Glossary of Children's Hospital Terms

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BRP or Bathroom Privileges: An order written by the doctor to indicate that the patient may get out of bed to use the bathroom.

BUN or Blood Urea Nitrogen: Urea is a waste product formed when the body breaks down protein.  Urea is then eliminated from the blood stream by the kidney in urine.

Benign: Not cancerous or malignant. A benign tumor doesn’t invade surrounding tissue or spread to other parts of the body.  The tumor may grow but it stays in the same place.

Betadine: A cool, brown liquid that kills germs when applied to the skin.

Bilirubin or Bili: A substance produced by the liver’s breakdown of old red blood cells that contain hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is the protein in red cells that carries oxygen.  Bilirubin is usually removed from the body in bile that is then eliminated by the digestive tract.  A buildup of bilirubin will result in the skin and eyes appearing yellow (jaundice). This is commonly seen in newborns.

Biopsy: The removal of a small piece of body tissue to test and make a diagnosis.

Blood Gases:   A laboratory test to determine the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH or acid-base balance in the blood.

Blood Pressure or BP: The pressure at which blood is circulated through the body each time the heart beats.  Normal BP for children varies with age.  Ask the doctor or nurse what is normal for your child.

Blood type: Blood cells contain inherited factors that are not the same in all people. Before a scheduled transfusion occurs, samples from the donor and recipient are tested (type A, B, AB, or 0, RH + or - and minor antigens) to make sure they are compatible.

Blue blood (venous blood): Blood that is returning in the veins of the body to the heart.  Blood is then pumped to the lungs to pick up oxygen (becoming red blood).

Blunt abdominal injury: To be struck in the abdomen by something that does not penetrate the skin.

Bone marrow: A spongy material found in the center of the bone that contains stem cells which manufacture blood cells. The 3 major types of blood cells produced are red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC) and platelets. Each has an important function.

Bone marrow biopsy: The removal of a sample of bone marrow and a small amount of bone (usually from the hip) through a large needle. At least two samples are taken. The first is by aspiration (suction with a syringe). The second sample is a core biopsy to obtain bone marrow together with bone fibers. After the needle is removed, this solid sample is pushed out of the needle with a wire. Both samples are examined under a microscope to look for diseases, abnormalities, and a blood cell count.

Bone scan: A technique to create images of bones on a computer screen or on film. A small amount of radioactive material is injected and travels through the bloodstream. It collects in the bones, especially in abnormal areas and is detected by an instrument called a scanner. The bone image is recorded on a special film for permanent viewing.

Bowel sounds: The gurgling, rumbling, or growling noises from the abdomen caused by the muscular contractions of peristalsis (the process of movement of the contents of the stomach and intestines downward). Bowel sounds are normal. Their absence can indicate ileus such as that which is seen temporarily after abdominal surgery.  Increased bowel sounds may indicate a bowel obstruction.

Bradycardia: slow heart beat.

Brain stem: The stem-like part of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord. It is the extension of the spinal cord up into the brain. The brain stem is small but important. It manages messages going between the brain and the rest of the body and it controls basic body functions such as breathing, swallowing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

BROVIAC®  catheter: A thin long tube made of flexible silicone rubber that is surgically (in an operating room) inserted into one of the main blood vessels leading to the heart. The catheter can be used for drawing blood samples and for giving intravenous fluids, blood, medication, or nutrition.  It is often put in to improve nutrition and monitor heart function or for long term treatments.  It may decrease the number of needle sticks needed to draw blood and is often used when IV's are not otherwise available.



BROVIAC® is a registered trademark of C.R. Bard, Inc., and its related company BCR, Inc.