Friday, December 1, 2006

The origin of the word... STAT!

This word, STAT has always bemused me, being around Doctors so much. STAT. What is it? It sounds so doctory... We all know what it means, but can only the cool doctors say it? Or is it part of medical vocab and something more serious. Good 'ol SA Doc tells me it NEVER gets used in the South African context. Porter! Move that bleeding patient. STAT! Unlikely.

So, turned to AskYahoo (nice service by the way) for an answer.

We've all heard the harried medical team on ER call for something "stat." From the context, we knew it meant "quickly," but had no idea what the normal definition of the term was. We turned to the Net to cure our ignorance.

After various searches on phrases like "stat terminology" and "stat meaning" failed to provide an answer, we sat down and rethought our strategy. Several of our searches had turned up acronyms for the term, and while they weren't what we were looking for, they did point us in a new direction.

Remembering a helpful site we'd used in the past, we pointed our browser to Acronym Finder, a web site devoted to decoding mysterious combinations of letters. Typing in "stat," we hit the "Find" button and awaited a diagnosis.

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.

That made sense, considering many medical terms have Latin origins. Next time we get a similar question, we'll know to head to our
Latin dictionary. Stat.

Hope that helps eh? In the immortal words of Dr John Dorian.

"Appletini. Stat."


PSW said...

Interesting. Good thing you grabbed this from AskYahoo, as it looks like Google is getting rid of google answers. Nice site.

Andy Hadfield said...

Thank you! Was actually quite impressed with AskYahoo. Can imagine why Google is killing it though. Better search algorithm means people will find the answer to this without them having to employ a team of researchers. At least AskYahoo can research the latin-english originations of medical slang. If they don't, who would??

lokay5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lokay5 said...

I recently spent a few days visiting my wife in the hospital, and after hearing it on TV and now in the hospital,the definition and origin of "stat" was brought up. .
NOW we know!
Thank you!
BTW John Dorian is possibly THE finest, most caring, down-to-earth "doctor" to ever grace my televisioon screen...well, aside from Dr. Acula, that is...

Anonymous said...

I also used to think it was an acronym. In my mind, I came up with Sooner Than Anyone Thought. Sounded good to me, until I finally did the search...just now. I think I will still tell people mine if I ever get asked....just for fun. Lol.

AnonymousLights said...

How is that the origin? When was it first used in medical settings? Of course it means Statum, that has been common knowledge forever, almost every doctor knows this, so when you say you are going to talk about the origin, talk about how Statum became Stat. Statum is not stat, so Statum is not the origin for Stat, the first time some doctor or whoever it was started saying stat to mean fast in medical settings was the origin. It is getting sad that people think they are actually doing something when they now are not even doing the 3 second google search themselves, but are instead telling the story about someone else's 3-second search. Try it, type Stat origin, and see how fast it comes up with Statum, about 3 seconds or less. So how is this article at all useful in regards to the origin of Stat. You could have saved us 5 mins by saying stat comes from the latin statum, and then at least you did not waste everyone's time talking about how an idiot failed to find that on their first try. Seriously try your own search, not finding that it is related to statum is actually hard to do, every second entry that comes up says that. Anyway.... there you go