CONDOM
Such treatments fall into three broad
categories: touch and movement (as in
acupuncture
,
massage
,
and
reflexology
) ;
medicinal
(as in
naturopathy
,
Chinese
medicine
,
and
homeopathy
) ;
and psy-
chological
(as in
biofeedback
,
hypno-
therapy
,
and
meditation
) .
complete abortion
The expulsion from the uterus of an
embryo or a fetus together with its
membranes and placenta (see
abortion
) .
complete heart block
See
heart block
.
complex
A term used in medicine to mean a
group or combination of related signs
and symptoms that form a syndrome
(as in
Eisenmengercomplex
) ,
or a collec-
tion of substances of similar structure
or function (as in
vitamin B complex
) .
In
psychology, a complex (for example,
the
Oedipus complex
)
denotes a group of
unconscious ideas and memories that
have emotional importance.
compliance
The degree to w hich patients follow
medical advice.
complication
A condition resulting from a preceding
disorder or from its treatment.
compos mentis
Latin for “ of sound m ind’’.
compound
A term used in chemistry to describe a
substance that contains two or more
chemically combined elements. In
phar-
macy
,
a compound is a preparation that
contains a number of ingredients.
compound fracture
A type of
fracture
,
also known as an
open fracture, in w hich a broken bone
breaks through the overlying skin. In
this type of fracture, there is a high
risk of infection.
compress
A pad of lint or linen applied, under
pressure, to an area of skin. Cold com-
presses soaked in ice-cold water
or
wrapped around ice help to reduce
pain, swelling, and bleeding under the
skin after an injury (see
ice pack
) .
Hot
compresses increase the circulation and
help to bring
boils
to a head. A dry
compress may be used to stop bleeding
from a wound or may be coated with
medication to help treat infection.
compression syndrome
A collection of localized neurological
symptoms, such as numbness, tingling,
discomfort, and muscle weakness, that
is caused by pressure on a
nerve
.
compulsive behaviour
See
obsessive-compulsive disorder
.
computed tomography
Another name for
CT scanning
.
computer-aided diagnosis
The use of computer technology in
certain diagnostic tests and procedures.
It involves the use of probability-based
computer systems that store inform a-
tion on thousands of cases of different
disorders, detailing the type, location,
duration, symptoms, medical history,
and diagnosis. A patient’s symptoms
and medical history can be entered into
a computer, w hich then compares the
details with existing data and produces
a list of the most likely diagnoses.
Such technology is not currently in
common use in hospitals, but is of
value for people who are isolated from
medical services, such as oil-rig crews.
Computers programmed to interpret
visual data, such as abnormal cells, have
potential use in certain types of blood
test and
cervical smear tests
.
Computers
are also used in investigative proce-
dures such as
CT scanning
and
MRI
.
concealed haemorrhage
Internal loss of blood (see
bleeding
) .
conception
The
fertilization
of a woman’s
ovum
(egg) by a man’s
sperm
,
followed by
implantation of the resulting
blastocyst
(the growing mass of fertilized cells) in
the lining of the
uterus
.
This process
marks the beginning of
pregnancy
.
(See
also
contraception
;
infertility
. )
concussion
Brief
unconsciousness
,
usually following
a violent blow to the head. The loss of
consciousness is due to a brief distur-
bance of the electrical activity in the
brain. Common symptoms following
concussion include confusion, inability
to remember events that occurred just
prior to the injury, dizziness, blurred
vision, and vomiting.
Anyone who has been concussed, how-
ever briefly, should see a doctor as soon
as possible.
Persistent symptoms,
or
new ones such as drowsiness, difficulty
in
breathing,
repeated
vomiting,
or
visual disturbances, could signify brain
damage or an
extradural haemorrhage
,
and medical advice should be sought
without
delay.
Repeated
concussion
can cause
punch-drunk
syndrome. (See
also
head injury
. )
conditioning
The formation of a specific physical or
behavioural response to a particular
stimulus
in the environment.
CLASSICAL CONDITIONING
In
classical conditioning, a stimulus
that
consistently
evokes
a particular
response is paired repeatedly w ith a
second stimulus that would not nor-
mally produce the response. Eventually,
the second stimulus begins to produce
the response whether or not the first
stimulus is present. This phenomenon
was shown by the physiologist Ivan
Pavlov. He observed that dogs salivated
in anticipation of food (an uncondi-
tioned response to a stimulus). He then
devised a procedure in w hich a bell
was rung every time a dog was given
food;
once the procedure
had been
repeated several times, the dog began
to salivate every time it heard the bell
(a conditioned response to a stimulus)
even if no food was presented.
OPERANT CONDITIONING
In operant conditioning, attempts are
made to modify behaviour by reward-
ing or punishing a subject (animal or
human) every time the subject shows a
particular response to a specific stimu-
lus. A response that is rewarded w ill be
reinforced and become more frequent,
w hile one that is punished w ill be
inhibited and become less frequent.
USE IN
MEDICINE
Behavioural psychology (see
behaviour
therapy
)
is based on the idea that inap-
propriate behaviour patterns in some
psychological
disorders
are
learned
through conditioning. It is thought that
these patterns can be modified by the
same process of conditioning.
condom
A barrier method of
contraception
in the
form of a thin latex rubber or plastic
sheath, w hich is placed over a man’s
penis
before sexual
intercourse
.
Con-
doms
also
provide
some
protection
against
sexually transmitted infections
.
C
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