Common Medical Abbreviations/Symbols

tydek07

Forum Captain
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There was a member in the chat room that stated he sometimes gets confused when he sees a medical abbrevation/term. So, I thought I would make a post of the commonly used medical abbreviations/symbols.

So they are:

↑ Increase(d)
↓ Decrease(d)
Ø None
♀ Female
♂ Male
< Lesser then
> Greater then
= Equal to
+ positive
- negative
∆ Change
@ at
≈ approximate
1o primary, first degree
2o secondary, second degree
3o tertiary, third degree
µg microgram
ā before
α alpha
A&O alert and oriented
Afib atrial fibrillation
ABCs airway, breathing, and circulation
abd abdomen, abdominal
AIDS acquired immune deficiency syndrome
AED automatic external defibrillator
AMA against medical advice
AMI acute myocardial infarction
Amt. Amount
Ant. Anterior
Approx approximately
ASA acetylsalicyclic acid (aspirin)
AV atrioventricular
β beta
BBB bundle branch block
bid twice a day
Bilat. Bilateral
BM bowel movement
BP blood pressure
Brady bradycardia
BS blood sugar also breath sounds
BVM bag-valve-mask
ĉ with
C-1 cervical spine vertebrae 1, etc
c/o complaint of
CA cancer
cc chief complaint, also cubic centimeter
CHF congestive heart failure
cm centimeter
CMS circulation, movement, sensation
CNS central nervous system
CO carbon monoxide
CO2 carbon dioxide
COPD chronic obstructed pulmonary disease
CPR cardio-pulmonary resusciation
CSF cerbralspinal fluid
CVA cerebral vascular accident
cx chest
D50 50% Detrose
D5W 5% Detrose in Water
dc discontinued
dl deciliter = 100 ml
DOA dead on arrival
DTs delirium tremors
Dx diagnosis
ECG electrocardiogram
ED emergency department
Epi epinephrine
ER emergency room
ET endotracheal
ETOH ethyl alcohol
Fx fracture
FBAO foreign body airway obstruction
GCS Glasgow coma scale
GI gastrointestinal
GSW gun shot wound
Hx history
H/A headache
HIV human immunodeficiency virus
HR heart rate
Hr(s) hour, hours
IM intramuscular
IO intraosseous
IU international units
IV intravenous
IVP IV push
KCl potassium
kg kilogram = 1,000 grams
JVD jugular vein distention
L liter, left
L-1, 2 Lumbar spine vertebrae 1, 2 etc.
LLQ left lower quadrant
LOC level of consiousness
LUQ left upper quadrant
mcg microgram
mEq milliequivalent
mg milligram
MI myocardial infarction
min minute
mL milliliter
mm millimeter
MVA motor vehicle accident
N/V nausea & vomiting
NaHCO3 Sodium
Bicarbonate
NKA no known allergies
noc at night
NPO nothing by mouth
NS normal saline
NSR normal sinus rhythm
NTG nitroglycerine
neg. negative
O2 oxygen
O2 sat oxygen saturation
p after
PAC premature atrial contraction
palp palpation
PAT proxysmal atrial tachycardia
PE pulmonary embolism
ped pediatric
PERL pupils equal react to light
PMH past medical history
PMS pulse, motor, sensory
PO by mouth, orally
prn as needed
PSVT paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
Pt. Patient
PVC premature ventricular contraction
q every
qid four times a day
R right
resp respirations
RLQ right lower quadrant
RUQ right upper quadrant
Rx treatment
ŝ without
SIDS sudden infant death syndrome
SL sublingual
SNT soft, non tender
SOB shortness of breath
SQ subcutaneous
TB tuberculosis
tid three times a day
TIA transient ischemic attack
TKO to keep open
VF ventricular fibrillation
Vfib ventricular fibrillation
VT ventricular tachycardia
Vtach ventricular tachycardia
WO wide open


Feel free to add on others you use/see
 
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Sapphyre

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PE can also be Pedal Edema
 

Sasha

Forum Chief
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ROSC return of spontaneous circulation.
RR Respiratory Rate.
AMI Acute Myocardial Infarction
STEMI ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction
CABG Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
KVO Keep Vein Open
WNL Within Normal Limits/ We Never Looked
od oculus dexter (Right eye.)
os oculus sinister (left eye)
MS Morphine Sulfate
 
