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Abbreviations with ambiguous meanings, or that have caused errors.
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Each week this site is updated with over 50 new additions.
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Introduction / Warning

The starting point for this website was the book authored by Dr. Neil M Davis titled. Medical Abbreviations: 32,000 Conveniences at the Expense of Communication and Safety, 15th ed., published, January 2011. Over 50 new entries are added each week so that as of November 2018, has been updated with 23,395 new entries since the book was published. As of November 2018, medabbrev. com listed over 54,815 possible meanings of acronyms, symbols, abbreviations, and slang terms. This constantly growing list is being compiled to assist individuals in understanding and transcribing medical, nursing, pharmaceutical, and other health-related communications and documents.

Abbreviations are a convenience, a time saver, a space saver, a way of fitting a word or phrase into a restricted space on a form or computer,and a way of avoiding the possibility of misspelling words. However, a price can be paid for their use. Abbreviations are sometimes not understood, misread, or are interpreted incorrectly. Their use lengthens the time needed to train individuals in the health fields, wastes the time of healthcare workers in tracking down their meaning, at times delays the patient's care, and occasionally results in patient harm.

The publication of this list of abbreviations is not an endorsement of their legitimacy. It is not a guarantee that the intended meaning has been correctly captured, or an indication that they are in common use. The person who uses an abbreviation must take responsibility for making sure that it is properly interpreted. When an uncommon or ambiguous abbreviation is used and it may not be understood correctly, it should be defined by the writer. Where uncertainty exists, the one who wrote the abbreviation must be contacted for clarification.

   (The continuation of this Introduction is available on the subscribers’ version where it presents information about the origin of abbreviations, the danger associated with their use, and an explanation of how the abbreviations are listed.)