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vacuum extractor

A device for applying traction to the fetus during delivery by using a suction cup attached to the fetal head. Its use may be hazardous except in the hands of experts.

vacuum phenomenon

In radiographic studies, the appearance of gas within a joint space or bone, e.g., in a degenerated intravertebral disk.

vacuum tube

A vessel of insulating material (usually glass) that is sealed and has a vacuum sufficiently high to permit the free flow of electrons between the electrodes that extend into the tube from the outside. In England, it is called a vacuum valve.

vagabond's disease

(vag′ă-bondz″) Discoloration of the skin caused by exposure and scratching owing to the presence of lice. SEE: pediculosis corporis.


(vā′găl) [L. vagus, wandering] Pert. to the vagus nerve.

vagal maneuver

Any physical action that increases parasympathetic tone and decreases the conduction of the electrical impulses of the heart. Vagal maneuvers may be used as first-line interventions in the evaluation or management of supraventricular tachycardias. Examples include bearing down or straining; massaging the carotid sinus; coughing; gagging; or immersing the face or neck in ice water. SEE: Valsalva's maneuver.


(vā′gī″, vā′jī″) Pl. of vagus.


(vă-jī′nă, vă-jī′nē″) pl. vaginae, vaginas [L. vagina, sheath] A musculomembranous tube that forms the passageway between the cervix uteri and the vulva. SEE: illus.





ANATOMY: In the uppermost part, the cervix divides the vagina into four small vaulted cavities, called fornices: two lateral, the anterior, and the posterior. The bladder and urethra are adjacent to the anterior wall of the vagina, and the rectum is behind the posterior wall. The cavity of the vagina is a potential space; the walls are usually in contact with each other. Close to the cervix uteri the walls form a horizontal crescent shape, at the midpoint an H shape, and close to the vulva the shape of a vertical slit. The vaginal mucosa is stratified squamous epithelium that is very resistant to bacterial colonization. This lining is in folds called rugae, and the connective tissue external to it also permits stretching. The blood supply of the vagina is furnished from the inferior vesical, inferior hemorrhoidal, and uterine arteries. Except for the area close to the entrance, the vaginal tissue and mucosa contain few, if any, sensory nerve endings. The vagina is a passage for the insertion of the penis, for the reception of semen, and for the discharge of the menstrual flow. It also serves as the birth ...

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