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Nursing Lingo Part 4: FLK

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Today’s bit of nursing lingo is not without controversy: FLK.  Let me start by saying that I disapprove of this term.  However, you still hear people use it and, while the term isn’t appropriate, the concept is.

“FLK” means “Funny Looking Kid.”  You hear this most on Labor and Delivery but sometimes also on Peds.  FLK is a catchphrase to mean a child whose physical appearance is not quite right.  If a child is born with irregular ears, a flat bridge of the nose, an abnormally small head or chin, abnormal hands, or other physical differences, there is a chance that child has a congenital disorder.  The child could have one of many differences including Fragile X, Down Syndrome, even Dwarfism.

In the end, I chose to include this term because does it demonstrate an important concept in nursing.  When a baby is born, if there is something that does not quite look or seem right, that difference needs to be noticed, the parents need to be informed, and a geneticist should be called for a consult.  Whether the baby is two days or two years old, it’s important to know what exactly is wrong with the child in order to know how best to care for him.

Here’ s a partial list of disorders that have a physical difference.  Some of these would have been diagnosed by Ultrasound before birth.

  • Achondroplasia or other dwarfism
  • Fragile X
  • Treacher-Collins Syndrome (Mandibulofacial Dysostosis)
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)
  • Noonan Syndrome
  • Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
  • Crouzon Syndrome
  • Other trisomies: Trisomy 8 mosaicism, Trisomy 9, Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13), Edward’s Synrdome (Trisomy 18), Trisomy 22, Triple X Syndrome

See also: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/children/clinical_services/cleft_craniofacial/anomalies/

 

While it’s not okay to call these children “FLKs,” noticing a difference in physical appearance can help the child and family, so keep your eyes open!  Be sure not to saying anything in front of the parents!  One of the beauties of being a nurse is letting the doctor be the bearer of difficult news.

Nursing Lingo Part 2: DFO

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Thanks to reader Terri for submitting the correct answer for what DFO means!  I’ll have to think of a good prize for you.  Customized medical Spanish-English list? Customized report sheet?  Guest post?

To set the scene of when I first heard DFO: I was doing my last rotation of nursing school so I had already deciphered most of the common medical acronyms.  But in report a veteran nurse  said a patient “DFO’ed.” I could have played it off like I knew what the word meant and then google it later.  But I could not think of ANYTHING that made sense.   DFO…?  Detached Forearm Operation?  No…  I gave up and asked.  Turns out DFO, at least here in the South, means Done Fell Out!  It’s actually a pretty great term that basically means “fainted.”  Usually the patient was standing, passed out, fell, and probably hit the floor.

Believe it or not, if you look in certain medical dictionaries, DFO is explained!

If a patient DFO’ed at home before they came in, that’s a bad thing.  If they DFO’ed at the hospital on your shift, that’s a very, very bad thing.  I say I have two rules for my patients, keep breathing and no falling. If your patients can stick to those two basic rules, your shift will be MUCH smoother for the both of you!

Next post will be on one of my favorite terms, “Frequent Flyers!”

Nursing Lingo Part 1: Circling the Drain

Nursing Lingo Part 3: Frequent Flyers