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More about: Acute

In medicine, an acute disease is a disease with a rapid onset and/or a short course. It is the opposite of chronic.

Acute may be used to distinguish a disease from a chronic form or to highlight the sudden onset of a disease. The word "acute" may also be used in the context of medicine to refer to the acute phase of injury, meaning the immediate post-injury healing processes.

The term "acute" may often be confused by the general public to mean "severe". However, not all acute diseases or injuries are severe, and vice versa. For example, a mild stubbed toe is an acute injury. Similarly, many acute upper respiratory infections and acute gastroenteritis cases in adults are mild and usually resolve within a few days.

Acute care

Acute care, is the early and specialist management of adult patients suffering from a wide range of medical conditions requiring urgent or emergency care usually within 48 hours of admission or referral from other specialties.