black death

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death

 [deth]
the cessation of all physical and chemical processes that invariably occurs in all living organisms. (See also dying.) There is at present no standardized diagnosis of clinical death or precise definition of human death. The most widely known and commonly accepted means of determining death evolved from several medical conferences held in the late 1960s for the purpose of defining irreversible coma or nonfunctioning brain as a new criterion for death. The indications of deep irreversible coma (or brain death) are (1) absolute unresponsiveness to externally applied stimuli; (2) cessation of movement and breathing, including no spontaneous breathing for three minutes after an artificial respirator has been turned off; and (3) complete absence of cephalic reflexes. The pupils of the eyes must be dilated and unresponsive to direct light.

Use of the electroencephalogram is also recommended as being of value in confirmation of irreversible coma or death. If there is a flat electroencephalographic reading at the time of apparent death and a second flat reading 24 hours later, then the patient may be declared dead.

There are two exceptions to the above criteria. These are in regard to patients exhibiting marked hypothermia (body temperature below 32.2°C), and those suffering from severe central nervous system depression as a result of drug overdose.

It is recognized that the above criteria are limited in that the notion of irreversibility is not readily agreed upon and may take on new meaning as medical technology advances. The criteria are especially helpful as complements to the traditional criteria of absence of heart beat and lack of spontaneous respiration as indications of death.

In 1981, a Presidential Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research strongly recommended that all of the United States recognize the cessation of brain function as a definition of death, even in cases in which life-support systems could maintain respiratory and circulatory functions by artificial means.
activation-induced cell death (AICD) recognition and deletion of T lymphocytes that have been activated and so induced to proliferate. T lymphocytes are activated when a foreign agent is perceived, and AICD thereby prevents them from overgrowth. It is particularly important for regulation of lymphocytes that recognize self antigens.
black death bubonic plague; see plague.
brain death (cerebral death) see brain death.
clinical death the absence of heart beat (no pulse can be felt) and cessation of breathing.
cot death (crib death) sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
programmed cell death the theory that particular cells are programmed to die at specific sites and at specific stages of development.

black death

term applied to the worldwide epidemic of the 14th-century, of which some 60 million people are thought to have died; descriptions indicate that it was bubonic, septocemic, and pneumonic plague.

Black Death

n.
An outbreak of virulent plague, especially its bubonic form, that killed large numbers of people throughout Europe and much of Asia in the 14th century.

black death

black plague

The black plague arrived with the Tartars in Sicily in late 1347, and reached Paris by the following winter; within 3–4 years of its debut, it had killed 25 million, 30% to 60% of Europe’s population at the time.  Yersinia pestis infection of mammalian hosts is attributed to suppression and avoidance of the host’s immune defences—e.g., phagocytosis and antibody production.

black death

Black plague. See Plague.

black death

(blak deth)
Term applied to the worldwide epidemic of the 14th century, during which some 60 million people are said to have died; the descriptions indicate that it was caused by Yersinia pestis.
See also: plague (2)

black death

The bubonic PLAGUE that devastated parts of Europe and Asia around 1350 and recurred at intervals for 300 years until the pandemic of 1664–5.

Black Death

a plague caused by the BACTERIUM Yersinia pestis. The DISEASE affects RODENTS, but can spread to man, being transmitted by the bite of the rat FLEA. In man there are three different forms of the disease: bubonic plague, primary septicaemic plague and primary pneumonic plague. In the 14th century there was an outbreak of the bubonic plague in Europe that, within just four years, wiped out about one third of the population. Bubonic plague takes its name from the buboes, swellings that develop in the lymph glands in the armpits, neck and groin of the victim. After a high FEVER, haemorrhaging occurs and the skin turns black. Many victims die within a week. Once the LUNGS become infected the disease can be passed from person to person as pneumonic plague.

black death

see plague.