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Abbreviations commonly found in medical records

If you see an abbreviation you do not understand, you may be able to find out what it means here.

Important

Medical staff sometimes use the same abbreviations to mean different things.

If you find an abbreviation confusing, contact your doctor, nurse or pharmacy.

List of abbreviations

List of abbreviations
Abbreviation Meaning
# fracture
A&E accident and emergency
a.c. before meals
a.m., am, AM morning
AF atrial fibrillation
AMHP approved mental health professional
APTT activated partial thromboplastin time
ASQ ages and stages questionnaire
b.d.s, bds, BDS 2 times a day
b.i.d., bid, bd twice a day / twice daily / 2 times daily
BMI body mass index
BNO bowels not open
BO bowels open
BP blood pressure
c/c chief complaint
CMHN community mental health nurse
CPN community psychiatric nurse
CSF cerebrospinal fluid
CSU catheter stream urine sample
CT scan computerised tomography
CVP central venous pressure
CXR chest X-ray
DNACPR do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation
DNAR do not attempt resuscitation
DNR do not resuscitate
Dr doctor
DVT deep vein thrombosis
Dx diagnosis
ECG electrocardiogram
ED emergency department
EEG electroencephalogram
EMU early morning urine sample
ESR erythrocyte sedimentation rate
EUA examination under anaesthetic
FBC full blood count
FY1 FY2 foundation doctor
GA general anaesthetic
gtt., gtt drop(s)
h., h hour
h/o history of
Hb haemoglobin
HCA healthcare assistant
HCSW healthcare support worker
HDL high-density lipoprotein
HRT hormone replacement therapy
Ht height
Hx history
i 1 tablet
ii 2 tablets
iii 3 tablets
i.m., IM injection into a muscle
i.v., IV injection directly to a vein
INR international normalised ratio
IVI intravenous infusion
IVP intravenous pyelogram
Ix investigations
LA local anaesthetic
LDL low-density lipoprotein
LFT liver function test
LMP last menstrual period
M/R modified release
MRI magnetic resonance imaging
MRSA methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus
MSU mid-stream urine sample
n.p.o., npo, NPO nothing by mouth / not by oral administration
NAD nothing abnormal discovered
NAI non-accidental injury
NBM nil by mouth
NG nasogastric
nocte every night
NoF neck of femur
NSAID non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
o.d., od, OD once a day
o/e on examination
OT occupational therapist
p.c. after food
p.m., pm, PM afternoon or evening
p.o., po, PO orally / by mouth / oral administration
p.r., pr, PR rectally
p.r.n., prn, PRN as needed (also pertactin, a key antigen of ac. pertussis vaccine)
p/c presenting complaint
physio physiotherapist
POP plaster of paris
PTT partial thromboplastin time
PU passed urine
q. every
q.1.d., q1d every day
q.1.h., q1h every hour
q.2.h., q2h every 2 hours
q.4.h., q4h every 4 hours
q.6.h., q6h every 6 hours
q.8.h., q8h every 8 hours
q.d., qd every day / daily
q.d.s, qds, QDS 4 times a day
q.h., qh every hour, hourly
q.i.d, qid 4 times a day
q.o.d., qod every other day / alternate days
q.s., qs a sufficient quantity (enough)
RN registered nurse
RNLD learning disability nurse
ROSC return of spontaneous circulation
RTA road traffic accident
Rx treatment
s.c., SC injection under the skin
S/R sustained release
SLT speech and language therapist
SpR specialist registrar
stat. immediately, with no delay, now
STEMI ST-elevation myocardial infarction
t.d.s, tds, TDS 3 times a day
t.i.d., tid 3 times a day
TCI to come in
TFT thyroid function test
TPN total parenteral nutrition
TPR temperature, pulse and respiration
TTA to take away
TTO to take out
U&E urea and electrolytes
u.d., ud as directed
UCC urgent care centre
UTI urinary tract infection
VLDL very-low density lipoprotein
VTE venous thromboembolism
Wt weight

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Page last reviewed: 18 August 2020
Next review due: 25 November 2021