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TransportJockey

Forum Chief
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PE can also be Pedal Edema
That's one I've never actually heard. In my classes and in the field here, PE usually means Pulmonary Emboli or Pulmonary Edema
 

Sapphyre

Forum Asst. Chief
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That's one I've never actually heard. In my classes and in the field here, PE usually means Pulmonary Emboli or Pulmonary Edema
That's why I was confused first time I saw it show up on a medic's report as - pe on a diff breather. I asked around, told when it shows up like that, they're talking about pedal edema.
 

Buzz

Forum Captain
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Our medical control authority here sent out a list of approved shorthand terms that had pretty much everything on that list, as well as all area hospital abbreviations, and some other useful information. I took that list and taped it to the inside of the clipboard in the rig I usually ride in. I'll go over the list next time I work and see if I can find some others that aren't on the list here.
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
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AMS Acute Mountain Sickness
ALOC Altered Level of Conciousness
 

PotatoMedic

Has no idea what I'm doing.
2,338
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AAA:Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

(not sure if that is one but the medics teaching my class keep saying that so I am guessing it is...)
 

medic417

The Truth Provider
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Many services and hospitals have a list of approved abbreviations/symbols. Improper use could lead to patient harm.
 

VentMedic

Forum Chief
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There was a member in the chat room that stated he sometimes gets confused when he sees a medical abbrevation/term. So, I thought I would make a post of the commonly used medical abbreviations/symbols.

He's not the only one confused. The confusion happens very often and has been a large cause of medical errors. If you read hospital reports you will now see many things that were previously written as abbreviations are now spelled out.
 

VentMedic

Forum Chief
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AMS Acute Mountain Sickness
For those of us at sea level:
AMS - Altered Mental Status

ALS -
Advanced Life Support
or
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also called Lou Gehrig's disease

EMS -
Emergency Medical Services
or
Electro Myostimulation

EMT
Emergency Medical Technician
or
Electronic Muscle Therapy (Physical Therapy)
or
Expiratory Muscle Training (Physical Therapy or Respiratory Thereapy)
or
Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (more RT speak when working with NO)

So if you hear ALS, EMS or EMT used in the hospital setting, they may not be talking about you.
 

medic417

The Truth Provider
5,104
3
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For those of us at sea level:
AMS - Altered Mental Status

ALS -
Advanced Life Support
or
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also called Lou Gehrig's disease

EMS -
Emergency Medical Services
or
Electro Myostimulation

EMT
Emergency Medical Technician
or
Electronic Muscle Therapy (Physical Therapy)
or
Expiratory Muscle Training (Physical Therapy or Respiratory Thereapy)
or
Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (more RT speak when working with NO)

So if you hear ALS, EMS or EMT used in the hospital setting, they may not be talking about you.
LOL. How true. Wonder how many of the fits thrown here about treatment from real medical professionals was not even really about them.
 

Buzz

Forum Captain
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Oh, how did that go?
I'm not entirely sure how it turned out. I haven't been back to the hospital we took the patient to since then. The patient was still alive when we got there, although definitely was not doing so well.
 

BossyCow

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fma08

Forum Asst. Chief
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ROSC return of spontaneous circulation.
RR Respiratory Rate.
AMI Acute Myocardial Infarction
STEMI ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction
CABG Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
KVO Keep Vein Open
WNL Within Normal Limits/ We Never Looked
od oculus dexter (Right eye.)
os oculus sinister (left eye)

MS Morphine Sulfate

Along with that, AD (right ear) AS (left ear) AU (both ears), OU (both eyes)
 

ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
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Our medical control authority here sent out a list of approved shorthand terms that had pretty much everything on that list, as well as all area hospital abbreviations, and some other useful information. I took that list and taped it to the inside of the clipboard in the rig I usually ride in. I'll go over the list next time I work and see if I can find some others that aren't on the list here.
Good point. Our medical director did the same thing. Just because it's a medical abbreviation doesn't mean it's an approved medical abbreviation for your agency.
 

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