We’ve all heard “STAT!” while watching medical drama shows like ER and House, but the term originated well before TV writers incorporated it into scripts.
Stat comes from the Latin word “statim” which means immediately. In modern medical terms, it means rush or urgent, as something is needed immediately and should be carried out very quickly, whether it be a procedure, administering medicine, or some other care.
The earliest uses of the term date back to 1875 when W.H. Griffiths used the term to indicate that a prescription was needed immediately in his text “Lessons on Prescriptions and the Art of Prescribing”. In later use, the term was adopted beyond prescriptions to mean any action that needed to be done at once or instantly, often to save a life.
To the dismay of medical professionals worldwide, social media has adopted the term “stat”, signifying a can’t-miss video or post that they feel must be watched right now to avoid fear of missing out (FOMO). Despite this, people working in the healthcare field understand the urgency when they hear “STAT!”, and we appreciate the dedication shown by healthcare professionals who respond to that call daily.