CIVIL WAR MEDICAL TERMS:

( Diseases found on Death Certificates )

  • Ablepsy - Blindness
  • Ague - Malarial Fever
  • American plague - Yellow fever.
  • Anasarca - Generalized massive edema.
  • Aphonia - Laryngitis.
  • Aphtha - The infant disease "thrush".
  • Apoplexy - Paralysis due to stroke.
  • Asphycsia/Asphicsia - Cyanotic and lack of oxygen.
  • Atrophy - Wasting away or diminishing in size.
  • Bad Blood - Syphilis
  • Bilious fever - Typhoid, malaria, hepatitis or elevated temperature and bile emesis.
  • Biliousness - Jaundice associated with liver disease.
  • Black plague or death - Bubonic plague.
  • Black fever - Acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high mortality rate.
  • Black pox - Black Small pox
  • Black vomit - Vomiting old black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever
  • Blackwater Fever - Dark urine associated with high temperature.
  • Bladder in Throat - Diphtheria (Seen on death certificates)
  • Blood poisoning - Bacterial infection; septicemia
  • Bloody flux - Bloody stools
  • Bloody sweat - Sweating sickness
  • Bone shave - Sciatica
  • Brain fever - Meningitis
  • Breakbone - Dengue fever
  • Bright's disease - Chronic inflammatory disease of kidneys
  • Bronze John - Yellow fever
  • Bule Boil - tumor or swelling.
  • Cachexy - Malnutrition
  • Cacogastric - Upset stomach
  • Cacospysy - Irregular pulse.
  • Caduceus - Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy.
  • Camp Fever - Typhus; aka Camp diarrhea
  • Canine Madness - Rabies, hydrophobia.
  • Canker - Ulceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex.
  • Catalepsy - Seizures / trances.
  • Catarrhal - Nose and throat discharge from cold or allergy.
  • Cerebritis - Inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning
  • Chilblain - Swelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold
  • Child Bed Fever - Infection following birth of a child.
  • Chin Cough - Whooping cough.
  • Chlorosis - Iron deficiency anemia.
  • Cholera - Acute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing.
  • Cholera mrbus - Characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temperature, etc. Could be appendicitis.
  • Cholecystitus - inflammation of the gall bladder
  • Cholelithiasis - Gall stones
  • Chorea - Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing.
  • Cold Plague - Ague which is characterized by chills
  • Colic - An abdominal pain and cramping
  • Congestive Chills - Malaria
  • Consumption - Tuberculosis.
  • Congestion - Any collection of fluid in an organ, like the lungs.
  • Congestive Chills - Malaria with diarrhea.
  • Congestive Fever - Malaria.
  • Corruption - Infection
  • Coryza - A cold
  • Costiveness - Constipation
  • Cramp Colic - Appendicitis
  • Crop Sickness - Overextended Stomach
  • Croup Laryngitis - diphtheria, or strep throat
  • Cyanosis - Dark skin color from lack of oxygen in blood
  • Cynanche - Diseases of throat
  • Cystitis - Inflammation of the bladder
  • Day Fever - Fever lasting one day; sweating sickness
  • Debility - Lack of movement or staying in bed
  • Decrepitude - Feebleness due to old age
  • Delirium tremens - Hallucinations due to alcoholism
  • Dengue - Infectious fever endemic to East Africa
  • Dentition - Cutting of teeth
  • Deplumation - Tumor of the eyelids which causes hair loss
  • Diary Fever - A fever that lasts one day
  • Diptheria - Contagious disease of the throat
  • Distemper - Usually animal disease with malaise, discharge from nose and throat, anorexia
  • Dock Fever - Yellow fever
  • Dropsy - Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney disease (Glomeruleonephsitis) or heart disease
  • Dropsy of the Brain - Encephalitis
  • Dry Bellyache - Lead poisoning
  • Dyscrasy - An abnormal body condition
  • Dysentery - Inflammation of colon with frequent passage
  • Dysorexy - Reduced appetite of mucous and blood.
