abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words.


CRS - Can't Remember Stuff!

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  • Whether you are receiving email from one of the lists, chatting in the Chatroom, or posting on the Forum; sooner or later, somebody will start throwing letters at you.

    The list below represents acronyms that you will see frequently used in our online community.

    for a more complete list go to Medline's Appendix B.

    ABG Arterial Blood Gasses
    This is a blood test that is given to determine a number of things but it is the only test that is commonly used to determine the Carbon Dioxide content of the blood. The test is usually taken with a needle into the wrist area and much more difficult to do. Consequently, it has the reputation for hurting. Doctors use this test to determine whether an individual is a retainer or not.
    Alpha-1 Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency (a1-antitrypsin deficiency, A1AD)
    A genetic disease of the liver and lungs. It results from a lack of the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) protein in a person's blood, which protects the lungs from germs, dust, air pollution, cigarette smoke and other inhaled irritants. Without an adequate supply of AAT, substances in the white blood cells can damage the tissues of the body. In adults, A1AD often leads to early onset emphysema that affects the lower lobes of the lung but can also cause liver disease. Because A1AD is a product of genetics, those that are diagnosed with emphysema or COPD at an early age should have a simple blood test to determine if that is the cause of their affliction. If so, some of the medical procedures are different in dealing with the affliction.
    BIPAP BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure
    These machines not only assist in the physical needs for breathing but also help remove excess CO2 from the system. BiPAP stands for BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure. Your BiPAP machine provides 2 sets of pressure prescribed by your physician. There is a pressure set to assist you when breathing in (inspiration) and when breathing out (exhalation). These pressures keep the airway from collapsing so your lungs will receive the oxygen they need. BiPAP ST works the same as BiPAP, but also has a backup respiratory rate incorporated. This means that the machine also supplies the patient with forced breaths.
    CPAP Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
    The machine supplies a set amount of positive pressurized flow through a hose connected to the nasal airway. The set pressure is prescribed by your physician. The pressure keeps the airway from collapsing. Relief of airway obstruction is immediate. Your lungs will receive the oxygen they need and you will sleep much better.
    CHF Congestive Heart Failure
    Simply stated, CHF is any condition which refers to the diminished ability of the heart to carry out its function properly. There are many causes and many diseases which cause the condition which is much more prevalent with older folks. Some individuals with COPD find themselves afflicted with conditions which make them susceptible to CHF.
    COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
    While some medical authorities do not include asthma in the definition, it is included in others and helps add to the confusion of the lay person. COPD is actually a loosely used term by the medics these days to describe a variety of ailments including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and some forms of asthma.
    DPAP Demand Positive Airway Pressure
    If the patient has not taken a breath in 8 seconds, the DPAP machine will sense this and give a breath at whatever pressure flow is necessary to move the air into the lungs. Indication for DPAP usage is intolerable use of CPAP.
    FEV1 Forced Expiratory Volume after 1 second
    one of many measurements that are determined during a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) The official definition says that it is the volume of air exhaled after one second from the beginning of the measurement. It is expressed in a full number which is then given a percentage based on how well a normal person of similar age, sex and weight would do. It is normally taken a second time after using a rescue inhaler like albuterol to see what percentage of increase is obtained with medication. In common usage, while not totally accurate, it has become to be a measure of lung function percentage. For that reason you will see folks that say they have 46% lung function or 13% lung function. While those numbers are certainly important, they do not tell the whole picture because this is just one measurement. In addition, two people with the exact same FEV1 may behave very differently. One may not be able to walk to the bathroom without assistance and the other reporting rave results from pulmonary rehab.
    HEPA High Efficiency Particulate Air
    Usually refers to a filters or masks for air filtering systems, air conditioner returns, air circulation systems, face masks and the sort. t is of a much higher rating for filtration than other systems and consequently filters the air better.
    LVRS Lung Volume Reduction Surgery
    Surgery which removes part of the lung or lungs. This concept uses the theory that the reduction of the lung allows room for the good portion to expand and work more efficiently. This is a major surgical procedure which has resulted in dramatic improvement for some and a reduction in lung function in others.
    MDI Metered Dose Inhaler
    A small canister that delivers a measured dose of medicine through your mouth to your airways. There are many varieties and brands. MDI is just a generic description for all of them.
    O2 Oxygen
    Auxiliary oxygen use usually expressed as Number of Liters Per Minute/hours per day/days per week. For example 2L 24/7.
    PCP Primary Care Physician
    Usually a physician who practices in general medicine or family medicine. In HMO language, the PCP is the doctor that is responsible for the patients care and appropriate referrals.
    PFT Pulmonary Function Test
    A vital test for all who are afflicted with any pulmonary disease as it is the real measure of the lung function and a diagnostic tool to determine the proper course of medication. The test takes about an hour but is non invasive primarily just breathing in a variety of tubes in different ways. The test results include Pulmonary Mechanics (one of which is FEV1 which was described above), Lung Volume, Diffusing capacity and other measurements.
    SATS Saturation Level (as determined by oximeter)
    Sometimes also called Stats. Refers to the oxygen level which should remain above 90 when measured by oximeter or 55-60 mm Hg when measured by arterial blood gas test of PaO2. Yep, that is the thingy that they put on your finger = oximeter.
    SOB Short of Breath
    You'll see this one alot!