Medical abbreviations (and other medical terminology) are often confusing and sometimes, confusingly, they are used in an arbitrary and unfair way.
In a recent article in National Review, we asked patients, family members, and health care professionals for their medical abbreviators.
The results are revealing.
While the results are mixed, they provide some good insight into what terms can be used safely for certain situations.
But, we also wanted to take a closer look at some of the most commonly misused medical abbreviator terms.
Medical abbreviators are not meant to be used in a particular way.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends that doctors and nurses use only the most medically accurate terms when discussing health care.
The AAFP also encourages doctors and health professionals to avoid using medically inaccurate terminology in their communications.
For example, doctors are not allowed to use “pneumonia” or “surgical amputation.”
However, the AAFP has issued guidelines on how to use medically inaccurate medical abbreviates, including using “pulmonary embolism” or a “pancreatic stent.”
Many of these terms are common in medical jargon.
However, a few of the terms we examined, such as “blood pressure cuff” or the “medical malpractice” term, are not medically accurate and may be misleading to patients.
A number of other medically inaccurate terms are not technically medical abbreviated and are frequently used in medical discussions.
The terms “sudden death,” “medical emergency,” and “emergency room” are examples of medical abbreviate terms that can be misused, and some medical professionals may even be guilty of using these terms.
When using these medically inaccurate abbreviations, patients should not be concerned.
Instead, they should be asking whether these terms may be medically appropriate.
The following are the medical abbreviating terms that we looked at: blood pressure cuff: This term is not medically appropriate, but it is used in discussions about emergency procedures, as an alternative to the “blood pendant.”