Health A-Z


Clinical Definition Salmonella is a type of bacteria and a common cause of foodborne illness, or food poisoning. The infection associated with Salmonella is called salmonellosis. In Our Own Words Salmonella bacteria are one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Gastroenteritis with diarrhea and cramping is the most common presentation. Symptoms can last


Clinical Definition Salmonellosis is an infectious illness, which causes a type of gastroenteritis. It occurs in all parts of the world and is due to ingestion of food contaminated with the bacteria salmonella. The period from ingesting foods contaminated with the bacteria and symptoms is generally 8 to 72 hours. The illness is usually characterized


Clinical Definition Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease caused by an exaggerated inflammatory response by the immune system after environmental stimuli. The response causes the formation of granulomas. Although granulomas may develop anywhere on the body, they commonly occur in the lungs causing interstitial fibrosis. There may be a genetic predisposition, but the etiology is unknown.


Clinical Definition Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral infectious disease that results in a serious respiratory infection. The causative agent is a SARS-associated coronavirus. SARS often causes pneumonia-like symptoms to develop, which can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It is most often spread through respiratory droplets. The virus’s incubation period (from


Clinical Definition In Our Own Words Scabies is a treatable skin condition caused by a small “itch mite” that tunnels under the skin and lays eggs. Highly contagious, this condition can be spread by close, skin-to-skin contact. Common sites of infestation include between the fingers, behind the knee and the groin area. Treatment involves symptom


Clinical Definition Schizophrenia is a chronic and disabling mental illness. Those affected may report hearing voices that others do not hear, believe people are reading their minds or controlling their thoughts, and may feel as if strangers are trying to harm them. The first delusions or breaks with reality typically occur in adolescence or young


Clinical Definition Scleroderma refers to a group of disorders of unknown etiology that involve skin sclerosis. Scleroderma may be a limited, localized disease of the skin or a more widespread, systemic condition with organ involvement. In some instances, blood vessels, muscles, joints and organs including the lungs, heart and kidneys are affected. In Our Own


Clinical Definition Family practice, Orthopedics, Pediatrics In Our Own Words Typically, the back’s vertebrae are stacked on top of each other. If the spine is viewed from the back, the vertebrae should be in a straight line from the neck to the tailbone. Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine has an abnormal sideways

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Clinical Definition Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder can affect adults or infants. In adults, it can be mild and asymptomatic or more involved. Dandruff, which presents with white or yellow greasy scales on the scalp that flake off, is a form of seborrheic dermatitis. In children, seborrheic dermatitis is known as cradle

Secondhand Smoke

Clinical Definition Secondhand smoke is the unintentional inhalation of smoke from a pipe, cigar or cigarette by nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke contains carcinogens and respiratory irritants, which over time can have consequences such as lung cancer and possibly COPD. The two forms of secondhand smoke include mainline smoke and sidestream smoke. Mainstream smoke is smoke exhaled.

Separation Anxiety

Clinical Definition Separation anxiety can occur in children or adults. In children, it is a normal developmental stage, with anxiety occurring when separated from a primary caregiver, typically the mother. It typically disappears by age 2. Adults can also suffer from separation anxiety. In both adults and children, the condition may be classified as a


Clinical Definition Septicemia is bacteremia that occurs especially with severe infections of the lungs, abdomen and urinary tract. It may occur before or with osteomyelitis, meningitis, endocarditis or other infections. Chills, high fever, rapid heart rate and respirations are common at the onset, progressing to petechiae and ecchymosis, shock and confusion. Diagnosis is by blood culture,


Clinical Definition Serotonin is a neurotransmitter made from the amino acid tryptophan. It plays a role in the regulation of sleep, appetite, mood and pain. Serotonin is made and released naturally. Some antidepressant medications act by increasing the availability of serotonin for central signaling to positively affect mood in depressed patients. In Our Own Words

Sexual Transmitted Diseases

Clinical Definition STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are infections that spread through sexual activity with someone who is already infected. They may be transmitted by mouth, anus, vagina or penis. Many of these infections can be treated with antibiotics. In Our Own Words Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections and viruses spread through unprotected oral,

Shin Splints

Clinical Definition Shin splints is an inflammation of the periosteum, tendons and bones around the tibia, which causes pain. It usually occurs around the medial portion of the tibia and is related to exercise and overuse. Activities, such as running, place a high degree of force on the tibia bone and often lead to the


Clinical Definition Shingles is an infectious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The condition causes inflammation of the ganglia and is characterized by a skin rash and postherpetic pain. Shingles usually develops after a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, due to a primary chickenpox infection. In Our Own Words Shingles is a viral infection

Sickle Cell Disease

Clinical Definition Sickle cell disease is a group of hereditary disorders of erythrocytes, typically diagnosed in neonates with a blood test. Homozygous and compound heterozygous individuals have symptomatic disease, while heterozygous individuals have sickle cell trait, a generally benign condition. SCD is characterized by anemia, pain, potentially life-threatening complications such as bacterial septicemia, acute chest

Sigmoid Colon

Clinical Definition Sigmoid colon is the section of the colon that leads to the rectum and anus. It makes an S-shaped curve. The colon’s other segments are the cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, and descending colon, with the entire length typically about six feet. In Our Own Words The sigmoid colon is the part of


Clinical Definition Sinusitis is an infection or inflammation of the mucus membranes of the sinuses. Swelling of the membranes can obstruct normal drainage, which can lead to the growth of bacteria and development of an infection. Sinusitis may be allergic, bacterial, viral, and/or may involve structural abnormalities. Clinical presentation of acute sinusitis usually includes headache,

Spinal Stenosis

Clinical Definition Spinal stenosis is a degenerative condition, which occurs due to narrowing of the spinal canal. The facet joint may also become enlarged. The narrowing or compression of the canal causes pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord. Multiple areas of the spine can be involved including the cervical and lumbar area. Although it can be congenital, spinal

Staph Infection

Clinical Definition Staph infection is caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium.  Staph, as it’s often called, is prevalent and frequently found on the skin or in the nose of people who are healthy. Infections can range from minor to more serious ones that can affect wounds, the bloodstream or the lungs. Some staph bacteria, called MRSA for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus


Clinical Definition A stroke is the sudden death of neurons in a concentrated area of the brain, due to a blockage or disturbance in blood flow impacting that area. In Our Own Words A stroke is like a heart attack of the brain, thus the term “brain attack.” Just like in a heart attack, a

Subdural Hematoma

Clinical Definition A subdural hematoma (SDH) is an intracranial blood clot between the dura mater and arachnoid layer of the meninges. The hematoma often develops due to shearing of the bridging veins, a breakage caused by head trauma. A subdural hematoma often causes an increase in intracranial pressure, which may result in damage to the

Sympathetic Nervous System

Clinical Definition The sympathetic nervous system is a division of the autonomic nervous system. It consists of nerves, which originate in the thoracic region of the spinal cord and extends to the lumbar area. In response to a stimulus the body senses is dangerous, the neurons of the sympathetic nervous system release norepinephrine and then

Synovial Fluid

Clinical Definition Synovial fluid is the clear, viscous fluid secreted by the membranes in tendon sheaths and joint cavities. It functions as a lubricant between articulating joints, which reduces friction during movement. Synovial fluid is considered a shear thickening fluid because it increases in viscosity under applied pressure. The increase in viscosity provides shock absorption,

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