Directory of Diseases

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
PAC/PVC (Premature Atrial Contractions/Premature Ventricular Contractions)

Premature atrial contractions (PACs), also known as atrial premature complexes (APCs) or atrial premature beats (APBs), are a common cardiac dysrhythmia characterized by premature heartbeats originating in the atria. While the sinoatrial node typically regulates the heartbeat during normal sinus rhythm, PACs occur when another region of the atria depolarizes before the sinoatrial node and thus triggers a premature heartbeat.The exact cause of PACs is unclear. While several predisposing conditions exist, PACs commonly occur in healthy young and elderly people without heart disease, and by themselves, are not considered an abnormal finding. PACs are often completely asymptomatic and may be noted only with Holter monitoring. Occasionally, they can be perceived as a skipped beat or a jolt in the chest. In most cases, no treatment other than reassurance is needed for PACs, although medications such as beta blockers can reduce the frequency of symptomatic PACs.

A premature ventricular contraction (PVC), also known as a premature ventricular complex, ventricular premature contraction, complex, or complexes (VPC), ventricular premature beat (VPB), or ventricular extrasystole (VES), is a relatively common event where the heartbeat is initiated in the ventricles rather than by the sinoatrial node, the normal heartbeat initiator. Although a PVC can be a sign of decreased oxygenation to the heart muscle, often times PVCs are benign and may even be found in otherwise healthy hearts. A PVC may be perceived as a "skipped beat" or felt as palpitations in the chest. In a normal heartbeat, the ventricles contract after the atria have helped to fill them by contracting; in this way, the ventricles can pump a maximized amount of blood to both the lungs and to the rest of the body. In a PVC, the ventricles contract first before the atria have optimally filled the ventricles with blood, which means that circulation is inefficient. However, single beat PVC abnormal heart rhythms do not usually pose a danger, and can be asymptomatic in healthy individuals.

Palpitations (NOS)

Palpitations are a perceived abnormality of the heartbeat characterized by awareness of heart muscle contractions in the chest: hard beats, fast beats, irregular beats, and/or pauses. They are both a symptom reported by the patient and a medical diagnosis. Palpitations are frequently associated with anxiety, and do not necessarily indicate a structural or functional abnormality of the heart, but they can be a symptom arising from an objectively rapid or irregular heartbeat. Palpitations can be intermittent and of variable frequency and duration, or continuous. Associated symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, headaches, and chest pain.


Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, a large organ that is behind the stomach . The pancreas secretes enzymes to break down food and metabolize sugar. The most common causes of pancreatitis are alcohol use and gallstones but other causes such as high triglycerides, certain medications, and tumors can also cause it. The inflammation within the pancreas causes the release of enzymes into the bloodstream that can help in the diagnosis of pancreatitis.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder or panic attacks are episodes of intense fear and anxiety that activate the sympathetic nervous system and produce a "flight or fight" response. Episodes can be caused by certain triggers or can occur spontaneously on their own. During a panic attack, the heart rate and respiratory rate increase and the palms become sweaty. Episodes typically last from 2 to 10 minutes, but can be as long as 1-2 hours. Up to 2% of the population have panic disorder (panic attacks), and episodes are often recurrent.


Paraphimosis is a condition that only affects uncircumcised males. It develops when the foreskin can no longer be pulled forward over the tip of the penis. This causes the foreskin to become swollen and stuck, which may slow or stop the flow of blood to the tip of the penis. This is an emergency since it can lead to permanent damage to the penis.

Paronychia - Finger (Nailbed Infection)

Paronychia is a skin infection that involves the tissues around the fingernail. Bacteria are the most common cause followed by fungi. This infection can result from trauma or improper nail and cuticle care. People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing paronychia. In some cases, the infection can extend and cause cellulitis (skin infection) of the entire finger.

Paronychia - Toe

Paronychia is a skin infection that involves the tissues around the toenail. Bacteria are the most common cause, followed by fungi. This infection can result from trauma or improper nail and cuticle care. People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing paronychia. In some cases, the infection can extend and cause cellulitis (skin infection) of the entire toe. Most of the time a paronychia can be treated at an Urgent Care or a doctor's office. Severe infections, patients with paronchia and fever, and diabetics with paronychia should be seen in the Emergency Department.

Parotitis (Salivary Gland Inflammation)

Parotitis is an infection or inflammation of the parotid glands. The parotid gland is a salivary gland that sits near the angle of the jaw and can commonly become blocked by a stone. Just like people can get kidney stones & gallstones, one can also get a salivary gland stone. When this occurs, one experiences pain and swelling of the gland. Parotitis is a common cause of facial pain and swelling. Symptoms will get better once the stone comes out. Drink concentrated citric juices, like lime juice, can help force the stone out. In some cases, the gland can become infected requiring treatment with antibiotics.

Patellar Dislocation (Knee Cap Dislocation)

The knee cap usually glides up and down inside a shallow groove inside the knee joint. Although the knee cap can move side to side across this groove, it does so only slightly. If it slips sideways too far, it can get knocked outside of the groove and dislocate. Once it has dislocated it may get stuck on the side of the knee. The knee usually gets stuck in a semi-bent position and it causes severe pain when moved. A physician has to carefully fully extend the knee and guide the knee cap back in it's place to reduce the dislocation. Patellar dislocations usually occur from a sudden direction change while running or from a direct force on the patella during an injury. If a patella is dislocated a person cannot walk. Occasionally the knee cap dislocates and then spontaneously it relocates itself.

Patellar Fracture

A patellar fracture is a break in the patella, or kneecap, the small bone that sits at the front of your knee. Because the patella acts as a shield for your knee joint, it is vulnerable to fracture if you fall directly onto your knee or hit it against the dashboard in a vehicle collision. A patellar fracture is a serious injury that can make it difficult or even impossible to straighten your knee or walk. Some simple patellar fractures can be treated by wearing a cast or splint until the bone heals. In most patellar fractures, however, the pieces of bone move out of place when the injury occurs. For these more complicated fractures, surgery is needed to restore and stabilize the kneecap and allow for the return of function.

Patellar Tendon Rupture (Torn kneecap tendon)

The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap (patella) to the top of the shinbone (tibia). It is actually a ligament that connects to two different bones, the patella and the tibia. The patella is attached to the quadriceps muscles by the quadriceps tendon. Working together, the quadriceps muscles, quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon straighten the knee. This tendon can snap from a sudden forceful straightening or kicking out of the leg. It can also tear after being hit or cut. Most people feel a 'snap or a 'pop'. This type of injury requires surgery and physical therapy and must be initially evaluated in an ER.It usually requires surgery and physical therapy to regain full knee function.