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MoonDragon's Midwives Vocabulary
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY - R



RU-486

Commonly known as the abortion pill. Works by blocking the action of progesterone, which is vital for maintaining a pregnancy. Effective only during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy or up to 5 weeks after a missed period.

Reye Syndrome

A potentially fatal disease affecting all organs in the body, usually causing the brain to swell and excess fats to accumulate in the liver. Primarily affects children and teenagers when they are recovering from a viral illness. Symptoms include persistent vomiting, listlessness, and lethargy. The cause is unknown, but is frequently associated with aspirin consumption. Parents are therefore cautioned never to give children aspirin to reduce fever and pain for a viral illness.

Rh Incompatibility

A condition in which a baby inherits a blood type from his father that is different from and incompatible with his mother's. Usually not a problem in a first pregnancy but may cause problems with subsequent ones. Blood tests will usually determine if there is a problem before delivery.

Rash

Reddish spot or patch that may itch or irritate the skin. Can be caused by illness, allergy or heat.

Recommended Daily Allowances
(RDA)

The minimum recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals a person should eat each day.

Reflex

An automatic, involuntary movement.

Reproductive System

Male and female sexual organs that produce sperm and eggs for conception.

Reproductive Technology

Any procedure that involves medical intervention to aid conception.

Respiratory Distress Syndrome
(RDS)

A disease common in premature infants in which the air sacs in the lungs collapse due to lack of an essential substance called surfactant. Most babies recover with increased oxygen, but some need more aggressive therapy.

Rickets

A disease usually caused by a vitamin D deficiency, making it difficult to absorb calcium. Results in bowed or deformed legs.

Rooming-In

When a newborn stays in the same room with his mother in the hospital.

Rooting Reflex

A baby's automatic reaction to turn his head and start sucking when his cheek is stroked. Helps baby breastfeed.

Roseola Infantum

A viral illness prevalent in children under age 2, characterized by a high fever - up to 105°F - lasting 4 to 5 days, followed by a pink rash on the trunk.

Rubella
(German measles)

A mild, highly contagious viral disease that can cause serious birth defects if a pregnant woman is afflicted. Women who have not had it should make sure they are immunized before conception.



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