Glossary of Medical Malpractice
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Acetaminophen: A medication effective for
relieving mild pain and fever. It is also used as a non-steroidal
Accolate: Medicine prescribed for
prophylaxis and treatment of chronic asthma in patients 12 years and older. Has
shown to cause liver dysfunction, particularly in females.
Accutane: A brand of prescription medicine
used to treat severe nodular acne that has not responded to other treatments
such as antibiotics. Accutane may cause serious side effects, including birth
defects and mental disorders.
Addiction: A physiological and
psychological compulsion for a habit-forming substance. In extreme cases, an
addiction may become an overwhelming obsession.
Adjudicate: To decide a legal case.
Affidavit: A voluntary statement or
declaration of facts that has been written down and confirmed under oath.
Agonist Opioid: A powerful type of
narcotic that works by blocking signals to pain receptors in the brain. This
process also raises the level of dopamine in the brain, creating a feeling of
Allegation: A statement made in a pleading
by one of the parties to the action and tells what that party intends to prove.
Analgesic: Generic term for medications
that relieve pain. Some analgesics like aspirin have a low pain-relieving
threshold, whereas others like Oxycodone have a much higher ceiling.
Anesthesia Injury: An injury sustained
from incorrectly administered anesthetics.
Answer: Written response in which the
defendant admits or denies the allegations contained in the complaint.
Antidepressants: A type of drug used to
control or reduce depression. Some antidepressants have been found to have
serious side effects.
Apgar Score: When a child is born, a
physician will take note of his or her activity - muscle tone, pulse, grimace,
reflex irritability, appearance, skin color, and respiration. These observations
are made once immediately following birth and once five minutes later. A score
of zero to ten is then calculated. A low score alerts a doctor that
resuscitation may be necessary and a high score reassures a doctor that the baby
Arava: An oral medicine prescribed to slow
the progress of rheumatoid arthritis. Aravaź may cause liver dysfunction and
Arbitration: A process for deciding a
legal dispute without having to go to court.
Assumption of risk: A defendant's
allegation that the injured plaintiff recognized the danger of the plaintiff's
course of action but, nonetheless, willingly chose to risk such danger.
Asbestos: A fibrous silicate mineral that
was once commonly used in construction. People who have been exposed to asbestos
over a period of time may develop asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.
Asbestosis: A disease that afflicts people
who have been exposed asbestos fibers. Scar tissue builds up in the lungs,
causing breathing difficulty and an increased risk of infection. Ataxia: Jerky,
Athetosis: Involuntary movements -