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    #1

    patien with a serious medical condition

    What could I call a patien with a serious medical condition? A complicated, tough, hard or difficult?

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    #2

    Re: patien with a serious medical condition

    A complicated patient is one with many apparent inconsistencies in his life or character.

    A tough patient is one that bears illness well.

    A difficult patient is one that causes trouble to his medics, usually by his behaviour.

    A hard patient is either a tough or a difficult one, depending on context.

    If the focus is on the serious medical condition, it is perhaps better to say "a complicated, difficult, tough, or hard CASE". "A hard case" is quite common.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: patien with a serious medical condition

    In BrE, if you're not clear about the context, "a hard case" is someone who is potentially quite violent and who has no reservations about getting involved in fights etc.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: patien with a serious medical condition

    A pronoun is enough to set the context.

    "It is a hard case": serious condition.
    "He is a hard case": he makes trouble for me when I treat him.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: patien with a serious medical condition

    If you were a doctor talking to me about a patient and you said "He is a hard case", I would not take that to mean he causes trouble for you. I would assume you meant that he had a condition that was difficult to treat.

    This difference could, of course, be simply down to CanE vs BrE.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: patien with a serious medical condition

    I don't think we disagree. Wider context of course will determine everything. I won't speculate on CanE vs BritE.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: patien with a serious medical condition

    In AmE, I would not use "hard case". "Difficult", "complicated" and "tough" all work fine.

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    #8

    Re: patien with a serious medical condition

    I should point out that in the right context, hard and difficult are synonyms in BrE. It's just the collocation with "case" that I don't think worked here.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: patien with a serious medical condition

    Hi,

    I didn't think that Wikipedia would have an answer to that question, but it was worth trying. Medical State article also states the differences between the UK and USA.
    Just wander how natural and accurate they sound to a native speakers?

    Cheers
    Please note I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: patien with a serious medical condition

    The article mixes patient condition descriptions with prognoses. They are related, but they are not the same. For me, "grave" and "guarded" are prognoses. "Critical", "satisfactory", etc. are conditions.

    I agree with the article about "stable". Stable is neither good nor bad. It simply means that conditions are not changing. They are not deteriorating, but they are not improving. By strict definition, dead patients are stable.

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