||This article needs more medical references for verification or relies too heavily on primary sources. (September 2012)|
This adjective is part of the definition of several diseases and is, therefore, incorporated in their name, for instance, Severe acute respiratory syndrome, Acute leukemia, Acute myocardial infarction, Acute hepatitis etc.
The term acute may often be confused by the general public to mean 'severe'. This however, is a different characteristic, and something can be acute but not severe. For example, a mild stubbed toe is an acute injury. In adults, many of the Acute Upper Respiratory Infections and Acute Diarrheas are mild and usually resolve within a few days.
The acute phase of an injury is the period of time in between when the injury is sustained, and the beginning of the sub-acute phase. Depending on the severity of injury, and the age and health of the patient, this phase can take up to four or five days. The acute phase is characterised by some or all of the following: immediate pain, tenderness, swelling, inflammation and oedema, contour deformity, bleeding, and loss of normal function of the injured area.
Subacute is defined as between acute and chronic, for example subacute fever symptoms, Subacute endocarditis. An example is Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, a rare brain disease characterized by diminished intellectual function and loss of nervous function.
Chronic is the opposite of acute - meaning a long term condition, The Free Dictionary (medical)], citing for example Chronic bronchitis, Chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic may also be confused by the general public to mean severe. Once again, this is a different definition medically and something can be chronic but not severe.
Acute medicine 
Acute medicine is defined as 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.
See also 
- acute (medical), The Free Dictionary, citing
- Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.
- McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
- Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
- acute, The Free Dictionary, citing Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc.
- subacute, The Free Dictionary, citing Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc.
- cronic, The Free Dictionary, citing Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc.
- acute medicine, The Free Dictionary, citing Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc.
|Look up acute in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|