nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
See here for more discussion.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Medical Latin...A Lost Art, Thank Goodness

When I went to medical school, we still used some of the abbreviations that orignated from Latin phrases.

Most people know PRN (as needed) and NPO (nothing by mouth).

But how about these?

Cras mane sumdendus - to be taken tomorrow morning.  [delay a day?  when do you do that?]

Deglutiatur - let it be swallowed.  [instead of what?]

Divide in partes aequales - divide into equal parts.  [break in two?]

Dosi pendententim crescente  - increase the dose gradually [kinda vague,huh?]

Extende super alutam mollem - spread it on soft leather [Huh?}

Femoribus internis - to the inner part of the thighs [Not me, buddy.]

Horae unius spatio - at the expiration of one hour [I can't think of a single bloody reason for this]

Manipulus - a handful [does anybody know how much that is?  how big a hand do you have?]

Permittentibus viribus - the strength permitting [your strength better be permitting or you're not getting well]

Quantum sufficit - as much as suffices [well, how do we tell that?]

Ubi pus, ibi evacua - where there is pus, evacuate it.  [well...yeah]

Most agree that all this Latin garbage was used to make medicine sound mysterious and beyond the normal person's ability to understand.  I agree, it's all BS.

Doc D
PS:  I'll write a post soon on medical eponyms which I love, like McBurney's point, and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

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