Abbreviations you may find in your health records

Here you can find out what some of the most common medical abbreviations mean. This may be useful if you want to understand your health records. An abbreviation is a short way of writing a longer word or phrase.


Healthcare staff sometimes use the same abbreviations to mean different things.

If you do not know what something in your health records means, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Swan Medical Group Commonly Used Abbreviations

Abbreviation Meaning
Number/7  eg: 3/7 Number of days eg: 3 days
Number/52  eg: 2/52 Number of weeks eg: 2 weeks
Number/ 12  eg: 1/12 Number of months eg: 1 month
LMP Last menstrual period
CP Chest pain
SoB Shortness of breath
SoBOE SoB on exertion
SoBAR SoB at rest
K Period
Number/40 eg 3/40 Number of weeks pregnant out of usual gestation of 40 weeks
O/E On examination
HS I  II +nil Heart sounds normal- no murmur heard
TM Tympanic membrane/ ear drum
Cx Cervical
LN Lymph node
Reg- eg: HR reg or pulse reg Heart rate/ pulse regular- no sign of irregular heartbeat/ arrhythmia
SNT Soft, non-tender eg: examination of the abdomen normal
Organomegaly- (usually no preceding) No enlargement of the liver, spleen or kidneys felt
Guarding (usually no preceding) A sign of worrying cause for abdominal pain- found rarely  eg. in appendicitis or gut perforation
Suprapubic Above the pubic bone in the central lower abdomen
RUQ Right upper quadrant- upper right quarter of the abdomen where gall bladder/ liver are
RIF Right iliac fossa- lower right quarter of the abdomen where large bowel starts and appendix usually located, ovary low in pelvis down here too
LUQ Left upper quadrant- spleen and bowel located here
LIF Left iliac fossa- last part of large bowel and ovary
MC&S Microscopy, culture, and sensitivity test for infection eg: urine or sputum
CXr Chest x-ray
Px Prescription
Ix Investigation
Rx Treatment
Mx Management
TCI To come in- patient invited in to be seen F2F- face to face
Consultation usually finished with I: P: Impression: Plan:
WAG Worsening advice given- what to do if things worsen
PIL Patient information leaflet
2WW An urgent referral for patient to be contacted within 2 weeks to exclude the possibility of cancer
PRN Pro re nata= as needed
OM Omni mane= in the morning
ON Omni nocte= at night
CMHT Community Mental Health Team
OPMHT Older Persons Mental Health Team
RACPC Rapid access chest pain clinic
RAC Rapid access clinic
OPRAC Older Persons rapid access clinic

List of abbreviations

Abbreviation Meaning
# broken bone (fracture)
A&E accident and emergency
a.c. before meals
a.m., am, AM morning
AF atrial fibrillation
AMHP approved mental health professional
APTT activated partial thromboplastin time (a measure of how long it takes your blood to clot)
ASQ Ages and Stages Questionnaire (a set of questions about children’s development)
b.d.s, bds, BDS 2 times a day
b.i.d., bid, bd twice a day / twice daily / 2 times daily
BMI body mass index
BNO bowels not open
BO bowels open
BP blood pressure
c/c chief complaint
CMHN community mental health nurse
CPN community psychiatric nurse
CSF cerebrospinal fluid
CSU catheter stream urine sample
CT scan computerised tomography scan
CVP central venous pressure
CXR chest X-ray
DNACPR do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation
DNAR do not attempt resuscitation
DNR do not resuscitate
Dr doctor
DVT deep vein thrombosis
Dx diagnosis
ECG electrocardiogram
ED emergency department
EEG electroencephalogram
EMU early morning urine sample
ESR erythrocyte sedimentation rate (a type of blood test used to help diagnose conditions associated with inflammation)
EUA examination under anaesthetic
FBC full blood count (a type of blood test)
FY1 FY2 foundation doctor
GA general anaesthetic
gtt., gtt drop(s)
h., h hour
h/o history of
Hb haemoglobin (a substance in red blood cells that moves oxygen around the body)
HCA healthcare assistant
HCSW healthcare support worker
HDL high-density lipoprotein (a type of cholesterol)
HRT hormone replacement therapy
Ht height
Hx history
i 1 tablet
ii 2 tablets
iii 3 tablets
i.m., IM injection into a muscle
i.v., IV injection directly to a vein
INR international normalised ratio (a measure of how long blood takes to clot)
IVI intravenous infusion
IVP intravenous pyelogram (an X-ray of your urinary tract)
Ix investigations
LA local anaesthetic
LDL low-density lipoprotein (a type of cholesterol)
LFT liver function test (a type of blood test measuring enzymes and proteins in your liver)
LMP last menstrual period
M/R modified release
MRI magnetic resonance imaging
MRSA methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
MSU mid-stream urine sample
n.p.o., npo, NPO nothing by mouth / not by oral administration
NAD nothing abnormal discovered
NAI non-accidental injury
NBM nil by mouth
NG nasogastric (running between your nose and stomach)
nocte every night
NoF neck of femur
NSAID non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
o.d., od, OD once a day
o/e on examination
OT occupational therapist
p.c. after food
p.m., pm, PM afternoon or evening
p.o., po, PO orally / by mouth / oral administration
p.r., pr, PR rectally
p.r.n., prn, PRN as needed
p/c presenting complaint
physio physiotherapist
POP plaster of paris
PTT partial thromboplastin time (a measure of how quickly your blood clots)
PU passed urine
q. every
q.1.d., q1d every day
q.1.h., q1h every hour
q.2.h., q2h every 2 hours
q.4.h., q4h every 4 hours
q.6.h., q6h every 6 hours
q.8.h., q8h every 8 hours
q.d., qd every day / daily
q.d.s, qds, QDS 4 times a day
q.h., qh every hour, hourly
q.i.d, qid 4 times a day
q.o.d., qod every other day / alternate days
q.s., qs a sufficient quantity (enough)
RN registered nurse
RNLD learning disability nurse
ROSC return of spontaneous circulation
RTA road traffic accident
Rx treatment
s.c., SC injection under the skin
S/R sustained release
SLT speech and language therapist
SpR specialist registrar
stat. immediately, with no delay, now
STEMI ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction
t.d.s, tds, TDS 3 times a day
t.i.d., tid 3 times a day
TCI to come in
TFT thyroid function test
TPN total parenteral nutrition
TPR temperature, pulse and respiration
TTA to take away
TTO to take out
U&E urea and electrolytes
u.d., ud as directed
UCC urgent care centre
UTI urinary tract infection
VLDL very-low density lipoprotein (a type of cholesterol)
VTE venous thromboembolism (a blood clot that forms in a vein)
Wt weight

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