Shouting stat in a crowded theater: the epidemic of pseudoemergencies

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 24 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4593
  1. Saurabh Jha, assistant professor of radiology
  1. 1Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. saurabh.jha{at}

My love affair with stat started in medical school, when I learnt medicine on ward rounds and from Robbins Textbook of Pathology and the TV drama ER.

Stat commanded but was not a commandment. Derived from statim, meaning immediate, stat recognized that the patient’s clinical course was doomed unless we intervened. It was Newton’s first law of motion, in motion.

“CBC, Chem 7, cross match, and six units of blood. Stat.

“Tension pneumothorax, he needs a chest tube. Stat.

Stat crystallized acute medicine—urgent, instinctive, and consequential. It raised us above the parapet. No gratitude was needed. Stat, please didn’t have the same ring to it. Stat …

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