STUFFY NOSE
SUBDURAL HAEMORRHAGE
S
Breathing may be maintained by a
ven-
tilator.
With prompt treatment, recovery
usually occurs in about 24 hours.
stuffy nose See
nasal congestion.
stump The end portion of a limb that
remains after
amputation
.
stupor A state of almost complete
un-
consciousness
from which a person can
be aroused only briefly and by vigorous
external stimulation. (See also
coma
.)
Sturge-Weber syndrome A rare, con-
genital condition that affects the skin and
the brain. Characteristically, a large pur-
ple birthmark (port wine stain) extends
over one side of the face, including the
eye. Malformation of cerebral blood ves-
sels may cause weakness on one side of
the body, progressive
mental handicap
,
and
epilepsy
.
Glaucoma
may develop in
the affected eye, leading to loss of vision.
Seizures can usually be controlled with
anticonvulsant drugs.
In severe cases,
brain surgery may be necessary.
stuttering A speech disorder in which
there is repeated hesitation and delay in
uttering words, unusual prolongation of
sounds, and repetition of word elements.
Stuttering usually starts before the age
of
8
and may continue into adult life. It is
more common in males, twins, and left-
handed people, and may occur with
tics
or
tremors.
The severity may be related
to social circumstances. The exact cause
is unknown, although it tends to run in
families.
Speech therapy
often helps.
St. Vitus' dance An outdated term for
Sydenham's chorea.
stye A small, pus-filled
abscess
at the
base of an eyelash, caused by infection.
subacute A term used for a disease that
runs a course between
acute
and
chronic
.
subarachnoid haemorrhage A type of
brain haemorrhage
in which a blood ves-
sel ruptures into the
cerebrospinal fluid
that surrounds the brain and spinal
cord. It usually occurs spontaneously
but may follow unaccustomed exercise.
It is most common in people between
35 and 60. The most common cause is a
burst aneurysm (see
berry aneurysm
).
An attack may cause loss of conscious-
ness, sometimes preceded by a sudden
violent headache. If the person remains
conscious, symptoms such as
photo-
phobia
, nausea, drowsiness, and stiffness
of the neck may develop. Even uncon-
scious patients may recover, but further
attacks are common and often fatal.
Diagnosis is by
CT scanning
and
angio-
graphy
. Treatment includes life-support
procedures and control of blood pressure
to prevent recurrence. Burst or leaking
aneurysms are usually treated by surg-
ery. About half of those people affected
survive, some recover completely, others
have residual disability such as paralysis.
subclavian steal syndrome Recurrent
attacks of blurred or double vision, loss
of coordination, or dizziness caused by
reduced blood flow to the base of the
brain when one arm (usually the left) is
moved. The cause is narrowing of the
arteries that carry blood to the arms,
usually due to
atherosclerosis
. Treat-
ment is by
arterial reconstructive surgery
.
subclinical A term applied to a disor-
der that produces no symptoms or
signs because it is either mild or in the
early stages of development.
subconjunctival haemorrhage Bleed-
ing under the
conjunctiva
that is usually
harmless and disappears in a few days
without treatment.
subconscious A term describing mental
events (such as thoughts) of which one
is temporarily unaware but which can be
recalled under the right circumstances.
subcutaneous Beneath the skin.
subdural haemorrhage Bleeding into
the space between the outer and middle
layers of the
meninges
, usually following
head injury
. The trapped blood slowly
forms a large clot within the skull that
presses on brain tissue. The symptoms,
which tend to fluctuate, may include
headache, confusion, drowsiness, and
one-sided weakness or
paralysis
. The
interval between the injury and the start
of symptoms varies from days to months.
Diagnosis is by
CT scanning
or
MRI
. In
many cases, surgical treatment is need-
ed. This involves drilling burr holes in
the skull (see
craniotomy
), so that the
blood can be drained out and damaged
blood vessels repaired. If treatment is
carried out at an early enough stage,
the person usually makes a full recov-
ery. A subdural haemorrhage that is
small and produces few symptoms may
not require any treatment. The affected
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