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From: Marek.Isalski at (Marek Isalski)
Subject: (no subject)

>>> Michael Simpson <> 10/08/2004 10:00:52 >>>
> i've worked within medicine in my previous life as an ER doc and guess 
> what
> there is no formal naming standardisation within it, at least not one that 
> there is any sort of agreement over, though people have been trying for 
> centuries to sort something out.
> -three letter acronym anyone?

I always find the adrenaline/epinephrin naming clash amusing and confusing.  Does it stem from a company Trademarking "adrenaline" in the USA?  Because, as far as I can tell, everyone uses "adrenaline" as the generic term for the hormone of the same name here in the UK.

Acronyms have their own pitfalls too...  I've heard of numerous cases where a derogotary and unprofessional acronym was written on/in some medical notes (PITA, TWOT etc).  Perhaps it should be standard practice that when the patient asks to have his/her medical notes explained to him/her, as s/he is quite entitled under the Data Protection Act, the member of staff writing said comment should explain its medical meaning and clinical significance.

The scary part of acronyms comes with overloading.  One derogotary (and very unprofessional) acronym I've heard about from a number of years ago was "NFR", meant to stand for "Normal For Ridgehill" (a region with which the local hospital had some "experience").

NFR is more commonly used as an abbreviation for: Not For Resuscitation; from what I understand, NFR is a quite detailed set of circumstances, changing on a frequent basis, stipulating when somebody does not need resuscitation, i.e. are already beyond medical help.

[disclaimer: i'm not a medic, so any corrections will be educational for me too!]


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