Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Medical Author: William C. Shiel, Jr, MD, FACP, FACR
Medical Author: Jay W. Marks, MD
Wondering why you can't read what the doctor wrote on your prescription? Ever see the doctor's notes in your medical record and found peculiar abbreviations and jargon? Doctors commonly use a variety of abbreviations in order to rapidly and succinctly record information about, and give instructions to, their patients. Below is a listing of many common terms and abbreviations defined so that you can decipher those charts!
a.c.: Before meals. As in taking a medicine before meals.
a/g ratio: Albumin to globulin ratio.
Ad lib: At liberty. For example, a patient may be permitted to move out of bed freely and orders would, therefore, be for activities to be ad lib.
b.i.d.: Twice daily. As in taking a medicine twice daily.
Bandemia: Slang for elevated level of band forms of white blood cells.
BKA: Below the knee amputation.
C/O: Complaint of. The patient's expressed concern.
CBC: Complete blood count.
CC: Chief complaint. The patient's main concern.
cc: Cubic centimeters. For example, the amount of fluid removed from the body is recorded in ccs.
Chem panel: Chemistry panel. A comprehensive screening blood test that indicates the status of the liver, kidneys, and electrolytes.