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Abbreviations you may find in your health records

Here you can find out what some of the most common medical abbreviations mean. This may be useful if you want to understand your health records. An abbreviation is a short way of writing a longer word or phrase.


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

If you do not know what something in your health records means, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

List of abbreviations

List of abbreviations
Abbreviation Meaning
# broken bone (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 (a measure of how long it takes your blood to clot)
ASQ Ages and Stages Questionnaire (a set of questions about children's development)
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 scan
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 (a type of blood test used to help diagnose conditions associated with inflammation)
EUA examination under anaesthetic
FBC full blood count (a type of blood test)
FOBT faecal occult blood test (a test to check for blood traces in your poo)
FIT faecal immunochemical test (a test to check for blood traces in your poo)
FY1 FY2 foundation doctor
GA general anaesthetic
gtt., gtt drop(s)
h., h hour
h/o history of
Hb haemoglobin (a substance in red blood cells that moves oxygen around the body)
HCA healthcare assistant
HCSW healthcare support worker
HDL high-density lipoprotein (a type of cholesterol)
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 (a measure of how long blood takes to clot)
IVI intravenous infusion
IVP intravenous pyelogram (an X-ray of your urinary tract)
Ix investigations
LA local anaesthetic
LDL low-density lipoprotein (a type of cholesterol)
LFT liver function test (a type of blood test measuring enzymes and proteins in your liver)
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 (running between your nose and stomach)
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
POD podiatrist
p.r., pr, PR rectally
p.r.n., prn, PRN as needed
p/c presenting complaint
PT physiotherapist
POP plaster of paris
PTT partial thromboplastin time (a measure of how quickly your blood clots)
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-segment 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 (a type of cholesterol)
VTE venous thromboembolism (a blood clot that forms in a vein)
Wt weight

If you cannot find the abbreviation you are looking for

Speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for help with understanding your health records.

Page last reviewed: 22 August 2022
Next review due: 22 August 2025