Medical Symbols

by emv on July 15, 2011

Medical Symbols are used by medical doctors, pharmacists or nurses by making it easier for them to write down the descriptions of your problems, or medical treatments, suggestions for other doctors, nurses, etc. They can read it and understand them in seconds which might be crucial in life and death situations or life threatening cases such as when a new patient arrives by an ambulance to the hospital or when there are too many patients in the same time or just in general.

Medical Symbols are kind of hard to understand if you don’t know any of the medical symbols written on papers. For easier understanding we list the most common Medical Symbols available in the United States with descriptions for the everyday people below:

Medical symbols used in medical prescriptions, medical treatments

~ approximately
≈ approximately equal
# number
# fracture
@ at
° degree
> greater than
< less than
+ positive
– negative
+, & and
Ø nothing, not, none
= equal to
≠ not equal to
♂ male
♀ female
† death
∞ infinity

Medical symbols as they can be seen on images:

SN: Serial Number
Sterile A: A Medical Symbol for sterile medical devices processed with Aseptic techniques.
Sterile EO: A Medical Symbol for sterilization method by using Ethylene Oxide.
Sterile R: A Medical Symbol for sterilization method using irRadiation.
Sterile H2O2: A Medical Symbol for sterilization method using vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide.
NON Sterile: A Medical Symbol indicating that the product isn’t sterilized.
A Number crossed in a circle: A Medical Symbol indicating the number of re use options.

ß beta
↑ increased
↓ decreased
⇋ reversible
δ delta
Δ disease
∓ indefinite
≥ greater than or equal to
≤ less than or equal to
% percent
+ve positive
/ per
μ microm
μ micrometer
μμ micromicron
℞ treatment, recipe, take
α alpha
1° primary
2° secondary

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