What Is Acute Care?
Acute care falls under secondary healthcare, the stage after primary care (where a patient instigates initial contact with a medical practitioner). It involves the provision of urgent care or treatment, by various health care professionals who specialise in a range of medical and surgical expertise. It generally covers short-term treatment and rehabilitation for injuries, chronic illness, medical conditions and recovery from surgery or infectious diseases.
Acute care often demands a visit or extended stay in hospital. This could be via an accident and emergency department, urgent care centre or ambulatory surgery, for example. It may also lead to a need for investigative and diagnostic services, surgery, or follow-up outpatient care in the community. Where a stay in hospital is necessary, the aim of acute care is to discharge a patient as soon as they are assessed as being sufficiently healthy and mobile.
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