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scalpel

A sharp cutting instrument, usually featuring detachable, disposable blades and a nondisposable handle.

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SCD

A commonly used acronym for a Sequential Compression Device. See the term Sequential Compression Device for more information.

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septoplasty

A surgical procedure which is performed to correct nasal septum deviation (i.e., an internally crooked nose divider). This procedure is done to improve the flow of air to your nose by repairing the malformed cartilage and/or the “bony” portion of the nose.

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sequential compression device

Also known as a lymphedema pump, this medical device is designed to limit the development of Peripheral Edema and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in immobile patients. This device consists of an air pump which is connected to a disposable sleeve by a series of air tubes. The sleeve is placed around the patient’s leg and air is forced into different parts of the sleeve in sequence, creating pressure around the calves and improving venous return. This is done to combat the tendency of blood pooling in the calf area of the lower leg when a patient is immobile for long periods of time.

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sequential compression device (SCD)

Medical equipment used for delivering pressurized air to a multi-compartment inflatable sleeve on a patient's limb. It is used to promote peripheral circulation, and to treat various medical conditions such as lymphedma, leg ulcers, and lymphostatic disorders.

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sevoflurane

A non-flammable highly fluorinated methyl isopropyl ether used for the induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. Along with desflurane, sevoflurane is replacing isoflurane and halothane in modern anesthesiology. It is now the preferred agent for mask induction due to its lesser irritation to mucous membranes.

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sigmoidoscope

A thin, lighted tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of a colon. Sigmoidoscopes are available as either flexible or rigid tubes which contain a light and a lens for viewing. The device may also have a tool for removing tissue. Similar to a colonoscope (which is used to examine the entire large bowel), A sigmoidoscope is used to examine only up to the sigmoid, the most distal part of the colon.

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sigmoidoscopy

A minimally invasive medical examination of the large intestine from the rectum through the last part of the colon.

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sound spectrography

The graphic registration of the frequency and intensity of sounds, such as speech, infant crying, and animal vocalizations.

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sphygmomanometer

A medical device, also known as a blood pressure meter, which is comprised of an inflatable cuff to restrict blood flow and a mercury or mechanical manometer to measure the individual’s blood pressure.

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spirometer

A medical device which tests lung function by measuring lung air volumes and flow rates.

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SpO2

A measurement of the saturation level of oxygen in the hemoglobin. Normally, this measurement is determined with the use of pulse oximetry, a non-invasive procedure.

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stereotactic instrument

An apparatus attached to the head, used to localize precisely an area in the brain by means of coordinates related to intracerebral structures.

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stethoscope

An acoustic medical device used to transmit low-volume sounds such as heatbeat or intestinal, venous, or fetal sounds. This instrument is generally comprised of two earpieces which are connected by means of flexible tubing to a diaphragm which is placed against the skin of the patient.

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stretcher

Medical equipment used for transporting casualties or an incapacitated person from one place to another. Stretchers vary greatly based on the intended use, and can range from a simple construction of canvas stretched between poles (for mobile rescue efforts) to sophisticated hospital stretchers which allow for adjustable positioning for patient comfort during transport.

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sundry jar

A receptacle designed to hold miscellaneous items. In a medical setting, sundry jars are used to hold an assortment of small accessories, such as cotton or tongue depressors.

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syringe

An instrument used to inject fluids into the body or draw them from it.

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systolic

In the measurement of blood pressure, the top number refers to the systolic measurement. Systolic is a measurement of the maximum blood pressure reached as the blood is pumped out the heart.

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