The provision of air under pressure by a mechanical respirator, a machine designed to improve the exchange of air between the lungs and the atmosphere. The device is basically designed for administering artificial respiration, especially for a prolonged period, in the event of inadequate spontaneous ventilation or respiratory paralysis.
The mechanical ventilator was invented in 1927 by Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw. It consisted of an iron box (and so was called an iron lung) plus a bed and two vacuum cleaners. The next model was made by Warren Collins and was inaugurated on October 12, 1928 at the Children’s Hospital in Boston to help a girl with polio breath.
- Positive, false
A result that indicates that a given condition is present when it is not. An example of a false positive would be if a particular test designed to detect cancer returns a positive result but the person does not have ‘cancer.
- Positron emission tomography
Unlike CT or MRI, which look at anatomy or body form, PET studies metabolic activity or body function. As a result, PET can detect tumors in lymph nodes, for example, even before they enlarge and are detectable with MRI or CT. In PET imaging, the patient receives a small intravenous injection of a radio-active medication […]
Short for postmortem examination (an autopsy).
- Post-exposure prophylaxis
A treatment administered following exposure to a harmful agent which attempts to block or reduce injury or infection. Prophylaxis means a defense or protection. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), for example, might concern the treatment of a health care worker exposed by a needle stick to HIV with a drug such as AZT to protect them from […]
- Post-nasal drip
Mucous accumulation in the back of the nose and throat leading to or giving the sensation of mucus dripping downward from the back of the nose.