Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms (cont.)
O.D.: Right eye.
O.S.: Left eye.
O.U.: Both eyes.
P: Pulse. Pulse is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
PERRLA: Pupils equal, round, and reactive to light and accommodation.
Plt: Platelets, one of the blood forming elements along with the white and red blood cells.
q.d.: Each day. As in taking a medicine daily.
q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
q2h: Every 2 hours. As in taking a medicine every 2 hours.
q3h: Every 3 hours. As in taking a medicine every 3 hours.
qAM: Each morning. As in taking a medicine each morning.
qhs: At each bedtime. As in taking a medicine each bedtime.
qod: Every other day. As in taking a medicine every other day.
qPM: Each evening. As in taking a medicine each evening.
REB: Rebound, as in rebound tenderness of the abdomen when pushed in and then released.
RUQ: Right upper quadrant. The liver is located in the RUQ of the abdomen.
SOB: Shortness of breath.
T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
t.i.d.: Three times daily. As in taking a medicine three times daily.
TAH: Total abdominal hysterectomy.
THR: Total hip replacement.
TKR: Total knee replacement.
UA or u/a: Urinalysis. A UA is a typical part of a comprehensive physical examination.
ut dict: As directed. As in taking a medicine according to the instructions that the healthcare practitioner gave in the office or in the past.
UTI: Urinary tract infection.
REFERENCE: Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Last Editorial Review: 4/22/2010