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What is gross edema?

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βˆ™ 2010-02-15 06:40:55

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In medicine and nursing the term "gross" is intended to mean "big as seen by the naked eye". Edema has two types: regular "edema" and "pitting edema". "Pitting" edema is when I press my finger onto the edema and when I remove my finger, the skin stays pressed in, it it "pitting".

Typically, edema should be measured, with a measuring tape, rather than using a subjective word like "gross" (i.e. big). What looks "big and obvious" to me may look different to you. So, especially in pitting edema, we use +1, +2, +3 -- OR-- we use a measurement and measure both sides, say both ankles, for comparison. If one ankle measures 15inches and the other measures 17.2 inches, that shows one angle is much more swollen than the other.

One tip: Doctors are more apt to use words like "gross edema" or "grossly obese". Nurses measure more than doctors.

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βˆ™ 2010-02-15 06:40:55
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