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(os′kŭl-tāt″) [L. auscultare, to listen to] To examine by listening to sounds made by organs within the body. At the bedside this is usually done with a stethoscope. auscultatory (os-kŭl′tă-tōr″ē), adj.


(os″kŭl-tā′shŏn) [auscultate] Listening for sounds within the body, esp. from the chest, neck, or abdomen.

PATIENT CARE: A stethoscope is typically used. It is applied to the patient's skin surface gently but firmly to eliminate any environmental noises that may be present. Auscultation is used to detect heart rate and rhythm and any cardiac murmurs, rubs, or gallops; crackles or wheezes in the lungs; pleural rubs; movement of gas or food through the intestines; vascular or thyroid bruits; fetal heart tones; and other physiological phenomena.

five-point a. Auscultaton of breath sounds over the stomach, lung apices, and axillae. It is used as one of several relatively effective methods of confirming that an endotracheal tube is properly placed in the trachea and not in the esophagus. Capnography is a more precise form of confirmation of appropriate tube placement.

immediate a. Auscultation in which the ear is applied directly to the skin.

mediate a. Auscultation in which sounds are conducted from the surface to the ear through an instrument such as a stethoscope.

autacoid, autocoid

(ot′ă-koyd″) [auto- + Gr. akos, remedy + -oid] A prostaglandin or a related compound that forms rapidly, acts, and then decays or is destroyed enzymatically.


(o″thŏr-ĭ-zā′shŏn) [L. auctorizare, to give surety for] 1. Permission, esp. official permission. 2. Legal empowerment.

authorization to request or release information

A document approved and signed by a patient or legal representative on behalf of the patient that legally permits a health care facility to send specified confidential elements of the patient's medical records to another facility.


(o′tizm) [auto- + -ism] 1. In classic psychiatry, mental introversion in which the attention or interest is thought to be focused on the ego. Objective validation of this concept is lacking. 2. Withdrawal from communication with others, often accompanied by repetitive or primitive behaviors. autistic (o-tis′tik), n. autistic, adj.

infantile a. A syndrome appearing in childhood with symptoms of self-absorption, inaccessibility, aloneness, avoidance of eye contact, inability to relate to others, highly repetitive play, rage reactions if interrupted, rhythmical body movements, and many language disturbances. The cause is unknown, but some research suggests that anomalies in serotonin transport increase the likelihood of the disease.

regressive a. Autism that develops in a child after normal development during the first 24 to 30 months of life. SYN: Heller dementia. SEE: ...

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