total body failure

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total body failure2016-12-24T19:56:58+00:00

total body failure

MEDSPEAK

A term which, because it lacks a formal medical definition, falls victim to Humpty-Dumpty etymology* and can mean anything the user chooses it to mean.

Total body failure may refer to the multiorgan failure that can affect morbidly obese burn victims, and in preterminal multisystem failure of dying in the elderly, cancer, or AIDS, or elderly cancer patients with AIDS.

*Humpty-Dumpty famously said, in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean…Given the above caveat, the term is best not used by health care professionals.

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