STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME
STOMACH
STETHOSCOPE
Tubing
r
Diaphragm of
stethoscope
S
to sounds in the body, particularly
those made by the heart or lungs.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome A rare,
life-threatening form of
erythema multi-
forme
characterized by severe blisters and
bleeding in the mucous membranes of
the eyes, mouth, nose, and genitals.
sticky eye One of the symptoms of
con-
junctivitis
in which the eyelids become
stuck together with discharge.
stiff neck A common symptom, usually
due to spasm in muscles at the side or
back of the neck. In most cases, it occurs
suddenly and for no apparent reason. It
may result from a neck injury, such as a
ligament sprain,
disc prolapse,
or
whip-
lash injury
. A rare cause is
meningitis
.
Mild stiffness may be relieved by mas-
sage, warming, and use of a
liniment.
Severe or persistent stiffness requires
medical attention. (See also
torticollis.)
stiffness A term used to describe difficulty
in moving a joint or stretching a muscle.
stilboestrol A drug that mimics the
natural oestrogen hormone
estradiol
. It
is occasionally used to treat
prostate can-
cer
. Side effects are those of oestrogens.
stillbirth Delivery of a dead fetus after
the 24th week of
pregnancy.
The cause is
unknown in many cases. Some stillborn
babies have severe malformations, such
as
anencephaly
,
spina bifida
, or
hydro-
cephalus.
Other possible causes include
a maternal disorder, such as
antepartum
haemorrhage
or
hypertension
, or severe
Rhesus incompatibility
. The risk of still-
birth is increased if the mother has a
severe infection during pregnancy.
Still's disease See
rheumatoid arthritis,
juvenile
.
stimulant drugs Drugs that increase
brain
activity by initiating the release of
noradrenaline
(norepinephrine). Stimu-
lants are of
2
types: central nervous
system stimulants (for example,
amfe-
tamines),
which increase alertness; and
respiratory stimulants
(see
analeptic
drugs
), which encourage breathing.
stimulus Anything that directly results
in a change in the activities of the body
as a whole or of any individual part.
stings Stinging animals include scorpi-
ons, some insects, jellyfish, and some
fish (see
venomous bites and stings
).
Stinging plants may cause an allergic
skin reaction. (See also
poisonous plants.
)
STIs See
sexually transmitted infections
.
stitch A temporary, sudden, sharp pain
in the abdomen or side that occurs dur-
ing severe or unaccustomed exercise.
Stitch is also the common name for a
suture (see
suturing
) to close a wound.
St. John's wort A herbal remedy derived
from the plant
hypericum perfortum.
Capsules or infusions taken orally are
effective in treating mild depression. St.
John's wort is also used in creams for
burns, wounds, and joint problems.
However, St John's wort interacts with a
wide variety of other medications. Peo-
ple should not take a St John's wort
preparation without first consulting a
doctor or pharmacist.
Stokes-Adams
syndrome Recurrent
episodes of temporary loss of conscious-
ness caused by insufficient blood flow
from the heart to the brain. This is due to
irregularity of the heartbeat (see
arrhyth-
mia, cardiac
) or to complete
heart block
.
Most people with the syndrome are fit-
ted with a
pacemaker
to prevent attacks.
stoma A term meaning mouth or orifice.
A stoma can be created surgically in the
abdominal wall (see
colostomy
;
ileost-
omy
) to allow the intestine to empty into
a bag or pouch on the surface of the skin.
stomach A hollow, bag-like organ of the
digestive system
located in the left side
of the abdomen under the diaphragm.
Food enters the stomach from the
oesophagus and exits into the duodenum.
The sight and smell of food, and its
arrival in the stomach, stimulate gastric
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