CONDOM, FEMALE
condom, female
A barrier method of
contraception
in
the form of a sheath that is inserted
into a wom an’s
vagina
before sexual
intercourse
.
Female condoms also offer
some protection against
sexually trans-
mitted infections
.
conduct disorders
Repetitive and persistent patterns
of
aggressive and/or antisocial behaviour,
such as vandalism, substance abuse, and
persistent lying, in children or adoles-
cents. (See also
behavioural problems in
children
;
adolescence
. )
conduction
The movement of particular forms of
energy,
such as nerve impulses and
sound waves, through a system.
conductive deafness
Deafness
caused by faulty
conduction
of
sound from the outer to the inner
ear
.
Causes include excess earwax or fluid
in the middle ear (see
glue ear
) .
conduit
A channel or tube that conveys fluid.
Conduits may be created surgically to
redirect the flow of body fluids. The
most common form of artificially con-
structed conduit is an ileal conduit,
w hich is created from part of the small
intestine to divert urine out of the body
when
the
bladder
has
had
to
be
removed (see
cystectomy
) .
condyle
A round projection on the end of a
bone
that fits into a hollow on another
bone to form a joint; an example of a
condyle is the elbow.
condyloma
A warty skin growth that usually occur-
ring in moist areas of the body, for
example the genitals. The most com-
mon type of condyloma is caused by
the human papillomavirus (see
genital
warts
) .
Condylomata are highly infec-
tious
flattened
growths
that
may
develop around the genitals in the sec-
ondary stage of
syphilis
.
condyloma acuminatum
See
warts, genital
.
cone
A type of light-sensitive cell located in
the
retina
of the eye. Cones play a major
role in
colour vision
.
cone biopsy
A surgical procedure in w hich a conical
or cylindrical section of tissue from the
lower part of the
cervix
(neck of the
uterus) is removed (see
biopsy of the
cervix
box on p .
159
). A cone biopsy is
performed
following
an
abnormal
result of a
cervical smear test
if the extent
of the precancerous or cancerous area
cannot be seen by
colposcopy
(inspec-
tion
of the
cervix
with
a viewing
instrument). (See also
cervix, cancer of
) .
confabulation
The use of a fictional story to make up
for gaps in memory. The phenomenon
occurs
most
commonly
in
chronic
alcoholics w ho suffer from
Wernicke-
Korsakoff syndrome
.
It may also occur in
people with
head injuries
.
confidentiality
The ethical principle that a doctor does
not disclose any information given in
confidence by a patient.
The
patient’s
consent
is
necessary
before a doctor supplies confidential
information to an insurance company,
an employer, or a lawyer. Doctors must,
however,
disclose
information about
patients when required to do so by law,
or when they are faced with injuries or
disorders that indicate a serious crime.
Doctors are also
required to notify
health authorities about patients with
specified infectious diseases.
Treatment of young children is usu-
ally discussed with the parents, but an
older child’s request for confidentiality
is generally respected if the doctor feels
that he or she is competent enough to
understand the issues involved.
confluent
A term meaning “merging or running
together” . It is used, for example, in
relation to individual skin blemishes
that merge to form one abnormal area.
confusion
An acute or chronic disorganized men-
tal state in w hich thought, memory,
and reasoning are impaired.
CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS
Acute confusion can arise as a symp-
tom of
delirium
,
in w hich brain activity
is affected by fever, drugs, poisons, or
injury.
People
with
acute
confusion
may also have
hallucinations
and behave
in a violent manner. Chronic confusion
is often associated with
alcohol depen-
dence
,
the long-term use of
antianxiety
drugs
,
and certain physically based men-
tal disorders. Many of the conditions
that cause chronic confusion (for exam-
ple,
dementia
) are progressive. Features
of
such
conditions
include
absent-
mindedness, poor short-term memory,
and a tendency to be repetitive.
TREATMENT
If the underlying cause of confusion
can be treated, there may be marked
improvement.
Sedative drugs
can be of
benefit in acute confusion.
congenital
A term meaning “present at birth” .
Congenital abnormalities
(sometimes
called
birth defects
) may be inherited.
Alternatively,
they
may
result
from
damage or infection occurring either in
the
uterus
or at the time of birth.
congenital adrenal hyperplasia
See
adrenal hyperplasia, congenital
.
congenital amputation
See
amputation, congenital.
congestion
A term that usually refers to the accu-
mulation of excess
blood
,
tissue fluid
,
or
lymph
in part of the body.
A major cause of congestion is an
increased blood flow to an area due to
inflammation. Another possible cause is
reduced drainage of blood from an
affected area, as can occur in
heart fail-
ure
,
in venous disorders such as
varicose
veins
,
and in
lymphatic disorders
.
(See
also
nasal congestion
. )
congestive heart failure
See
heart failure
.
conjoined twins
See
twins, conjoined
.
conjunctiva
The
transparent
membrane
covering
the
sclera
(white of the eye) and lining
the inside of the eyelids. Cells in the
conjunctiva produce a fluid that lub ri-
cates the lids and the
cornea
.
conjunctival haemorrhage
An alternative term for
subconjunctival
haemorrhage
(bleeding in the white of
the eye).
conjunctivitis
Inflammation of the
conjunctiva,
caus-
ing redness, discomfort, and discharge
from the affected eye.
190
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