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The 4 types of prognoses and health states: some clinical terms

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Possibly on some occasion we have heard in some news or read in some news that a certain person is admitted to the hospital for a serious injury, is critical or the prognosis is favorable or uncertain.

It is also possible that these types of terms reach us because either we ourselves or a loved one have been entered for some reason. These concepts refer to the state of health and the expectation or prognosis that one has about someone who suffers from some type of disease, accident or medical condition. And the truth is that although generally when we talk about a serious or mild illness or a reserved prognosis We can get a rough idea of ​​what it entails, we do not always have complete knowledge of what is being wanted. say.

Knowing these types of terms can be relevant in our daily lives and that is why, in generically, throughout this article we intend to collect a series of concepts referring to the different types of medical conditions and prognoses that are sometimes communicated to us.

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Types of prognosis and severity of a disease

The state of health of a person refers to the medical or health conditions that said person has, which can favor, maintain or impair in different ways their expectations of survival, life expectancy and ability to achieve or maintain the welfare.

When we talk about health status We refer to a set of elements of a fundamentally biological nature, although psychological factors may also come into play. Although other aspects such as the psychosocial sphere also influence and can be symptomatological and even determinants for the state of health of a person, in principle they would not fall within said concept.

In the event of an illness, injury or medical alteration, the health status of the subject in question will be compromised and harmed. The presence of said disease represents an alteration that can be categorized into different degrees depending on its severity. Below are indicated some of the main medical terms that refer to how a person feels in relation to the severity of a specific condition

1. Minor illness or minor injury

We use the term mild state in order to refer to a state in which the condition, illness or injury suffered by the patient in question does not appear serious and an early and safe recovery is expected. aftermath. Recovery is approximately estimated to take around fifteen days. The prognosis is good.

An example is found in minor illnesses such as a cold or sticking an object into an uninvolved area, such as the skin.

2. less serious condition

Classifying a disorder, illness, or medical situation as having a “less serious” prognosis implies that although a rapid recovery is not expected, not expected to pose a risk to the patient's life. Recovery can take between a fortnight and a month.

3. Serious illness or injury

The fact that a disease or alteration is serious means that said alteration involves an obvious danger to the life or functionality of the patient. The risk of death is present, or the injury may result in the loss or diminution of some relevant capacity or ability of the person (for example, the ability to walk). Recovery usually takes more than a month.

Someone in serious condition could be a patient with pneumonia.

4. Very serious condition, illness or injury

A very serious condition refers to the fact that the existence of a certain problem, condition, injury or disease presents a high level of probability of death. An example of this is when a patient has multiple internal injuries but is stabilized and the possibility of being saved is still considered.

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5. Critical status

Another term referring to the condition/prognosis of a patient is critical condition. In this case, this concept is used to indicate that the vital signs of the person in question are unstable, there is an immediate risk to his life despite the possibility of recovery.

The subject is in a crucial and extremely dangerous moment., death being highly probable although depending on his response to treatment he could recover. Generally the patient would be in the Intensive Care Unit or ICU, being highly monitored.

An example of a critical condition could be found in hospitalized patients who suffer a cardiovascular accident or a heart attack, in the first moments. The person would be at risk of death but depending on the treatment they could improve and even be saved.

6. acute condition

The fact that a disease is in an acute state, the presence of clear and defined symptoms that occurs in a limited and generally short period of time (never being more than six months). Being in an acute phase of an illness does not imply that it is more or less serious, rather it implies that its evolution is rapid over time (the conclusion of the disease may be complete recovery or the death of the patient).

7. Chronic disease

That a disease or injury is chronic implies that said disease or disorder will be present for the rest of the subject's life from diagnosis, said alteration being long-lasting. duration. In general, all diseases that last more than six months are considered as such. Many of them could be deadly if there were no medical means to control it.

Some examples of chronic diseases are genetic disorders, diabetes or HIV currently (being controlled by medication).

8. Terminal condition or illness

We are facing a terminal problem when the condition or injury presented by the patient implies his death in a relatively short period, generally around six months (although it can be prolonged), and this alteration is expected to be the cause of death. The best-known example is cancer with metastasis in its late stages.

The medical prognosis

As we have seen previously, there are multiple categories that allow us to determine the repercussions that suffering from different diseases have or can have. This state would refer to the current moment, but it is the basis that allows us to try to predict how the health of the person or patient in question will evolve.

This prediction regarding the most probable evolutionary course that a disease or injury may follow and the possibilities of overcoming it is what is known as prognosis. This forecast is derived from the set of data available on the patient's current condition, his or her history, his or her environment, and the illness or injury in question that suffers.

Forecast Types

As with the state of a disease, we can find different types of prognosis. The prognosis itself does not have to be related to the disorder that the subject presents (although this has an influence), but rather to the expectation that one has in each specific case. So, For example, two patients with the same type of cancer may have different prognoses..

1. Favorable or good prognosis

The presence of a favorable or good prognosis is considered in those cases in which the tests existing ones suggest that the course of the disease that the patient suffers leads to its recovery.

2. Moderate or intermediate prognosis

This type of prognosis indicates that the expectation regarding the patient's health status is not extremely positive but that there is no data that suggest the possibility of death in the immediate future. It may, however, imply the presence of functional limitations or even some type of disability.

3. Severe prognosis, or poor prognosis

When we talk about a serious prognosis, we are referring, as its name suggests, to the fact that the conditions of a given patient make us think that there is a severe risk for their death or for the existence of severe limitations in their life.

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4. Reserved forecast

The term reserved prognosis is used to refer to a situation in which the doctors and professionals in charge of a patient are unable to determine the possible evolution or expectation regarding the outcome of the patient's condition. Typical of times when there is not enough information to be able to speculate on the patient's future or when there is a risk of complications.

An example of this could be found in the prognosis that a patient who has suffered an accident would have. traffic and is unconscious and with a head injury, but the degree of injury is not yet known. affectation.

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