stapes The innermost of the 3 tiny,
sound-conducting bones in the middle
The stapes is the smallest bone in
the body. Its head articulates with the
incus, and its base fits into the oval
window in the wall of the inner ear.
the stapes becomes
fixed and cannot transmit sound to the
inner ear. Resultant hearing loss can be
of the genus
Different types of staphylococci
are responsible for a variety of disorders,
including skin infections such as
and a rash in
newborn babies (see
epidermal); pneumonia; toxic shock sjm-
in menstruating women;
tract infection; food poisoning;
and, if the
bacteria enter the circulation,
A condition caused by lack
of food over a long period, resulting in
weight loss, changes in
extreme hunger. (See also
vosa; fasting; nutritional disorders.)
stasis Slowing down or cessation of flow.
statins A type of
to treat high blood levels of
or to lower blood lipid levels in people
with coronary artery disease.
statistics, medical The collection and
analysis of numerical data relating to
medicine. Information on the
of various conditions is
an important aspect of medical statistics.
statistics, vital Assessment of a popu-
collection of data on birth and death
rates and on the causes of death.
status asthmaticus A severe and pro-
longed attack of
. This is a
that requires urgent treatment.
status epilepticus Prolonged or repea-
ted epileptic seizures without recovery
of consciousness between attacks. This
is a medical emergency that may be
fatal if not treated promptly. It is more
likely to occur if
are taken erratically or if they are with-
drawn suddenly. (See also
steam inhalation A method of relieving
some of the symptoms of colds, sinusi-
tis, and laryngitis by breathing in hot
vapour from a bowl of hot water. The
moisture loosens secretions in the nose
and throat, making them easier to clear.
The presence of excessive
fat in the faeces. Steatorrhoea causes
offensive-smelling, bulky, loose, greasy,
pale-coloured faeces, which float in the
toilet. Steatorrhoea may occur in
and after the
removal of substantial segments of
small intestine. It is also a side effect
Stein-Leventhal syndrome See
stem cell A basic cell in the body from
which more specialized cells are formed.
Stem cells within the
through a series of
maturation steps. Stem cells are found
in blood and can be transplanted as an
bone marrow transplanta-
tem cells can be obtained from a
donor sibling, a matched but unrelated
donor, or from stored umbilical blood.
Patients can also act as their own
donors, with cells harvested and stored
to be reinfused later after treatment has
damaged the bone marrow. Stem-cell
transplantation is used mainly for peo-
ple being treated for leukaemia and
other cancers but may, in the future, be
used for noncancerous disorders.