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English for PTA


The name “piles” is derived from the Latin “pila” for ball. An appropriate description for haemorrhoids, blood vessels in the anal- rectal area that cause pain when they become swollen. Other symptoms include: itchiness, painless bleeding and leakage of faeces.

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Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

One cause of haemorrhoids is straining when passing stool which may damage the rather delicate surface of an internal haemorrhoid. Straining may also cause an internal haemorrhoid to get pushed through the anal opening. This is known as a prolapsed or protruding haemorrhoid.

External haemorrhoids are found under the skin around the anus. When irritated they may itch or bleed. Blood may also collect in an external haemorrhoid and form a clot known as a thrombus, which may result in severe pain, swelling and inflammation. As with a lot of things, prevention is better than cure …

Pharmacy customer: Hello, do you speak English?
PTA: Hello. Yes, I do. What can I do for you?

Yes, well…mmm, could we talk somewhere less public?
Certainly, we have this little office here to my right just for this purpose! Please follow me.

Thank goodness. My problem is a little embarrassing.
Oh, I hope it’s not too serious.

I’m afraid that I have piles.
Piles? I’m sorry, my English is good, but not that good I’m afraid.

Okay! How long have you had the symptoms?

I’ve had them for about a week or so. First I thought it was from eating spicy food or drinking orange juice.
Before I can give you anything, I need to ask one or two questions. Are you okay with that?

No problem, go ahead.
You said that your bottom was irritated. Did you mean red and itchy?

It’s unbelievably itchy.
Was there any blood when you went to the toilet?

Yes, but only a little.
And the blood wasn’t dark or anything?

No, it was bright red and not a lot but enough to make me come to you.
Was this the first time that you have had haemorrhoids?

Do you have problems with constipation?

Yes, in fact I often get constipation. I probably don’t drink enough.
Constipation is not only caused by not drinking enough, lack of fibre in your diet is one cause, and not going to the toilet when you get the urge is another one. Are you taking any codeine at the moment?

Not now, but I was at home recently and got a terrible cough, I probably caught it on the plane. My old family doctor prescribed a cough linctus with codeine.
Codeine is known to cause constipation, you know?

I didn’t know that! What do you recommend I do now?
We have this ointment with lidocaine, which is a topical anaesthetic that will help you until you go to see a doctor. There should be some improvement in two to three days. If not please go to your doctor in the next days!

A doctor. Why?
He or she will give you a referral for a proctologist, to make sure that it is “only” haemorrhoids and not something else.

I will. Thank you. Good bye.
Bye, bye.

piles Hämorriden
derived abgeleitet
appropriate zutreffend
itchiness Juckreiz
leakage Auslaufen
straining drücken
delicate empfindlich
prolapsed vorgefallen
protruding vorragend
clot Blutgerinnsel, Blutpfropf
severe heftig
inflammation Entzündung
embarrassing peinlich
spicy food stark gewürztes Essen
bottom Hintern, Po
bright red hellrot
constipation Obstipation, Verstopfung
fibre Ballaststoff
urge Drang
cough linctus Hustensaft
ointment Salbe
referral (ärztliche) Überweisung

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 08/15 auf Seite 26.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker