speech, and double vision. The victim
becomes drowsy or delirious and may
have convulsions. If treatment is not
given, respiratory paralysis w ill eventu-
ally lead to death.
Snakebite victims need medical help as
quickly as possible.
A n t ib io t ic d r u g s
te ta n u s
antitoxin injections are given for
all bites, venomous or not, to prevent
infection and tetanus. For a venomous
bite, an injection of
a n tiv e n o m
(a serum
poison) is given. Most victims recover
completely with prompt treatment.
s n e e z in g
An involuntary expulsion of air through
the nose and mouth as a result of irrita-
of the
Sneezing may result from the common
c o ld
r h in it is
the presence of
mucus, or inhaling an irritant substance.
S n e lle n c h a rt
A method of measuring
v is u a l a c u ity
v isio n te sts
The Snellen chart has
several rows of letters, of standard sizes,
with each row smaller than the one
above. The patient is positioned 6 m from
the chart, then each eye in turn is covered
and the patient is asked to read down the
chart as far as possible with the open eye.
s n o rin g
mouth produced by vibrations of the
soft palate during sleep. Snoring is often
caused by a condition that hinders breath-
ing through the nose, such as a
c o ld
r h in it is
or enlarged
a d e n o id s
is also a feature of
s le e p a p n o e a
is more common in people sleeping on
their backs. If the underlying cause can
be treated, it may stop.
s n o w -b lin d n e s s
A common name for actinic
k e ra to p a th y
s n u ff
of powdered
t o b a c c o
(often with other substances) for inha-
Snuff is
n ic o t in e
; it also irritates the
nasal lining and increases the risk of
cancer of the nose and throat.
s n u ffle s
A general term that is used to describe
nasal obstruction, especially that occur-
ring in infants suffering from an upper
r e s p ira t o ry tra ct in f e c t io n
s o a p
A substance made from fat (often veg-
etable oil or purified animal fat) and
alkali that is used to cleanse the body
s o c ia l a n d c o m m u n ic a tio n
d is o rd e rs
A collective term for disorders such as
A s p e r g e r ’s s y n d ro m e
a u t is m
are marked by difficulties in social inter-
action with obsessive behaviour. Pro-
blems begin in childhood and tend to
persist throughout life.
s o c ia l s k ills tra in in g
A type of behaviour modification in
w hich individuals are encouraged to
improve their ability to communicate. It
is an important part of
r e h a b ilit a tio n
people with
le a rn in g d iffic u lt ie s
or those
with chronic psychological disorders,
such as
s c h iz o p h r e n ia
R o le -p la y in g
is a
commonly used technique in which
various social situations are simulated
in order to improve the individual’s
confidence and performance.
s o c io p a th y
An outdated term for
a n t is o c ia l p e r s o n -
a lity d is o r d e r
s o d iu m
m in e ra l
that helps to regulate the
body’s water balance and maintain nor-
involved in the conduction of nerve
impulses and contraction of muscles.
The level of sodium in the blood is con-
trolled by the kidneys, w hich eliminate
any excess in the urine.
Almost all foods contain sodium nat-
urally or as an ingredient added during
processing or cooking; the main forms
are sodium chloride (salt) and sodium
bicarbonate. Consequently deficiency is
rare and usually results from excessive
loss of sodium through persistent diar-
rhoea or vomiting, or profuse sweating.
Signs include weakness, dizziness, and
muscle cramps. In severe cases, there
may be a drop in blood pressure, leading
to confusion, fainting, and palpitations.
Treatment is with supplements, which,
in hot climates, may help to prevent
h e a t
d is o r d e r s
by compensating for sodium
lost through heavy sweating.
Excessive intake of sodium is thought
to be a contributory factor in
h y p e rt e n -
s io n
(high blood pressure). Another ad-
verse effect is fluid retention, w hich may
cause dizziness and swelling of the legs
in severe cases.
s o d iu m a u ro th io m a la te
An injected preparation of
g o ld
s o d iu m b ic a rb o n a te
An alkali used to neutralize acid in
c y s t i-
and severe
a c id o s is
(blood acidity) in
kidney failure. It is also an ingredient
a n ta c id d ru g s
in d ig e s t io n , h e a rt b u rn
p e p t ic u lc e r
Sodium bicarbonate often causes symp-
toms such as belching and abdominal
discomfort. Long-term use can cause
swollen ankles, muscle cramps, tired-
ness, and nausea.
s o d iu m c itra te
A drug used to relieve discomfort in
urinary infections such as
c y s titis ,
making the urine less acidic.
s o d iu m c ro m o g lic a te
A drug given by inhaler to control m ild
a s th m a
in children and allergic or exer-
cise-induced asthma in adults. The drug
is also used as a nasal spray to treat
r h in it is
in eye-drops for allergic
c o n ju n c t iv it is
and orally for
f o o d a lle rg y
Side effects include coughing and throat
irritation on inhalation of powder.
s o d iu m p ic o s u lfa te
A stimulant
la x a tiv e
drug used to treat
c o n s t ip a t io n
and to empty the bowel
prior to procedures such as X-ray,
e n d o -
s c o p y
and intestinal surgery Side effects
may include
diarrhoea. The drug should be avoided
in cases of intestinal obstruction.
s o d iu m v a lp ro a te
a n tic o n v u ls a n t d ru g
used to treat
e p ile p -
sy. Side effects may include drowsiness,
abdominal discomfort, temporary hair
loss, weight gain, and rash. Long-term
treatment may, rarely, cause liver damage.
S o fra d e x
A brand name for the corticosteroid
d e x a m e th a s o n e
used as drops or
ointment to treat inflammatory condi-
tions of the ears and eyes.
s o ft-tis s u e in ju ry
Damage, such as a
s p r a in
te n d in itis ,
the tissues (such as
lig a m e n t s
t e n d o n s
m u s c le s
) that surround bones and
joints. (See also
s p o r t s in ju r ie s
. )
s o ilin g
Inappropriate passage of
f a e c e s
that, in
children, occurs after the age at w hich
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