SUFFOCATION
SUNTAN
S
suffocation
A condition in which there
is a lack of oxygen due to obstruction to
the passage of air into the lungs. (See
also
asphyxia; choking; strangulation.)
sugar
See
carbohydrates.
suicide
The act of intentionally killing
oneself. Suicide results from a person's
reaction to a perceivedly overwhelming
problem, such as social isolation, death
of a loved one, serious physical illness,
or financial problems. It is often the re-
sult of a psychiatric illness, such as severe
depression
or
schizophrenia.
Suicide is most common among the
elderly. More men than women commit
suicide, although women attempt the
act more often (see
suicide, attempted
).
The most common method is poisoning,
usually by taking a drug overdose or by
inhaling car exhaust fumes.
suicide, attempted
Any deliberate act
of self-harm that is or is believed to be
life-threatening but that in effect proves
nonfatal. Attempted suicide is more
common in women and most common
in the 15-30 age group. The rate is high-
est in people with personality disorders
and in those who live in deprived urban
areas or have alcohol or drug problems.
Common precipitating factors include
the death of a loved one, financial wor-
ries, or severe loss of any kind that
results in
depression.
The most common
method is drug overdose.
Urgent treatment is needed for
drug
poisoning.
Longer-term therapy aims to
provide support and treat depression.
sulfasalazine
A drug used to relieve
inflammation in
Crohn's disease
and
ulcerative colitis.
It may cause nausea,
headache, fever, and loss of appetite.
sulfinpyrazone
A drug that reduces the
frequency of attacks of
gout.
Side effects
include nausea and abdominal pain.
sulindac
A
nonsteroidal anti-inflamma-
tory drug
(NSAID) used to relieve joint
pain and stiffness in various types of
arth-
ritis
and acute
gout
. Side effects are as
for other NSAIDs.
sulphasalazine
See
sulfasalazine.
sulphinpyrazone
See
sulfinpyrazone.
sulphonamide drugs
A group of
anti-
bacterial drugs
that has largely been
superseded by more effective and less
toxic alternatives.
sulphur
A mineral that is a constituent of
vitamin Bi (see
vitamin B complex
)
and
several essential
amino acids
. In the body,
it is needed for the manufacture of
col-
lagen
and is a constituent of
keratin
. It is
used in the form of a cream to treat
acne
.
sulpiride
An
antipsychotic drug
used in
the treatment of
schizophrenia
and
Giles de la Tourette's syndrome
.
sumatriptan
A
serotonin agonist
drug
that relieves acute attacks of
migraine
,
especially those that have not responded
to
analgesics
; it is particularly effective
in treating cluster headaches. Sumatrip-
tan may cause chest pain and tightness,
flushing, dizziness, and weakness.
sunburn
Inflammation of the
skin
caused
by overexposure to the sun. The
ultra-
violet light
in sunlight may destroy cells
in the outer layer of the skin and dam-
age tiny blood vessels beneath.
Fair-skinned people are most suscep-
tible. The affected skin turns red and
tender and may become blistered. The
dead skin cells are later shed by peeling.
Calamine
lotion soothes the burned
skin.
Analgesic drugs
may be taken to
relieve discomfort. A high protection fac-
tor
sunscreen
helps to prevent sunburn.
Severe sunburn in childhood increases
the risk of
skin cancer
in later life.
sunlight, adverse effects of
Problems
resulting from overexposure to sunlight.
Fair-skinned people are more suscepti-
ble.
Short-term
overexposure
causes
sunburn
and, in intense heat, can result
in
heat exhaustion
or
heatstroke
.
Repeat-
ed overexposure over a long period can
cause premature aging of the skin and
solar
keratoses
.
It increases the risk of
skin cancer
. Protection of the skin with
sunscreens
helps to prevent sun damage.
Photosensitivity
is an abnormal sensitiv-
ity to sunlight, resulting in a rash.
Exposure to sunlight can affect the
eyes, causing irritation of the conjunctiva,
actinic
keratopathy
,
or
pterygium
.
Good
sunglasses help to prevent eye problems.
sunscreens
Preparations that help to
protect the skin from the harmful effects
of sunlight.
sunstroke
A common form of
heatstroke
.
suntan
Darkening of the
skin
after expo-
sure to sunlight. Specialized cells in the
epidermis respond to
ultraviolet light
by
532
previous page 530 BMA Illustrated Medical Dictionary read online next page 532 BMA Illustrated Medical Dictionary read online Home Toggle text on/off