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AMS Medical Abbreviation Meaning

Medical abbreviations help medical personnel save time during documentation by shortening long terms into abbreviations. Some terms can have more than one meaning. AMS medical abbreviation actually does have a few different meanings, in which case it is often safer to spell out the entire words. Read on to find out more about this abbreviation and a few others used in the healthcare field.

AMS Medical Abbreviation

The abbreviation is used for multiple medical conditions. Here are a few of them:

  • AMS “Atypical Measles Syndrome.” – This happens when a person is immunized with the measles vaccine, but still gets a slight case of measles. The virus is different than regular measles and can cause abdominal pain, headache and a rash that starts on the feet and hands. It can have complications such as swelling and pneumonia.
  • Altered Mental Status – AMS is commonly used in medical documentation by both doctors and nurses to shorten the words, altered mental status. It notes a change in a patients thinking, memory, perception of time, and knowledge of where they are.
  • Acute Maxillary Sinusitis – The letters AMS can also stand for Acute Maxillary Sinusitis, which is a type of sinus infection. This infection causes the nasal cavities in the face to become inflamed and swollen.
  • Aseptic Meningitis Syndrome – This is when the type of meningitis cannot be distinguished from bacterial or viral. It most often happens when a patient has bacterial meningitis and doesn’t know it, yet has been treated with antibiotics that only sterilize the bacteria in the spinal fluid. It can also be caused by issues other than infection such asautoimmune disease (lupus, MS).
  • Acute Mountain Sickness – Many hikers and mountain climbers experience this illness when they go up to an elevation above 8,000 feet. Some people may experience it at lower altitudes if they are sensitive to low oxygen levels. Lack of oxygen and pressure causes symptoms includingshortness of breath, rapid heart rate, dizziness, fatigue and nausea.
  • Amylase – This is one of the enzymes the pancreas produces. The results of lab testing for amylase levels may use the AMS medical abbreviation.

A Few Other Medical Abbreviations

  • ADHD – This is the abbreviation for “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” A condition where children and adults have trouble focusing and finishing tasks, but are also very restless.
  • AF – Atrial Fibrillation can be a long word, so doctors often use this abbreviation. This is an irregular heartbeat.
  • BPH – This is the abbreviation for “Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy,” a benign (non-cancerous) enlargement of the prostate gland. This can cause urinary issues in men over the age of 50 and most often does not lead to prostate cancer. It is a common test in men over 50, so doctors may use this abbreviation.
  • HTN/ HTWhen you have “high blood Pressure” it is known in the medical field as “hypertension.” Since this is a long word that the doctor may have to repeat several times in writing, they usually shorten it to this abbreviation.
  • MD – This can also have a few different meanings. If you use periods after each letter as in M.D. then it stands for “Medical Doctor,” and is seen behind the name of a doctor. For example, John Jones, M.D. It can also stand for “Muscular Dystrophy,” The name of a rare but disabling muscular disease.
  • STD – This is the abbreviation for “Sexually Transmitted Disease,” and includes a group of infections like Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, genital warts, and other diseases you can catch from sexual activity. The actual STD will be noted in the chart, but you may see or hear this written when the cause is still unknown or spoken about in general. The doctor may write, “History of STD,” if you have been treated for one in the past.
  • TB – This is the term used for Tuberculosis. This is a contagious bacterial infection that can be serious and highly contagious. Since this abbreviation is almost always tuberculosis, the doctor will most likely shorten the word to this. When you see “TB precautions,” this is a warning to not enter the room with someone with this disease without wearing a mask.
  • URI – When reading a medical chart, this abbreviation and the next abbreviation “UTI” can get confused if writing is not clear. URI stands for “Upper Respiratory Infection,” and is used forcolds and influenza that cause a stuffy or runny nose with a cough.
  • UTI – UTI stands for “Urinary Tract Infection,” and is an infection of the urinary tract. It is very close to the abbreviation “URI” so doctors often opt to spell out these two. Nurses are also encouraged to spell out abbreviations if writing is not clear and mistakes can be made.
  • VD – This is a rather antiquated abbreviation for “Sexually Transmitted Disease.” This abbreviation stands for “Venereal Disease,” and isn’t widely used in doctor’s notes anymore. Venereal diseases are any infection that is transmitted sexually.

Note Regarding Medical Abbreviations

Healthcare regulation societies have put a campaign in place known as “when in doubt, spell it out!” To avoid any medical abbreviations from being misread as something else other than what they are supposed to say. This will avoid dangerous and serious medical errors to patients. Doctors and nurses still use some common medical abbreviations in daily charting, but in areas where a mistake could cause harm it is important to spell out the entire word. This protect the patient first and second the medical personnel. Always do medical notes in black ink and write clearly to avoid any errors. Cross errors with one line through the word and initial. 

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