Health dictionary - P

Health dictionary


A pacemaker gives off electrical signals if your heart isn’t beating regularly.


The study of children’s development and the diseases that affect children. A doctor who specialises in paediatrics is called a paediatrician.


Paracetamol helps to stop things from hurting. It can also make reduce swelling and stop you feeling as hot. You should only ever take paracetamol according to the instructions on the bottle.


The medical name for your kneecap.


The study of diseases and how they affect your body. A doctor who specialises in pathology is called a pathologist.


The bones in your lower body that protect the bladder and in women, the womb.


This is a gland (a tiny organ) deep in your brain that makes lots of hormones (chemical messengers that turn on and off processes in the body.


This is a straw coloured liquid in your blood. All the blood cells float in it while the blood travels around your body.


These are the smallest types of blood cell, which helps make your blood clot when you cut yourself.


The period of time after a woman gives birth.


This just means 'after the operation'.

Premature birth

The term used to describe babies that are born before 38 weeks of a mother’s pregnancy.


Premedication or 'premed' is a special medicine that you are sometimes given before an operation (surgery). It's usually a liquid that you can drink and it helps to stop you worrying about the operation. Some types of pre-med help to dry up your mucus too.


The note that a doctor writes to a pharmacist to tell them what medicines you need and in what dose.


The opening in the front of your eye that lets in light so that a picture forms on the retina at the back of your eye. Muscles control the pupil so that it is bigger when it is dark, and smaller when it is light. This stops too much light going into your eye.


A yellow or green liquid that forms when you have an infection. It’s mainly made up of millions of dead white blood cells!