A handy guide to work through the medical terms in Memory Lost

Although I tried to tone down on the amount of medical jargon present in the drama, I realised that perhaps it might be good to write a short post on some of the terms that are scattered throughout the drama which may even come into use in your daily lives. Here are the ones that I think will help you through most detective/ medical dramas:

  1. Chloroform: mentioned a lot if the drama has a kidnapping case or you want to knock someone unconscious. Its a chemical, usually in the form of a gas that is colourless and smells like ether- so smells a bit like nail-polish remover/ gasoline. Although its gained a criminal reputation, actually in larger doses it can kill someone so its no longer used as an anesthetic to put people to sleep during surgery anymore.
  2. Benzodiazepine: Benzodiazepines or BDZs is a type of drug which can help the person taking it to relax and sleep. Its a very common drug with few side effects (if you take it at the recommended dose) and used to treat conditions such as insomnia (inability to sleep), panic disorders, seizures etc. If you stretch your memory to the 1st few episodes of Memory Lost, the rapist used BDZs to cause his victims to feel sleepy and to help with his hypnosis. Actually BDZs are not known to cause hypnosis even though they are hypnotic drugs. The term hypnotic can mean to induce hypnosis OR to induce sleep.
  3. Amnesia: The condition where a person loses their memory. Although it has been shown that there is a possibility of regaining memories by a physical trauma/ injury to the head so it’s generally not advised because it’s a rare case.
  4. Autopsy: This is the medical examination of a body.
  5. Pathology: Although the most famous pathologists are actually Forensic Pathologists, the job of a pathologist is just to determine the cause of the disease and FORENSIC pathologists work out the cause of death. So next time you go for that blood test, your blood is likely to have passed through the hands of the pathologists in the lab. Although this process is slowly being replaced by machines who can do thousands of analysis at the same time and requires so less time. Our problem now is probably finding enough supercomputers and data scientists to sort out all the data.
  6. Mycardial Infarction: Just a fancy name for a heart attack. Some people don’t actually die from a heart attack, it depends on how much blood your heart is able to get. A heart attack occurs when the tubes (arteries) which supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients become blocked, it causes a part of your heart to die off. You will die if a lot of this blood/oxygen supply is cut off, however you can still survive afterwards if only a small portion of your heart dies.
  7. Depression v.s anxiety: depression is where you are so unhappy all the time, that you can’t even get out of bed or leave your home because you don’t have the will to do anything. Anxiety is a condition where in response to stress factors for example, an important exam, you constantly feel uneasy, fear and worry about the future instead of exhausted or overwhelmed by the pressure/ workload and other people’s expectations which is stress. Anxiety can be still present even when the stress factors are gone.
  8. MRI scans: This type of scan uses a magnetic field to generate images of the body, in particular soft tissues I.e. the organs of the body. Very useful for cancer diagnosis. Not so effective for looking at bones.
  9. Eppendorf: simple tube used in the lab to contain volumes of chemicals. Can range from very large 100ml to tiny 1.5ml tubes.
  10. Distillation: chemical process to separate different liquids from each other provided these liquids have different boiling points (different temperatures that they will turn into gases) by heating up and cooling the mixture.
  11. Epidemic v.s. pandemic: and epidemic is an outbreak of a disease (usually infectious) across a population over a couple of weeks. A pandemic is the outbreak of a disease across a very large region/ population over a short period of time.

I will continue to update this if I find anymore tricky/ useful medical jargon in the drama.

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