“A recent British Broadcasting Corporation reports identified that abbreviations pose risks to patient health according to the Medical Defense Union”.
The report identifies that it is dangerous and shows cases where death has occurred due to misconstrued abbreviations.
This isn’t really news, fair enough the statistics may prompt some people to stop using abbreviations, but I am fairly confident that all clinicians know they shouldn’t use them but tend to because
they are lazy it’s quicker.
This is a second wave to stop clinicians using abbreviations, the first wave was when patients were given increased access to their medical notes, so lots of comments and commonly used abbreviations had to stop.
I thought I’d take this opportunity to document a few of those classic abbreviations:
FLK : Funny Looking Kid.
NFE : Normal for Essex (or other county)
FBAR : F***’ed beyond all recognition. (found in nasty trauma notes)
And a couple of ones that were new to me c/o Wikipedia :
BBMF : “Bone break, me fix” – orthopaedic consent form.
TMB : Too many birthdays (meaning old and very frail)
They also list “DIB” as “dead in bed”, which we used to use for “Difficulty in breathing”, as oppose to “SOB”, which of course is “Shortness of Breath” but is also used for “Son of-a Bitch” and not of course “Silly old bag”. Who said abbreviations are confusing?
Special Olympics Booster
Of course some abbreviations may have gone the full circle and created their own words. “BID” for “Bought in Dead” (The English version of DOA ( Dead on Arrival), may have became known as BID’dies, which is a term applied to old people! Hopefully that’s BS (Bull S**t). “Biddies” is, I believe, a reference to hen’s. Thus used for old folks in the way “old duck” is.
I’m sure there are plenty of others about, please feel free to let me know!
In the meantime I will try to monitor my notes and ensure I don’t put too many abbreviations in:
HPC: CP 1/7, No rad. No SoBoE, No SoB.
O/E: ECG NSR P64, SP02: 99, AE clear & =, BP OK, HS NAD. Abdo: NAD. No Mus/skel pain.
Imp: Atyp. CP.
Mgnt: CE, FBC, UE, LFT, H. Py., ESR, 24hr ECG. Rv PRN/ASAP if SOS.”