What Do The Medical Abbreviations PC Mean?

Some abbreviations used in the medical field today have more than just one meaning. They could be used in different contexts to mean different things. This post discusses one of such abbreviations; ‘Medical Abbreviations PC’, their meanings, and different contexts in which it could be used.

There are over a hundred terms in which the medical abbreviation PC can be used in place. But there are more common terms that are more frequently used by doctors in clinics and some of them have been discussed below.

What Does PC Mean In Medical Terms?

medical abbreviations pc
Medical Abbreviations PC

Below Is a list of some common medical terms where PC can be used as an abbreviation;

  • Post-Cibum
  • Presenting complaint
  • Packed (red) cells
  • Patient choice
  • Phaeochromocytoma
  • Post-coital
  • Pericarditis

Medical Abbreviations PC: Post Cibum

Post cibum (pronounced post chibum) is a Latin word that directly translates to after meal;

Post meaning after

Cibum means meal or food

When Post Cibum Is Used In Medicine

Post cibum is used by doctors when they are trying to describe a medical procedure that is meant to be performed after a patient must have eaten or to instruct a patient about a medication that should be taken after a meal.

Why Post Cibum Is Used?

There are some medications that when taken, could result in serious side effects due to their adverse interaction with the stomach lining. So in order to reduce these side effects, such drugs are best taken after a meal to reduce stomach irritation, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, and stomach ulcers.

Examples of such drugs include;

  • Allopurinol
  • Bromocriptine
  • Aspirin
  • NSAIDs like diclofenac and ibuprofen.
  • Other Anti-inflammatory medications like dexamethasone and prednisolone
  • Mouthwashes
  • Liquid nystatin
  • Miconazole
  • Antiviral drugs like Ritonavir and many others.

For some drugs, eating food helps in their rapid absorption into the body which is why it is advisable to eat food before taking them. Some others like mouth wash and nystatin are best used after a meal too.

Medical Abbreviations PC: Presenting Complaint

This medical abbreviation Presenting complaint is used to refer to the symptoms which a patient has in his/her first contact with an index clinician.

A patient may have had fever and headache in the course of an illness, but if the fever happens to resolve before the first visit to a particular medical specialist, leaving just the headache, then the presenting complaint (PC) of the patient for that particular physician is just the headache. While the fever is included in the course of the patient’s history depending on which of the two symptoms came first (the fever or the headache).

If the same patient gets relieved of the fever and headache, but within the course of the illness starts having convulsions and is referred to another medical specialist, then the convulsion is said to be the patient’s presenting complaint about this new physician. But this does not mean that all other previous symptoms of the patient will not be taken into account while ascertaining the cause of the patient’s condition by this new physician.

So whenever you hear a medic ask; “what is this patient’s PC?” he/she is simply asking for the symptoms which a patient has at the point when the patient meets an index clinician.

Medical Abbreviations PC: Packed (red) cells

This medical abbreviation can also be used to describe packed cells; red blood cells that have been separated for blood transfusion.

Packed cells are usually used in the management of anemia that is causing symptoms in the patient. It is also used as a prophylactic treatment of anemia in people who are about to undergo certain medical procedures where there is a risk of losing much blood like major surgeries or chemotherapy.

What Does PC Mean In Medical Terms: Patient choice

Another context where PC can be used in medicine is when trying to describe a decision made by a patient with regards to their condition. It is also used to signify the fact that doctors treat patients with dignity and respect and as matured people in the right mental state who are capable of making decisions about their medical care.

This is also used to refer to what is called patient-centered care in Family medicine where the patient takes an active part in their own management and in choosing what is best for them.

Medical Abbreviation For PCC: Phaeochromocytoma

Phaeochromocytoma is a medical term used to describe a hormone-secreting tumor of the adrenal glands. These glands are small glands located on top of the kidneys.

Some of the symptoms and signs of phaeochromocytoma include; hypertension, tachycardia, excessive sweating, pallor, and headache.

The mainstay of treatment of phaeochromocytoma is surgery to remove the tumors. But chemoradiation and some drugs have been helpful in its management.

Medical Abbreviations PC: Postcoital

Post-coital is a term mostly used in medical specialties like Obstetrics and Gynecology, Endocrinology and Urology to describe the state after sexual intercourse.

Some instances where post-coital can be used include:

  • Post-coital bleed is used to refer to bleeding especially from a woman’s private part after sex.
  • Post-coital dysphoria is used to describe the feeling of sadness and anxiety after sexual intercourse.
  • A post-coital test is used to describe a test that is done after sexual intercourse.
  • A post-coital laceration is used to describe a tear in the introitus following sex.
  • Post-coital contraception is used to describe a contraceptive technique used just after a woman must have had penetrative sex to avoid pregnancy.

Medical Abbreviations PC: Pericarditis

Pericarditis is a medical term used to refer to the inflammation of the outer covering of the heart called the pericardium.

Other Medically Related Abbreviations For PC

Below is a list of common terms related either directly or indirectly to medicine where PC can be used as an abbreviation;

  • Paper Chromatography
  • Paracortical
  • Parent cells
  • Patient’s council
  • Penetrating cell
  • Pentose cycle
  • Pericentral
  • Peripheral cell
  • Phenol coefficient
  • Phobia clinic
  • Phosphatidylcholine (lecithin)
  • Phosphate cycle
  • Phosphocholine
  • Phosphocreatinine
  • Phosphorylcholine
  • Phosphocyanin
  • Plasma cell
  • Plasmacytoma
  • Platelet concentrate
  • Platelet count
  • Pneumotaxic center
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polycarbosilane
  • Portocaval
  • Posterior chamber
  • Posterior commissure
  • Postinflammatory corticosol
  • Precaution category
  • Precordium
  • Primary care
  • Procarbazine
  • Propylene carbonate
  • Provocative concentration
  • Pseudoconditioning control
  • Pubococcygeus
  • Pulmonary capillary
  • Purkinje cells
  • Pyruvate carboxylase and so on.

Why Medical Terminology Is Used

what does PC mean in medical terms?
What does PC mean in medical terms?

One reason why physicians are still using medical terminologies today is that the original fathers of modern medicine were the Greek philosophers. Then, Latin and Greek were regarded as the languages of the enlightened. So ancient medical texts were written in Latin and Greek. Also, the different parts of the body were first named in Greek and Latin.

But due to the coming of western civilization and the spread of English, the need for doctors to share medical knowledge in a language that will be understood by their students became evident.

So, the written texts and terms needed to be transcribed into English for communication purposes.

In the process, some of the terms in the original texts did not have a good translation into  English, and they were left as a combination of Latin, Greek, and English. This gave rise to medical terminologies.

Furthermore, for ease of use, these medical abbreviations were shortened into globally recognized abbreviations for use in clinics.

Summary

What Does PC Mean In Medical Terms?

PC could mean a lot of things in different contexts. But the most common uses of this term include;
Post cibum, meaning after a meal
Presenting complaint which refers to the symptoms a patient has been attended to by a physician.
Packed red cells, phaeochromocytoma, post-coital, pericarditis, and packed (red) cells.

Why Are Medical Abbreviations Used?

Medical abbreviations are used because they are easy to write and are universally understood by physicians all over the world depending on the context in which they are used in a sentence.


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