GREY BABY SYNDROME
Gram’s stain
An
iodine-based
stain used to differen-
tiate between types of
bacterium.
A specimen of bacteria is stained
with
gentian violet
and a solution of
Gram’s stain. It is then treated with a
decolorizing
agent,
such as acetone,
before being counterstained with a red
dye. Bacteria that retain the dark violet
stain are known as Gram-positive; those
that lose the violet stain after decolori-
zation and take up the counterstain (so
that they appear pink) are known as
Gram-negative.
Examples of Gram-positive bacteria
include S
t r e p t o c o c c u s
and C
i o s t r i d i u m
.
Gram-negative bacteria include V
i b r i o
c h o i e r a e
, w hich causes
cholera,
and vari-
ous species of S
a l m o n e l l a
.
grand mal
The
former
name
for
tonic-clonic
seizures, w hich occur in
epilepsy.
The
episode may start with warning sensa-
tions,
such
as
unease
or
fear. This
so-called aura lasts for a few seconds.
The person then loses consciousness
and
collapses,
and may briefly stop
breathing. During the seizure there are
generalized, jerky muscle contractions.
As it finishes, the muscles relax and
bowel and bladder control may briefly
be lost. This type of seizure usually lasts
for only a few minutes; the person may
have no recall of it on awakening.
grand multipara
A term relating to a pregnant woman
who has had five or more previous
pregnancies that have resulted in
deli-
very.
During any subsequent pregnancy,
a grand multipara woman is considered
to be at increased risk of a variety of
conditions
including
anaemia
,
hyper-
tension
(high blood pressure),
diabetes
mellitus, placenta praevia, malpresentation,
prolonged labour, delivery by
caesarean
section,
ruptured
uterus,
and
postpartum
haemorrhage.
granulation tissue
Red, moist, granular tissue that develops
on the surface of an ulcer or an open
wound
during the process of
healing.
granulocyte
A type of white
blood cell.
granuloma
A growth comprising cells of a type
associated w ith
chronic
inflammation.
Granulomas usually occur as a reaction
to certain infections, such as
tubercu-
losis
,
or to a foreign body, such as a
suture (stitch), but they may also devel-
op for unknown reasons in conditions
such as
sarcoidosis
.
A pyogenic granuloma is an excess of
granulation tissue
developing at the site
of an injury to the skin or mucous
membrane. (See also
granuloma annulare
;
granuloma inguinale
. )
granuloma annulare
A harmless skin condition characterized
by circular, raised areas of skin that
spread
outwards,
forming
rings.
It
occurs mostly in children and young
adults,
usually
on the backs
of the
hands and feet. The cause is unknown.
The diagnosis of granuloma annulare
is often made simply from its appear-
ance, but may be confirmed by a skin
biopsy
(removal of a tissue sample for
analysis). No treatment is necessary. In
most cases, the skin heals fully over sev-
eral months or years.
granuloma inguinale
A
sexually transmitted infection
that causes
ulceration of the genitals. The infection is
caused by C
a i t m m a t o b a c t e r i u m
G
r a n u i o
-
m a t i s
, also known as Donovan’s bodies.
It is common in parts of the tropics but
rare in temperate countries.
The
first
symptoms
are
painless,
raised nodules on the penis or labia
(external female genitals) or around the
anal area. The nodules gradually ulcerate
forming red, raised areas, w hich may
contain pus. Left untreated, the affected
areas may eventually heal but there w ill
be extensive scarring.
A
biopsy
(removal of a tissue sample
for microscopic analysis) is performed
on a sore in order to confirm diagnosis.
The antibiotics
tetracycline
or
erythro-
mycin
are effective treatments.
granulomatosis
Any condition marked by the formation
of multiple
granulomas
(collections of
inflamed tissue), such as
Hodgkin’s dis-
ease
and
Wegener’s granulomatosis
.
granulomatous lung disease
A condition in w hich one or more
granulomas
(collections
of
inflamed
tissue)
develop w ithin the lungs. In
certain diseases, such as
Churg-Strauss
syndrome
and
Wegener’s granulomatosis
,
granulomas and vasculitis (an inflam-
mation of the blood vessels) develop at
the same time.
Other conditions result from an
immune
system
response to a foreign substance
or infectious organism. Causes include
tuberculosis
,
fungal
infections,
and
inhaled rock or mineral dusts. In some
diseases, however, such as
sarcoidosis
,
the cause is unknown.
grasp reflex
A primitive reflex (see
reflex, primitive
)
in w hich the fingers or toes curl when
the palm or sole is touched or stroked.
The grasp reflex is normal in babies,
but if it continues into later life or
appears in an adult, it may indicate a
disorder of the frontal lobe of the brain.
Graves’ disease
An
autoimmune disorder
(in w hich the
immune system
attacks the body’s own
tissues)
that affects the
thyroid gland
.
Graves’ disease is characterized by toxic
goitre
(an overactive and enlarged thy-
roid gland);
excessive production of
thyroid
hormones
(
hyperthyroidism
) ,
leading to
thyrotoxicosis
;
and
exophthal-
mos
(bulging eyeballs).
gravida
The
medical
term
for
a
pregnant
woman. The term “gravida” is often
combined with a prefix to indicate the
number of pregnancies that a woman
has had (including the current one); for
example, a primigravida is a woman
who is pregnant for the first time.
gravitational ulcer
A form of skin ulcer that occurs in the
lowermost parts of the body. The usual
site is the lower leg (see
leg ulcer
) ,
and a
common cause is
varicose veins
.
gray
An SI unit (part of the International Sys-
tem of Units) of radiation dosage (see
radiation unit
).
graze
See
abrasion
.
greenstick fracture
A type of
fracture
that occurs when a
long bone in the arm or leg bends and
cracks on one side only. This type of
fracture occurs only in children, whose
bones are still growing and flexible.
grey baby syndrome
A rare but potentially fatal condition in
newborn, and particularly premature,
babies. Grey baby syndrome is caused
G
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