to sounds in the body, particularly
those made by the heart or lungs.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome A rare,
life-threatening form of
characterized by severe blisters and
bleeding in the mucous membranes of
the eyes, mouth, nose, and genitals.
sticky eye One of the symptoms of
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
. A rare cause is
Mild stiffness may be relieved by mas-
sage, warming, and use of a
Severe or persistent stiffness requires
medical attention. (See also
stiffness A term used to describe difficulty
in moving a joint or stretching a muscle.
stilboestrol A drug that mimics the
natural oestrogen hormone
is occasionally used to treat
. Side effects are those of oestrogens.
stillbirth Delivery of a dead fetus after
the 24th week of
The cause is
unknown in many cases. Some stillborn
babies have severe malformations, such
Other possible causes include
a maternal disorder, such as
, or severe
. The risk of still-
birth is increased if the mother has a
severe infection during pregnancy.
Still's disease See
stimulant drugs Drugs that increase
activity by initiating the release of
lants are of
types: central nervous
system stimulants (for example,
which increase alertness; and
), 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
venomous bites and stings
Stinging plants may cause an allergic
skin reaction. (See also
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
) to close a wound.
St. John's wort A herbal remedy derived
from the plant
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.
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
) or to complete
Most people with the syndrome are fit-
ted with a
to prevent attacks.
stoma A term meaning mouth or orifice.
A stoma can be created surgically in the
abdominal wall (see
) 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
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