  • Dyspepsia - Indigestion and heartburn. Heart attack symptoms.
  • Dysury - Difficulty in urination
  • Eclampsy - Symptoms of epilepsy, convulsions during labor
  • Ecstasy - A form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason
  • Edema Nephrosis - swelling of tissues
  • Edema of lungs - Congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy
  • Eel thing - Erysipelas
  • Elephantiasis - A form of leprosy
  • Encephalitis - Swelling of brain; aka sleeping sickness
  • Enteric Fever - Typhoid fever
  • Enterocolitis - Inflammation of the intestines
  • Enteritis - Inflations of the bowels
  • Epitaxis - Nose bleed
  • Erysipelas - Contagious skin disease, due to Streptococci with vesicular and bulbous lesions.
  • Extravasted Blood - Rupture of a blood vessel.
  • Falling sickness - Epilepsy
  • Fatty Liver - Cirrhosis of liver
  • Fits - Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity.
  • Flux - An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea.
  • Flux of Humour - Circulation.
  • French Pox - Syphilis
  • Gathering - A collection of pus
  • Glandular Fever - Mononucleosis
  • Great Pox - Syphilis
  • Green Fever / Sickness - Anemia
  • Grippe / Grip - Influenza like symptoms
  • Grocer's Itch - Skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour
  • Heart Sickness - Condition caused by loss of salt from body
  • Heat Stroke - Body temperature elevates because of surrounding environment temperature and body does not perspire to reduce temperature. Coma and death result if not reversed
  • Hectical Complaint - Recurrent fever
  • Hematemesis - Vomiting blood
  • Hematuria - Bloody urine
  • Hemiplegy - Paralysis of one side of body
  • Hip Gout - Osteomylitis
  • Horrors - Delirium tremens
  • Hydrocephalus - Enlarged head, water on the brain
  • Hydropericardium - Heart dropsy
  • Hydrophobia - Rabies
  • Hydrothroax - Dropsy in chest
  • Hypertrophic - Enlargement of organ, like the heart
  • Impetigo - Contagious skin disease characterized by pustules
  • Inanition - Physical condition resulting from lack of food
  • Infantile Paralysis - Polio
  • Intestinal colic - Abdominal pain due to improper diet
  • Jail Fever - Typhus
  • Jaundice - Condition caused by blockage of intestines
  • King's Evil - Tuberculosis of neck and lymph glands
  • Kruchhusten - Whooping cough
  • Lagrippe - Influenza.
  • Lockjaw - Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw. Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days.
  • Long Sickness - Tuberculosis.
  • Lues Disease - Syphilis.
  • Lues Venera - Venereal disease.
  • Lumbago - Back pain.
  • Lung Fever - Pneumonia
  • Lung Sickness - Tuberculosis
  • Lying in - Time of delivery of infant.
  • Malignant Sore Throat - Diphtheria.
  • Mania - Insanity.
  • Marasmus - Progressive wasting away of body, like malnutrition.
  • Membranous - Croup Diphtheria
  • Meningitis - Inflations of brain or spinal cord
  • Metritis - Inflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge
  • Miasma - Poisonous vapors thought to infect the air
  • Milk Fever - Disease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or brucellosis
  • Milk Leg - Post partum thrombophlebitis
  • Milk Sickness - Disease from milk of cattle which had eaten poisonous weeds
  • Mormal - Gangrene
  • Morphew - Scurvy blisters on the body
  • Mortification - Gangrene of necrotic tissue
  • Myelitis - Inflammation of the spine
  • Myocarditis - Inflammation of heart muscles
  • Necrosis - Mortification of bones or tissue
  • Nephrosis - Kidney degeneration
  • Nepritis - Inflammation of kidneys
  • Nervous Prostration - Extreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and mental activities
  • Neuralgia - Described as discomfort, such as "Headache" was neuralgia in head
  • Nostalgia - Homesickness.
