Glossary M's

mouth-to-mouth resuscitation

Definition:method of artificial breathing in which someone rhythmically forces air into the lungs of a person who has stopped breathing


Definition:area of the retina that allows fine details to be observed at the center of vision; also refers to any small, flat spot on the skin

macular degeneration

Definition:gradual loss of vision due to deterioration of nerve tissue in the retina


Definition:impaired ability of the lining of the small intestine to absorb nutrients from food


Definition:disease caused by parasites and transmitted by mosquito bites, characterized by periodic attacks of chills and fever


Definition:abnormal development of an organ or tissue

malignant hyperthermia

Definition:reaction to certain anesthesia gases involving intense muscle contractions and a high fever

malignant melanoma

Definition:the most serious type of skin cancer, in which a mole changes shape, darkens, becomes painful, and/or bleeds easily


Definition:descriptive of a condition that is characterized by uncontrolled growth and/or that can be fatal, such as a cancerous tumor

Mallory-Weiss syndrome

Definition:condition associated with alcoholism in which the lower end of the esophagus tears, causing vomiting of blood


Definition:another term for the lower jaw


Definition:mental disorder characterized by extreme excitement, happiness, over activity, and agitation; usually refers to the high of the highs and lows experienced in manic-depressive disorder

manic-depressive disorder

Definition:mental disorder characterized by extreme mood swings, including either mania, depression, or a continuing shift between the two extremes


Definition:surgical procedure in which all or part of the breast is removed to prevent the spread of cancer


Definition:inflammation of the breast, which is usually caused by a bacterial infection


Definition:one of two bones that form the upper jaw, the roof of the mouth, and the center portion of the face

medical doctor (MD)

Definition:physician educated at an accredited medical school and licensed by state law to practice medicine as a medical doctor

metered-dose inhaler (MDI)

Definition:inhaler that gives a specific amount of medication with each use

mechanical ventilation

Definition:use of a machine to breathe for someone who cannot breathe on his or her own

mechanical ventilator

Definition:machine used to perform mechanical ventilation, which is the use of a machine to breathe for someone who cannot breathe on his or her own

medical records

Definition:recorded pertinent information about a patient's illness and treatment, including test results, X-rays, etc.


Definition:situated on or near the midline of the body or a body structure


Definition:investigation of the central chest compartment using an endoscope inserted through an incision in the neck


Definition:United States government federal health insurance program for people sixty-five and older and some disabled people; consists of part a, which covers inpatient hospital stays, and part b, which covers doctor and outpatient services


Definition:the center part of an organ or body structure; sometimes used to refer to the lower part of the brain stem


Definition:severely swollen large intestine, causing severe constipation and abdominal bloating; may be present at birth or develop later


Definition:a tumor of the skin; when used alone refers to a malignant melanoma


Definition:thin, pliable sheet or layer of tissue that covers a surface, lines a cavity or divides a space or organ in the body


Definition:the three membranes that surround and protect the spinal cord and brain


Definition:noncancerous tumor developing in the protective membranes covering the brain called the meninges; can cause headaches and problems with vision and mental function


Definition:inflammation of the protective membranes (meninges) that cover the brain; usually caused by infection by a microorganism; meningitis caused by bacteria is life-threatening, viral meningitis is usually milder


Definition:the period in a woman's life when menstruation stops, resulting in a reduced production of estrogen and cessation of egg production


Definition:excessive loss of blood during menstruation, which can be caused by disorders of the uterus

menstrual cycle

Definition:periodic discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the uterus, occurring from puberty to menopause in a woman who is not pregnant


Definition:shedding of the lining of the uterus during the menstrual cycle

cemental competence

Definition:ability to comprehend and make reasonable response to the nature of questions or tasks asked of a person

mesenteric infarction

Definition:death of tissue in the intestine due to insufficient blood supply

mesenteric lymphadenitis

Definition:inflammation of lymph nodes in an abdominal membrane

metabolic rate

Definition:the rate at which the body uses energy


Definition:general term for all of the chemical processes that occur in the body


Definition:any substance that takes part in a chemical reaction in the body


Definition:spreading of a cancerous tumor to another part of the body through the lymph, blood, or across a cavity; also sometimes refers to a tumor that has been produced in this way


