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(hard′ē-nĕs) Any of the physical and/or psychological characteristics that contribute to resiliency or the ability to withstand stress.

hard metal disease

A respiratory disorder caused by the inhalation of the dust or fumes of cobalt and metal carbides, esp. tungsten carbide.

 INCIDENCE: In the U.S., more than a million workers are potentially exposed to cobalt and its compounds. The greatest exposure is in mining processes, tungsten-carbide industry, cobalt powder industry, and alloy production. Workers are also exposed to cobalt in the production, processing, and use of hard metal; and in the grinding and sharpening of steel tools with hard metal abrasives.

 SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS: Symptoms include cough, breathlessness during exertion, tightening of the chest, dyspnea (shortness of breath), fatigue, production of sputum, and weight loss.

 DIAGNOSIS: A radiograph of the lungs usually reveals interstitial patterns suggesting fibrosis. Lung biopsies show markedly abnormal giant cells in the interstitium of the lung. The presence of tungsten carbide is the first indicator of disease.

 TREATMENT: There is no cure for hard metal disease. Systemic corticosteroids are the usual therapy, but they do not reverse the effects of the disease.

 IMPACT ON HEALTH: The disease is occasionally fatal if untreated.


1. A quality of water containing certain substances, esp. soluble salts of calcium and magnesium. These react with soaps, forming insoluble compounds that are precipitated out of solution, thus interfering with their cleansing action. 2. The quality or penetrating power of x-rays. Hardness increases as wavelengths become shorter. 3. The quality of firmness or density of a material imparted by the cohesion of the particles that compose it.

hardness test

A test designed to determine the relative hardness of materials by correlating the size or depth of an indent produced by a particular instrument with a known amount of compressive force. SEE: hardness number.

hard stop

1. In electronic health records, any software instruction that prevents a user from proceeding to another function before a required function is completed. 2. In surgery, any adaptation to an instrument that prevents it from cutting past a specified point.


A colloquial term for an implant, esp. an orthopedically placed nail, plate, rod, or screw.


Resourceful and resilient.


(hār′lĭp) [AS. hara, hare, + lippa, lip] Cleft lip.


Anything that impairs or adversely affects the safety of patients in clinical care, drug therapy, research investigations, or public health. Harms include adverse drug ...

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