  • Palsy - Paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles. It was listed as "Cause of death"
  • Paroxysm - Convulsion
  • Pemphigus - Skin disease of watery blisters
  • Pericarditis - Inflammation of heart
  • Peripneumonia - Inflammation of lungs
  • Peritonotis - Inflammation of abdominal area
  • Petechial Fever - Fever characterized by skin spotting
  • Phthiriasis - Lice infestation
  • Phthisis Chronic - wasting away or a name for tuberculosis
  • Plague - An acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate
  • Pleurisy - Any pain in the chest area with each breath
  • Podagra - Gout
  • Poliomyelitis - Polio
  • Potter's Asthma - Fibroid pthisis
  • Pott's Disease - Tuberculosis of spine
  • Puerperal Exhaustion - Death due to childbirth
  • Puerperal Fever - Elevated temperature after giving birth to an infant
  • Puking Fever - Milk sickness
  • Putrid Fever - Diphtheria.
  • Quinsy - Tonsillitis.
  • Remitting Fever - Malaria
  • Rheumatism - Any disorder associated with pain in joints
  • Rickets Disease - of skeletal system
  • Rose Cold - Hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy.
  • Rotanny Fever - (Child's disease) ???
  • Rubeola - German measles
  • Sanguineous Crust - Scab
  • Scarlatina - Scarlet fever
  • Scarlet Fever - A disease characterized by red rash
  • Scarlet Rash - Roseola
  • Sciatica - Rheumatism in the hips
  • Scirrhus - Cancerous tumors
  • Scotomy - Dizziness, nausea and dimness of sight
  • Scrivener's palsy - Writer's cramp
  • Screws - Rheumatism
  • Scrofula - Tuberculosis of neck lymph glands. Progresses slowly with abscesses and fistulas develop. Young person's disease
  • Scrumpox - Skin disease, impetigo
  • Scurvy - Lack of vitamin C. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums and hemorrhages under skin
  • Septicemia - Blood poisoning
  • Shakes - Delirium tremens
  • Shaking - Chills, ague
  • Shingles - Viral disease with skin blisters
  • Ship Fever - Typhus
  • Siriasis - Inflammation of the brain due to sun exposure
  • Sloes - Milk sickness
  • Small pox - Contagious disease with fever and blisters
  • Softening of brain - Result of stroke or hemorrhage in the brain, with an end result of the tissue softening in that area
  • Sore Throat Distemper - Diphtheria or quinsy
  • Spanish Influenza - Epidemic influenza
  • Spasms - Sudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles, like a convulsion
  • Spina Bifida - Deformity of spine
  • Spotted Fever - Either typhus or meningitis
  • Sprue - Tropical disease characterized by intestinal disorders and sore throat
  • St. Anthony's Fire - Also erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin areas are bright red in appearance
  • St. Vitas Dance - Ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed involuntarily
  • Stomatitis - Inflammation of the mouth
  • Stranger's Fever - Yellow fever
  • Strangery - Rupture
  • Sudor Anglicus - Sweating sickness
  • Summer Complaint - Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk.
  • Sunstroke - Uncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat. Lack of sodium in the body is a predisposing cause.
  • Swamp Sickness - Could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis
  • Sweating Sickness - Infectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century
  • Tetanus - Infectious fever characterized by high fever, headache and dizziness
  • Thrombosis - Blood clot inside blood vessel
  • Thrush - Childhood disease characterized by spots on mouth, lips and throat
  • Tick Fever - Rocky mountain spotted fever
  • Toxemia of Pregnancy - Eclampsia
  • Trench Mouth - Painful ulcers found along gum line, Caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene
  • Tussis Convulsiva - Whooping cough
  • Typhus - Infectious fever characterized high fever, headache, and dizziness
  • Variola - Smallpox
  • Venesection - Bleeding
  • Viper's Dance - St. Vitus Dance
  • Water on Brain - Enlarged head
  • White Swelling - Tuberculosis of the bone
  • Winter Fever - Pneumonia
  • Womb Fever - Infection of the uterus.
  • Worm Fit - Convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrhea.
  • Yellowjacket - Yellow fever.