose, or applied to the gums with a finger.

  • snuff box

    a small usually ornamental container for holding snuff Boxes, usually having a hinged lid and small enough to be carried in the pocket, used for holding snuff

  • snuff jar

    a box or jar used for holding snuff, usually small enough to be carried in the pocket.


    A method used to detect objects underwater by sending high frequency sound waves and monitoring their reflection.

  • song

    Musical compositions, generally short, containing words. Colloquially, the term song has come to be applied to any short compositions with or without words. This is considered incorrect in the genres of jazz, brass band, classical and popular music.

  • spa

    A resort with mineral springs which are thought to have properties that help cure or soothe illnesses.

  • specific fever

    Produced by a peculiar poison, or an exclusive or specific cause, and the fever runs, or strongly tends to run, to a definite course which can be used to identify the fever; an example is yellow fever

  • specimen

    Individual sample or unit that is deliberately selected for examination, display, or study, and is usually chosen as typical of its kind.

  • specimen container

    Container used to transport specimens from patients to the laboratory, often a urine sample.

  • spectacle case

    case for spectacles

  • spectacle frames

    framework part of spectacles, devices to compensate for defective vision or to protect the eyes from light, dust, and the like, consisting usually of two lenses set in a frame that includes a nosepiece for resting on the bridge of the nose and which may also have two sidepieces extending over or around the ears.

  • spectacles

    Pair of eyeglasses to compensate for defective vision or to protect the eyes from light, dust, and the like. Kept in place by sidepieces passing over the ears, on the nose or held in the hand.

  • spectroscope

    Optical instrument that disperses visible light into a spectrum using prisms or gratings, which can be observed and analysed. Used mainly in astronomy and chemistry, variants include spectrographs that record spectra & spectrometers that have scale for direct wavelength measurement

  • spectroscopy

    Branch of optics dealing with the measurement of the wavelength and intensity of a spectrum.

  • speculum

    Instrument for dilating certain passages of the body, and throwing light within them, thus facilitating examination or surgical operations; Types incluse ear, nasal, vaginal, anal or rectal

  • sphygmograph

    An instrument used to measure the pulse. It records the strength and rate of a person's pulse. Records are recorded on graph paper.

  • sphygmomanometer

    An instrument used by medical staff to measure blood pressure. Usually made up of a cuff which is placed around the arm of a patient, and a measuring unit that shows the patient's blood pressure.

  • spina bifida

    A defect in which a newborn baby has part of the spinal cord, and its coverings, exposed through a gap in the backbone.

  • spinal column

    The series of vertebrae that extend from the cranium to the coccyx, providing support and forming a flexible bony case for the spinal cord.

  • spirit bubble

    A bubble of air trapped within an enclosed tube filled with liquid. When the tube is placed on top of surface and the bubble is lined up in the middle, the surface is level.

  • spirit lamp

    A lamp, used in laboratory work, which burns alcohol as fuel.

  • spirit sticks

    Dense and combustible wood or materials that were ignited because they emitted a lot of smoke. Native North Americans used these to repel mosquitoes or other insects, this was sometimes even done inside a tent.

  • spirometer

    An apparatus for measuring the amount of air that the lungs take in and breathe out.

  • spitting

    The act of ejecting saliva from the mouth.

  • spittoon

    Large containers serving as places to spit. Associated with chewing tobacco.

  • spleen

    A term for a mental illness caused by too much black bile (one of the four humours) in the body. Used from Greek medicine until the 1700s. Those experiencing spleen had restlessness, anxiety, solitude, sudden fits of anger and laughing or crying without reason to.

  • splint

    A rigid device of plastic, wood or plaster that serves to immobilize or support an injury. Generally strapped alongside an injured limb.

  • spontaneous generation

    The supposed production of living organisms from non-living matter, a common belief until the 1800s.

  • spoon

    A utensil consiting of an oval or round end-piece (bowl) and a handle for conveying food, especially liquid, to the mouth, or employed in the culinary preparation of this.

  • spout - container component

    Tubular protruberance through which the contents of a vessel may be poured or sometimes drunk.

  • spray gun

    Implements used for spraying paint or other substances over large areas.

  • spring balance

    Balance in which the weight of the sample or the exertion of a force is balanced and thus measured by the extension of a spring.

  • sputum

    Material coughed up from the chest and throat. Its characteristics (colour, texture, etc.) often provide important information affecting the diagnosis of respiratory disease.

  • sputum bottle

    used to safely dispose sputum and spit from tuberculosis patients

  • staff

    A stick carried in the hand as an aid in walking or climbing. Usually broader or longer than a walking stick.

  • staining

    A technique in which cells or thin sections of biological tissue are placed in coloured dyes (stains) to make them visible through a microscope. Staining heightens the contrast between transparent cell or tissue components.

  • staining apparatus

    used to stain blood film preparations

  • stamp

    Instruments for stamping, such as dies or tools for impressing or marking a design or pattern on metal, paper, or other soft or absorbent material.

  • stand - support furniture

    Small often tablelike pieces of furniture used for holding or displaying objects.

