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Abbreviations and Acronyms

Note: This was assembled by
the management of

ABG Arterial Blood Gasses. This is a blood test that is given to determine a number of things but it is the only test that is commonly used to determine the Carbon Dioxide content of the blood. The test is usually taken with a needle into the wrist area and much more difficult to do. Consequently, it has the reputation for hurting. Doctors use this test to determine whether an individual is a retainer or not.

ALPHA-A1AD Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency (A1AD) is a genetic disease of the liver and lungs. It results from a lack of the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) protein in a person's blood, which protects the lungs from germs, dust, air pollution, cigarette smoke and other inhaled irritants. Without an adequate supply of AAT, substances in the white blood cells can damage the tissues of the body. In adults, A1AD often leads to early onset emphysema that affects the lower lobes of the lung: but can also cause liver disease. Because A1AD is a product of genetics, those that are diagnosed with emphysema or COPD at an early age should have a simple blood test to determine if that is the cause of their affliction. If so, some of the medical procedures are different in dealing with the affliction.

BIPAP, CPAP, DPAP - P.A.P." stands for positive airway pressure The importance of these machines is not only that they assist in the physical needs for breathing but also help remove excess CO2 from the system. BiPAP stands for BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure. Your BiPAP machine provides 2 sets of pressure prescribed by your physician. There is a pressure set to assist you when breathing in (inspiration) and when breathing out (exhalation). These pressures keep the airway from collapsing so your lungs will receive the oxygen they need. BiPAP ST works the same as BiPAP, but also has a backup respiratory rate incorporated. This means that the machine also supplies the patient with forced breaths. CPAP machine supplies a set amount of positive pressurized flow through a hose connected to the nasal airway. The set pressure is prescribed by your physician. The ressure keeps the airway from collapsing. Relief of airway obstruction is immediate. Your lungs will receive the oxygen they need and you will sleep much better. DPAP stands for Demand Positive Airway Pressure. This machine will sense whether or not the patient is taking a breath. If the patient has not taken a breath in 8 seconds, the DPAP machine will sense this and give a breath at whatever pressure flow is necessary to move the air into the lungs. Indication for DPAP usage is intolerable use of CPAP.

CHF Congestive Heart Failure. Simply stated, CHF is any condition which refers to the diminished ability of the heart to carry out its function properly. There are many causes and many diseases which cause the condition which is much more prevalent with older folks. Some individuals with COPD find themselves afflicted with conditions which make them susceptible to CHF.

COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease COPD is why we are all here. While some medical authorities do not include asthma in the definition, it is included in others and helps add to the confusion of the lay person. COPD is actually a loosely used term by the medics these days to describe a variety of ailments including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and some forms of asthma. It is considered as chronic and progressive which gives it the awful reputation of being the beginning of the end. Those of us who know better realize that while there is no known cure at the present time, such a cure is not out of the realm of possibility. In the meantime, it is prudent to do those things that we can do to maintain as high a quality of life as is possible. We can do that only through being proactive in our own medical care working in concert with our medical advisors, stopping smoking, exercise (preferably in some pulmonary rehab program and subsequent maintenance program) and a number of lesser things.. If you are interested in learning more about our disease, look at our links page for the best of the best at and a listing of web pages maintained by a number of our subscribers at

CRS (Can't Remember Stuff - or any other word beginning with S_____)

FEV1 - FEV1 (Forced Expiratory Volume after 1 second) is one of many measurements that are determined during a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) The official definition says that it is the volume of gas expired after one second from the beginning of the measurement. It is expressed in a full number which is then given a percentage based on how well a normal person of similar age, sex and weight would do. It is normally taken a second time after using a rescue inhaler like albuterol to see what percentage of increase is obtained with medication. In common usage, while not totally accurate, it has become to be a measure of lung function percentage. For that reason you will see folks that say they have 46% lung function or 13% lung function. While those numbers are certainly important, they do not tell the whole picture because this is just one measurement. In addition, two people with the exact same FEV1 may behave very differently. One may not be able to walk to the bathroom without assistance and the other reporting rave results from pulmonary rehab. There are a number of references that discuss the PFT. A good starting point would be or

HEPA-(High Efficiency Particulate Air) Usually refers to a filters or masks for air filtering systems, air conditioner returns, air circulation systems, face masks and the sort. t is of a much higher rating for filtration than other systems and consequently filters the air better.

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) Says what it means. I recognize that this may not be the school solution but I believe that Often used by the polite to tell others that they don't know what they are talking about LOL

LOL (Lots of Laughs or Lots of Love depending on context used)

LVRS (Lung Volume Reduction Surgery) Surgery which removes part of the lung or lungs. This concept uses the theory that the reduction of the lung allows room for the good portion to expand and work more efficiently. This is a major surgical procedure which has resulted in dramatic improvement for some and a reduction in lung function in others. It is presently being studied to determine the appropriate criteria for selection as well as evaluating improvement from pulmonary exercise as compared to LVRS. This study called NETT or National Emphysema Treatment Trials is explained in detail and provides locations for the centers at

MDI (Measured Dose Inhaler) There are many varieties and brands. This is just a generic description for all of them.

O2 (Oxygen) Auxiliary oxygen use usually expressed as Number of Liters Per Minute/hours per day/days per week. For example 2L 24/7.

PCP (Primary Care Physician) Usually a physician who practices in general medicine or family medicine. In HMO language, the PCP is the doctor that is responsible for the patients care and appropriate referrals.

PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) A vital test for all who are afflicted with any pulmonary disease as it is the real measure of the lung function and a diagnostic tool to determine the proper course of medication. The test takes about an hour but is non invasive primarily just breathing in a variety of tubes in different ways. The test results include Pulmonary Mechanics (one of which is FEV1 which was described above), Lung Volume, Diffusing capacity and other measurements including ABG, PH, PaCO2, PaO2, and SaO2 which is a lot of gibberish which means you should check out one of the references on PFT if you want to know more. A good place to start is or

SATS (Saturation Level as determined by oximeter) Sometimes also called Stats. Refers to the oxygen level which should remain above 90 when measured by oximeter or 55-60 mm Hg when measured by arterial blood gas test of PaO2. Yep, that is the thingy that they put on your finger = oximeter.

SOB (Short of Breath) Do we need to say more?

Of course there are a great many other abbreviations and acronyms used concerning our affliction. In the event you are looking for another which is not listed here try