Medical Terminology beginning with the letter S

Sanguineous crust – Scab.
Scarlatina – Scarlet fever. A contagious febrile disease, caused by infection with the bacteria Group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (which elaborate a toxin with an affinity for red blood cells) and characterized by a scarlet eruption, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis.
Scarlet fever – A disease characterized by red rash. see Scarlatina.
Scarlet rash – Roseola.
Sciatica – Rheumatism in the hips.Scirrhus

Cancerous tumors.
Scotomy – Dizziness, nausea and dimness of sight.
Scrivener’s palsy – Writer’s cramp.
Screws – Rheumatism.
Scrofula – Primary tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, especially those in the neck. A disease of children and young adults, it represents a direct extension of tuberculosis into the skin from underlying lymph nodes. It evolves into cold abscesses, multiple skin ulcers, and draining sinus tracts. Synonym: king’s evil.
Scrumpox – Skin disease, impetigo.
Scurvy – Lack of vitamin C. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums and hemorrhages under skin.
Septic – Infected, a condition of local or generalized invasion of the body by disease-causing microorganisms (germs) or their toxins.
Septicemia – Blood poisoning.
Shakes – Delirium tremens.
Shaking – Chills, ague.
Shingles – Viral disease characterized by skin blisters (closely related to chickenpox – cannot get shingles unless previously affected by chickenpox. often brought on by stress. most commonly the blisteres develope on the back – extremely itching).
Ship fever – see Typhus.
Siriasis – Inflammation of the brain due to sun exposure.
Sloes – Milk sickness.
Small pox – Contagious disease characterized by fever and blisters.
Softening of brain – Result of stroke or hemorrhage in the brain, with an end result of the tissue softening in that area; apoplexy.
Sore throat distemper – Diphtheria or quinsy.
Spanish influenza – An epidemic influenza.
Spasms – Sudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles, like a convulsion.
Spina bifida – Deformity of spine.
Spotted fever – Either typhus or meningitis; cerebrospinal meningitis fever. see Typhus.
Sprue – Tropical disease characterized by intestinal disorders and sore throat.
St. Anthony’s fire – Also erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin areas are bright red in appearance.
St. Vitus’ dance – Ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed involuntarily. see chorea.
Stomatitis – Inflammation of the mouth.
Stranger’s fever – Yellow fever.
Strangery – Rupture.
Sudor anglicus – Sweating sickness.
Suffocation – The stoppage of respiration. In the nineteenth century, suffocation was reported as being accidental or homicidal. The accidents could be by the impaction of pieces of food or other obstacles in the pharynx or by the entry of foreign bodies into the larynx (as a seed, coin, or food). Suffocation of newborn children by smothering under bedclothes may have happened from carelessness as well as from intent. However, the deaths also could have been due to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), wherein the sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant, while asleep, typically occurs between the ages of three weeks and five months and is not explained by careful postmortem studies. Synonyms of SIDS: crib death and cot death. It was felt that victims of homicidal suffocation were chiefly infants or feeble and infirm persons.
Summer complaint – Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk. see Cholera infantum.
Sunstroke – Uncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat. Lack of sodium in the body is a predisposing cause.
Suppuration – The production of pus.
Swamp sickness – Could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis.
Sweating sickness – Infectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century.

2 Responses to Medical Terminology beginning with the letter S

  1. Tracey Serle says:

    Ran across something called “bone seury” on an 1880 Census record for Floyd, GA. Don’t know if this was an accepted medical term, a local expression for a known condition, or a mangled spelling. It was debilitating for the woman who had it. It was not noted on the 1900 Census so it was apparently not fatal, and perhaps curable.

    • genealogy-quest says:

      I wonder if the term may have been “bone scurvy” – a term that may not be a proper diagnosis but would seem to imply scurvy that affected the bones, a condition that was treatable with improved diet.

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