Definition:mineral essential for many body functions, including nerve impulse transmission, formation of bones and teeth, and muscle contraction

Myocardial Infarct (MI)

Definition:eath of an area of heart muscle as a result of being deprived of its blood supply; characterized by severe pain in the chest; commonly called a heart attack


Definition:another term for a microorganism, especially one that causes disease


Definition:any tiny, single-celled organism (such as a bacterium, virus, or fungus)

middle ear

Definition:small cavity between the eardrum and inner ear; contains three tiny, linked bones that transmits sound to the inner ear


Definition:severe headache, typically recurring, that is usually accompanied by vision problems and/or nausea and vomiting


Definition:substance that is a necessary part of a healthy diet (e.g., potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and magnesium)


Definition:drug that causes the pupil to narrow (constrict)

mitral insufficiency

Definition:problem with the ability of the mitral valve in the heart to close, which causes the heart to pump harder and reduces its efficiency

mitral stenosis

Definition:condition in which the mitral valve in the heart becomes narrowed, making the heart work harder to pump blood; can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath

mitral valve

Definition:valve in the heart that allows blood to flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle, but prevents blood from flowing back

modified radical mastectomy

Definition:treatment for breast cancer in which the entire breast, a section of the chest muscle, and lymph nodes in the chest and underarm are removed


Definition:brown to dark-brown spot on the skin that can be flat or raised


Definition:the smallest unit of a substance that possesses its characteristics


Definition:infection caused by a virus that invades a type of white blood cell called a monocyte, causing fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands


Definition:a type of white blood cell


Definition:state of being ill or having a disease


Definition:death rate, measured as the number of deaths per a certain population; may describe the population as a whole, or a specific group within a population (such as infant mortality)

motor nerve

Definition:nerve that carries messages to a muscle that cause the muscle to contract

motor neuron disease

Definition:degeneration of the nerves in the spinal cord and brain that are responsible for muscle movement, causing weakness and muscle deterioration

Mortality Prediction Model (MPM)

Definition:computerized scoring system for prediction of outcomes of illness/injury situations; acronym for Mortality Prediction Model

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Definition:technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create high-quality, cross

multiple sclerosis (MS)

Definition:disease in which the protective coverings (myelin) of nerve fibers in the brain are gradually destroyed; symptoms vary from numbness to paralysis and loss of control of bodily function


Definition:drug that lessens the sticky quality of phlegm and makes it easier to cough up


Definition:inner lining of the lungs


Definition:slippery fluid produced by mucous membranes that lubricates and protects the internal surfaces of the body

mucous membrane

Definition:soft, pink layer of cells that produce mucus in order to keep body structures lubricated; found in structures such as the eyelids, respiratory tract, and urinary tract

multiple myeloma

Definition:cancer that causes uncontrolled production of white blood cells in the bone marrow

multiple organ failure

Definition:progressive condition usually characterized by combined failure of the lungs, liver, kidneys and clotting mechanisms

multi-infarct dementia

Definition:dementia caused by multiple strokes


Definition:characteristic sound, as heard through a stethoscope, of blood flowing irregularly through the heart; can be harmless or may be an indication of disease

muscle wasting

Definition:degeneration of a muscle (loss of bulk), caused by disease or starvation

mitral valve prolapse

Definition:common condition in which the mitral valve in the heart is deformed, causing blood to leak back across the valve; characterized by a heart murmur and sometimes chest pain and disturbed heart rhythm

myasthenia gravis

Definition:disease in which the muscles, mainly those in the face, eyes, throat, and limbs, become weak and tire quickly; caused by the body's immune system attacking the receptors in the muscles that pick up nerve impulses


Definition:type of slow-growing bacterium; resistant to the body's defense mechanisms and are responsible for diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy


Definition:the smallest free-living microorganisms


Definition:any disease caused by a fungus


Definition:inflammation of the spinal cord, which can cause headaches, fever, muscle stiffness, pain, weakness, and eventually paralysis


Definition:cancer affecting cells in the bone marrow; sometimes used as substitute for multiple myeloma


Definition:inflammation of the heart muscle, which can be caused by a virus, certain drugs, or radiation therapy


Definition:medical term for heart muscle


Definition:muscle disease, usually one that results in the deterioration of muscle


Definition:muscle inflammation, causing pain and weakness