STAPES
STEM CELL
S
stapes The innermost of the 3 tiny,
sound-conducting bones in the middle
ear.
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.
In
otosclerosis,
the stapes becomes
fixed and cannot transmit sound to the
inner ear. Resultant hearing loss can be
treated by
stapedectomy.
staphylococcal infections
Infections
caused by
bacteria
of the genus
staphylo-
coccus.
Different types of staphylococci
are responsible for a variety of disorders,
including skin infections such as
pus-
tules, boils,
and
abscesses,
and a rash in
newborn babies (see
necrolysis
,
toxic
epidermal); pneumonia; toxic shock sjm-
drome
in menstruating women;
urinary
tract infection; food poisoning;
and, if the
bacteria enter the circulation,
septic
shock,
infectious
arthritis, osteomyelitis,
or bacterial
endocarditis.
starch
See
carbohydrates.
starvation
A condition caused by lack
of food over a long period, resulting in
weight loss, changes in
metabolism,
and
extreme hunger. (See also
anorexia ner-
vosa; fasting; nutritional disorders.)
stasis Slowing down or cessation of flow.
statins A type of
lipid-lowering drug
used
to treat high blood levels of
cholesterol
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
incidence
and
prevalence
of various conditions is
an important aspect of medical statistics.
statistics, vital Assessment of a popu-
lation's
health
that
relies
on
the
collection of data on birth and death
rates and on the causes of death.
status asthmaticus A severe and pro-
longed attack of
asthma
. This is a
potentially
life-threatening
condition
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
anticonvulsant drugs
are taken erratically or if they are with-
drawn suddenly. (See also
epilepsy.)
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.
STEAM INHALATION
Towel
Hot
water
steatorrhoea
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
panc-
reatitis
and
coeliac disease
and after the
removal of substantial segments of
small intestine. It is also a side effect
of some
lipid-lowering drugs.
Stein-Leventhal syndrome See
ovary
polycystic.
stem cell A basic cell in the body from
which more specialized cells are formed.
Stem cells within the
bone marrow
pro-
duce
blood cells
through a series of
maturation steps. Stem cells are found
in blood and can be transplanted as an
alternative to
bone marrow transplanta-
tion. S
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.
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