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The word "stat"
December 13, 2003 8:22 AM   Subscribe

Where does the word "stat" come from, as in "Give me 20ccs of Ringer's Lactate, stat!"?
(I know it means quickly, but what's its origin?)
posted by jpburns to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
 
I think it's short for statim, the Latin word for immediately. You know how those docs love their Latin.
posted by iconomy at 8:27 AM on December 13, 2003


"As it turns out "stat" stands for a number of things, ranging from the obvious (statistics) to the not so obvious (Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique). However, the very first entry provided the answer to your question. "Stat" in medical parlance is actually not an acronym; it's short for statim, the Latin word for immediately."

Yahoo
posted by azul at 8:28 AM on December 13, 2003


And they said Latin was a dead language. Turns out there are not only people who speak Latin on a daily basis, they use Latin slang.
posted by kindall at 9:39 AM on December 13, 2003


Turns out there are not only people who speak Latin on a daily basis

you also use French (no, sorry, ahem, Freedomch) every day -- if you use words like sport, tennis, etc.

and Italian -- pizza, latte, panini

etc
posted by matteo at 9:45 AM on December 13, 2003


Is there any actual advantage to saying "stat!" instead of "now!" or "immediately!," or does it just make the speakers feel like big men?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:50 AM on December 13, 2003


Is there any actual advantage to saying "stat!" instead of "now!" or "immediately!," or does it just make the speakers feel like big men?

The advantage, as I see it, is that it's a single-use word (i.e. good jargon), which goes right into your brain as something orders-related (and not discussion-related) and helps to alleviate confusion. "Now" is a multi-use word ("he's looking worse now") as is "immediately" ("he took the pill and started choking immediately").
posted by biscotti at 10:23 AM on December 13, 2003


All professions have their jargon. Medicine's (and law's) just happens to be Latin.
posted by kindall at 10:23 AM on December 13, 2003


Stat is also good in that it is short but contains hard consonent sounds. It's very clear over the phone, the noise of a busy hospital and bad PA systems.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:58 AM on December 13, 2003


also, like biscotti is saying, in labs stat tests are actually done differently, faster, sometimes at a different cost to the patient. So, using a word like now would be difficult, do you mean you just want me to start now, because i was going to anyway, or do you mean you want me to use the faster protocol that will cost the patient more money?

I'm sure that happened as a side effect of doctors liking the arcane terminology, but can't change now :)
posted by rhyax at 2:52 PM on December 13, 2003


I work in a hospital. Other people have explained the origin of the word; it is just part of the lingo. Basically when a exam/procedure is ordered it is either stat (drop everything, do it right now), ASAP (really fast, but with slightly less urgency), today (self-explanatory), or routine (whenever everything else is finished).

Is is especially fun when you have a day when everyone is insane and orders everything as stat. Then things become shades of stat.

Like rhyax said. In my department it doesn't adjust the cost as much as the protocol. Do we wait for the resident to wake up, or do we kick his/her ass out of bed, kind of decision.
posted by tcaleb at 3:03 PM on December 13, 2003


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