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Glossary

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S

  • 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.

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