  • State Registered Nurse

    A State Registered Nurse (SRN) is a person who practises nursing and who has been trained to a level that meets the standards of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in the UK.

  • statistics

    The collecting and classifying of numerical data.

  • statue

    A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

  • steatopygia

    Steatopygia, from the Greek steato meaning fat and pygia meaning buttocks, is defined as excessive fat of the buttocks, usually seen in women and sometimes called Hottentot Bustle because it was commonly seen in the Hottentot people of southern Africa. This affliction is characterized by protrusion and excessive fatness of just the buttock region.

  • stem-cell research

    Stem cells are cells that can develop into specialised cells and have a unlimited number of times it can divide. Stem cells in an embryo are capable of developing into the cells and thus organs and tissues a health adult requires. The use and research into stem cells is controversial.

  • stenosis

    Narrowing of a duct or canal

  • stereotaxic apparatus

    Apparatus for a system of three-dimensional coordinates to locate the site to be operated on during brain surgery.

  • sterilisation

    Surgical procedures that make a person infertile i.e. unable to have children.

  • steriliser

    An instrument used to make objects sterile by killing or eliminating agents such as fungi, bacteria and viruses.

  • stertor

    A noisy inspiration occurring in coma or deep sleep, sometimes due to obstruction of the larynx or upper airways.

  • stethometer

    An apparatus for measuring the external movements of a given point of the chest wall, during respiration; also called thoracometer.

  • stethoscope

    A device which is used to listen to sounds produced by the human body. Ordinarily a stethoscope consists of rubber tubing in the shape of a Y.

  • sticker

    Adhesive-backed slips of paper or similar thin material, usually bearing messages or designs.

  • stigmata

    Bodily marks or sores believed to correspond to the crucifixion marks of Jesus Christ.

  • stomach

    J-shaped organ, lying to the left and slightly below the diaphragm in human beings; one of the organs of the digestive system. The stomach produces gastric juices that break down proteins.

  • stomach pump

    An apparatus for removing the contents of the stomach by means of suction. A stomach pumping is performed using a flexible rubber tube that is passed through the mouth and advanced to the stomach. This procedure includes the instillation of a balanced salt solution into the stomach (via the tube) followed by suctioning the fluid out of the stomach. It is an effective procedure in the treatment of toxic ingestions.

  • stone

    A hard solid made of undissolved minerals and found in the kidneys or bladder.

  • storage jar

    A jar used to store objects or substances.

  • streptococcus

    A group of bacteria that destroy red blood cells and cause diseases in humans, including scarlet fever.

  • strigil

    A metal or ivory instrument used to scrape skin. Used in ancient Greece and Rome to scrape the skin clear of dirt.

  • stromuhr

    An instrument for measuring the quantity of blood that flows through a blood vessel in a given time.

  • strophanthus

    A name for a group of shrubs from central Africa. One variation of strophanthus is used in a drug to stimulate the heart after heart failure.

  • strychnine

    A naturally occurring drug derived from trees. In small doses strychnine functions as a central nervous system stimulant, but in higher doses it is extremely poisonous.

  • suffrage

    The right to vote and own property

  • sulfa drug

    A group of antibiotics. Sulfa drugs were ‘wonder-drugs’ before penicillin and other antibiotics. They were used to treat diseases such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

  • sulphanilamide

    A form of sulphonamide used in the treatment of various bacterial infections.

  • sulphonamides

    Antibacterial drugs used to treat diseases like bronchitis and pneumonia, derived from sulphanilamide

  • sun-glasses

    Eyeglasses, usually spectacles, with coloured or tinted lenses that protect the eyes from the glare of sunlight.

  • supercoiling

    A form of DNA where the double helix is twisted further around itself. This generally occurs in nature to allow the DNA to condense into living cells.

  • suppository

    A drug that is inserted into the rectum, vagina or urethra, where it dissolves.

  • suramin

    a nonmetallic drug that may be used in the treatment of sleeping sickness

  • surgery

    trial term S&H

  • surgical bobbin

    used in abdominal surgery

  • surgical instrument set

    Set of instruments to be used for surgery. A physician would often build up their own collection of favoured tools in order to feel as comfortable as possible when carrying out surgery.

  • surgical saw

    Cutting tools having thin, flat metal blades, bands, or stiff plates with cutting teeth along the edges used in surgery and for procedures such as trephination.

  • suture

    The closing of a wound or incision with thread to help the healing process.

  • suture needle

    needle used to suture (join the edges of a wound or incision by stitching)

  • suturing machine

    Machine used to suture wounds

  • sword

    Edged weapon consisting basically of a blade, generally longer than that of dagger or knife, and a grip; designed for delivering cutting or thrusting blows or both.

  • symptom

    A physical or mental feature which is regarded as indicating a condition of disease

  • synthetic

    A substance that has been made artificially, i.e. one that does not come from a natural source. Nylon is an example of a synthetic fibre.

  • syphilis

    A sexually transmitted infection resulting in the formation of lesions throughout the body.

  • syringe

    An instrument used for injecting or withdrawing fluids. The open end of the syringe may be fitted with a hypodermic needle for injection into the bloodstream.

  • syrup

    A thick sticky liquid

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