Bad air
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  Bad air

Bad air

   "Any air considered noxious. Today, air filled with tobacco smoke might be considered ""bad air."" So might air contaminated by the emissions of power plants. In the past, bad air was termed a miasma, a poisonous vapor or mist believed to be made up of particles from decomposing material which could cause disease and which could be identified by its foul smell. See: Miasma."


Today is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): nonoxynol-9.

Illness or sickness often characterized by typical patient problems (symptoms) and physical findings (signs). Disruption sequence: The events that occur when a fetus that is developing normally is subjected to a destructive agent such as the rubella (German measles) virus.



An abnormal and persistent fear of germs. Sufferers from bacteriaphobia experience undue anxiety even though they realize that most germs are not pathogens (disease-causing germs). To avoid germs, they may repeat cleaning rituals, such as washing their hands or face. (Surgeons may do well to have a mild degree of bacteriaphobia.)

Capable of killing bacteria. Antibiotics, antiseptics, and disinfectants can be bactericidal.

The science and study of bacteria and their relation to medicine and to other areas such as agriculture (e.g., farm animals) and industry. Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms which can live as independent organisms or, dependently, as parasites. Among the better known bacteria are strep, staph, and the agents of tuberculosis and leprosy.

See: Phage.

The singular of bacteria.

Bad air

BAEP (brainstem auditory evoked potentials)
See: ABR test.

Bag, air
Popular name for the amniotic sac together with the amniotic fluid within it. The amniotic sac is formed by the amnion within the uterus and encloses the fetus. This sac bursts normally during the birthing process, releasing the amniotic fluid. Also known as the amniotic sac.

Baker cyst
A swelling in the space behind the knee (the popliteal space) composed of a membrane-lined sac filled with synovial fluid that has escaped from the joint. Named after the British surgeon William Morrant Baker (1839-1896). Also called a synovial cyst of the popliteal space.

A biological system that enables us to know where our bodies are in the environment and to maintain a desired position. Normal balance depends on information from the inner ear, other senses (such as sight and touch) and muscle movement.

Balance, acid-base
Acid-base balance refers to the mechanisms the body uses to keep its fluids close to neutral pH (that is, neither basic nor acidic) so that the body can function normally.

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