WDWN Medical Abbreviation: Meaning And When It Is Used

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To be straightforward, the WDWN medical abbreviation stands for “WELL DEVELOPED WELL NOURISHED”. But if you would like to get more insight on what the WDWN medical abbreviation really means, and when it should be used, then you should keep reading the rest of the post for further information.

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When is the WDWN Medical Abbreviation Used?

If you have been in the clinic either as a clinical medical student or a patient being seen by a physician, you must have seen doctors jot down a couple of medical abbreviations while clerking a patient.

A common misconception held by most people is that such medical terms and abbreviations are used by your physicians to confuse you, but this is very far from the truth.

Medical abbreviations are used by doctors, nurses, pharmacists as well as many other health workers while attending to patients as a shorthand to make their work faster.

Now imagine having to write; Well-Nourished and Well-developed for every patient that meets these criteria instead of just writing WDWN.

The Medical Term Well Developed Well Nourished

wdwn medical abbreviation
Well Developed Well Nourished

The medical term Well developed and Well Nourished is used during the general physical examination of patients. It gives an overview of the nutritional state of the patient.

General examination of patients is done to assess the general health status of a patient. It is not as detailed as the other system examinations that involve a more critical assessment of the various organs in the patient.

A patient is said to be Well Developed and Well Nourished when the body is adequately provided with all the necessary nutrients needed for life and growth. During a general physical examination, the following parts of the body are checked and certified as normal before the medical abbreviation WDWN can be used;

  • The Head: The color of the hair is checked for nourishment. For blacks, the natural hair should be dark colored, thick with a shiny lustre. It should also have no signs of infestation or infection like the presence of hair lice, dandruff,ring worm, and so on. Then the size of the head should be normal as well with no injuries.
  • The Skin: There should be no abnormal skin discoloration, open wounds, or skin disorders.
  • Posture: The patient should be able to sit and stand erect without support. Any postural deformity should be recorded as abnormal.
  • Gait: The patient should be able to stand and walk erect without any walking abnormality.
  • Height: The patient should have a height that falls within the normal percentile for age
  • Weight: The patient’s weight should be within the normal range for age and height.
  • Body Mass Index: The patient’s BMI should also be within the normal range.
  • Any other abnormality noted on the general physical examination means that the patient may not be well-nourished and well developed and will need a more detailed examination depending on the system involved.

What Does WDWN NAD Mean?

Also, during general physical examinations, it is not uncommon to find the medical abbreviation NAD following WDWN.

Both of them (Medical abbreviation WDWN NAD) are often used together in the course of the physical examination.

The NAD could mean;

  • No Acute Distress
  • No Appreciable Disease
  • No Active Disease

It is also good you note that the medical abbreviation NAD could also mean Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide. But in this case, it is used to show that the patient is in good health.

What Does Acute Distress Mean?

Acute distress is a medical term used to describe the health condition of a patient at the point of contact with an index physician.

It is used to describe a patient who is either in pain or who is exhibiting signs of respiratory difficulty. In such cases, the patient will be needing urgent intervention.

So whenever you find the medical abbreviation WDWN NAD, do not get confused now that you know what they mean.

It Is best Not Use Medical Abbreviations At all

Even though medical abbreviations make the workload look easier for the index physician, it is also among the major causes of confusion and misinterpretation of medical prescriptions and patients’ conditions.

According to Dr. Grief, an assistant professor of clinical family medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago, he encourages doctors and health workers as a whole to use more descriptive terms or phrases to describe patients’ conditions.

In his report, he wrote;

I do not blame my fellow doctors for using the medical abbreviation WDWN. It seems to have been passed down from older generations to the newer generation of doctors, and its use was probably valid at some point. I suspect that the use of the WDWN medical abbreviation blossomed in medical reports when physicians cared for sickly or malnourished people within the 20th century, especially during the times of the increased incidence of polio and tuberculosis. But unfortunately, it has overstayed its welcome in modern medical reports which describe patients who are more likely to be well-nourished.

Dr. Grief

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Final Words!

The WDWN medical abbreviation NAD stands for Well-developed Well Nourished, No Acute Distress. It is used during general physical examination of patients to give a general overview of their nutritional and current health status.

Due to the subjectivity of the medical term WDWN NAD, modern-day physicians advise that it should be phased out completely. Rather, more descriptive terms for the patients should be used when discussing their health status. This can be done by stating whatever you observe in the patient.

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