BARTHOLINITIS
BCG VACCINATION
other people (see
isolation).
In reverse
barrier nursing, a patient with reduced
ability to fight infections is protected
against outside infection.
(See also
aseptic technique
.)
bartholinitis
An infection of
Bartholin's
glands
, at the entrance to the
vagina
,
that may be due to a
sexuaiy transmit-
ted infection
such as
gonorrhoea.
It
causes an intensely painful red swelling
at the opening of the ducts. Treatment
is with
antibiotic drugs
,
analgesic drugs
,
and warm baths. Bartholinitis some-
times leads to an
abscess
or a painless
cyst (called a Bartholin's cyst), which
may become infected. Abscesses are
drained
under
general
anaesthesia
.
Recurrent abscesses or infected cysts
may need surgery to convert the duct
into an open pouch (see
marsupializa-
tion)
or to remove the gland completely
Bartholin's glands
A pair of oval, pea-
sized glands whose ducts open into the
vulva (the folds of flesh that surround
the opening of the vagina). During sexu-
al arousal, these glands secrete a fluid
to lubricate the vulval region. Infection
of the glands causes
bartholinitis
.
basal cell carcinoma
A type of skin
cancer, also known as a rodent ulcer or
BCC, that occurs most commonly on
the face or neck. It starts as a small, flat
nodule and grows slowly, eventually
forming a shallow ulcer with raised
pearly edges. Basal cell carcinoma is
caused by skin damage from the ultra-
violet radiation in sunlight. Fair-skinned
people over 50 are the most commonly
affected; dark and black-skinned people
are protected by the larger amount of
BASAL CELL CARCINOMA
Raised edge
Shallow
of carcinoma
.u lcer
the skin pigment
melanin
. The risk is
reduced by avoiding overexposure to
strong sunlight, using
sunscreens
, and
wearing protective clothing and sun
hats. Without treatment, the carcinoma
gradually invades and destroys surround-
ing tissues but virtually never spreads
to other parts of the body. Treatment is
usually with surgery (or in some cases
radiotherap
y) and is often completely
successful. Plastic surgery may also be
needed, however, depending on the size
and site of the tumour. People who
have had a basal cell carcinoma may
develop new tumours and should be
alert to any changes in their skin. (See
also
melanoma
,
malignant
;
squamous cell
carcinoma; sunlight, adverse effects of.)
basal ganglia
Paired nerve cell clusters
deep within the cerebrum (the main
mass of the
brain
) and upper part of
the brainstem. The basal ganglia play a
vital part in producing smooth, contin-
uous muscular actions and in stopping
and starting movement. Any disease or
degeneration affecting the basal ganglia
and their connections may lead to the
appearance of involuntary movements,
trembling, and weakness, as occur in
Parkinson's disease
.
base
see
alkali.
basophil
A type of white
blood cell
that
plays a part in inflammatory and aller-
gic reactions.
B-cell
See
lymphocyte
.
BCG vaccination
A vaccine that pro-
vides immunity against
tuberc
a
osis.
BCG
is prepared from an artificially weak-
ened strain of bovine (cattle) tubercle
bacilli, the microorganisms responsible
for the disease. BCG stands for “bacille
Calmette-Guerin”, after the 2 French-
men who developed the vaccine in 1906.
BCG is given to people at risk of tuber-
culosis and for whom a
tuberculin test
is
negative. These people include health
workers, contacts of people who have
tuberculosis, and immigrants (including
children) from countries with a high rate
of tuberculosis. Infants born to immi-
grants in this category are immunized,
without having a tuberculin test, within
a few days of birth. The vaccine is also
recommended for children aged 10-14
years for whom the test is negative.
B
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