As I have made mention of in previous posts, I love language and words. And the occasional humorous terminology as it is used without intending to be humorous, in healthcare. I guess only nurses like me find it funny.
Take for instance the sentence, “The liver is unremarkable.” This sentence was part of an abdominal CT scan report that I reviewed recently on one of our patients. As the radiologist reported on the other organs in the abdomen, she noted some abnormalities but in referring to the patient’s liver, she wrote, “The liver is unremarkable.”
I thought to myself, “No, actually, the liver IS pretty darn remarkable! In fact, there is no artificial organ or device capable of emulating all the functions of the liver—thought to be up to 500 separate functions (usually in combination with other systems and organs). I’d say that’s pretty remarkable stuff!
The liver is the largest glandular organ in the body, weighing about 3 pounds. It is responsible for producing substances that break down fats, convert glucose to glycogen, produce urea (the main substance of urine), make certain amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), filter harmful substances from the blood (such as alcohol), storage of vitamins and minerals (vitamins A, D, K and B12) and maintain a proper level or glucose in the blood. The liver is also responsible for producing cholesterol. It produces about 80% of the cholesterol in your body.
I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted just reading this!
So the next time someone tries to tell you that your liver is unremarkable, tell ‘em that yours is fabulous!