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Etymology: L, observare, to watch
1 the act of watching carefully and attentively.
2 a report of what is seen or noticed, such as a nursing observation.


adjective Referring to the monitoring of a person in A&E or after surgery to see if the patient’s condition worsens or is stable enough to allow discharge to the ward.

noun The assessment of patient signs during a physical examination, especially as related to musculoskeletal activity (e.g., observation of gait) or neurologic function (e.g., unilateral sagging of the face in palsy).

(1) An assessment of a patient’s condition, or analysis of data collected on one or more patients by the investigator/staff as required by protocol.
(2) A discrete datum (piece of information) collected during a study. Planned observations are typically distinguished from anecdotal comments noted during a clinical trial.

Vox populi
noun An ad hoc comment or editorialisation.


Managed care A nonemergent status for a Pt admitted to a hospital who does not meet acute care critieria and if any of the following apply: (1) stabilization and discharge expected < 24 h; (2) treatment is required for > 6 h; (3) clinical Dx is unclear and can be determined < 24 h. See Observation bed Medtalk The act of observing; a state of vigilant nonintervention; in observation, a person's condition is closely monitored, but treatment does not begin until Sx appear or change. See Discharge, Post-op, Watchful waiting.


something perceived by the senses of the clinician, e.g. pallor of mucosae, as distinct from an interpretation of what is sensed, e.g. anemic.

Patient discussion about observation

Q. I had observed that my pain increases with less sleep and poor diet. I had observed that my pain increases with less sleep and poor diet. I tried fasting for half a day and it helped with the pain. But once I fast for the whole day and the pain aggravated. I had also observed that when I eat salads I feel good with reduced pain. So I take them every day and this has definitely helped with the pain. I want to know how come they help with the pain.

A. Any natural diet does wonders and the same can be applied here. You must also avoid all the artificial products and sweeteners. You must also reduce in tea, coffee, chocolates, alcohol, and sodas and over consumption of dairy. You must also reduce sugar in your diet. Try to have a good sleep it is the key to reduce pain.

Q. My wife(53) has elevated CEA and CA19.9 levels - near 150, without any concomitant reason/observation? Comment

A. Hi Bobby3,

The most important question is why were these tests done?
An elevated level may result from many causes, some of them are simple and some are more problematic. IMHO the best thing would be consulting her doctor to consider the need to check-up her alimentary system.
You can read more here (http://www.ascocancerfoundation.org/patient/ASCO+Resources/Patient+Guides/ASCO+Patient+Guide:+Tumor+Markers+for+Gastrointestinal+Cancers) and here (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/tumor-markers)

Q. I am observing some change in the nipple of my left breast. Can anyone give information? I am 44 year old women and from some days I am observing some change in the nipple of my left breast. My nipple is drawn inside. My haggard nipple apart from itching burns as well. The size of my left breast is increased. Some bloody discharge from nipple is giving indication that there is something happening wrong. I doubt if it may be a breast cancer. Can anyone give some information?

A. the fact that bloody discharge from the nipple is probably a bad sign is clear. now what you need to do is to go and see a Dr. about it. it can be an infection in the mammary glands, or even Fibrocystic breast disease. so get yourself to a Dr....

More discussions about observation
References in periodicals archive ?
A 16-bed observation unit could be designed within 5,000 to 6,000 departmental gross square feet, depending on the program elements provided.
PIVOT was a randomized trial designed specifically to compare outcomes after radical prostatectomy with those after observation.
The Variable Star Section of the British Astronomical Association is the longest established variable star observing group in the world, with observations dating back to 1888.
4 : the fact of being watched and studied <The patient was in the hospital for observation.
This is clearly an important work which is invaluable to anyone wanting to understand what lay behind Mass Observation and how the organisation developed in the period.
While there is considerable literature on observation, the focus of Baker's article is on the roles researchers can adopt in their attempts to gain an in-depth understanding of people in their natural environment.
The BRS has been repeatedly used in research employing BRT using the recommended observation procedure (Chung, Poppen, & Lundervold, 1995; Lundervold & Poppen, 2004; Raymer & Poppen, 1985; Schilling & Poppen, 1983).
Requirements for recording and reflecting on the 25 hours of observation during the seminar course
By restoring and re-opening the observation deck, we are proud to be able to realize the original vision for Rockefeller Center," said Rob Speyer, Senior Managing Director, Tishman Speyer.
Group on Earth Observations (USGEO), a standing committee that reports to the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
From the Honduran mahogany trim, oriental carpeting on the floors and banquettes in reproduction antique silk blends and leather to the padded swivel armchairs, benches and small tables in the observation lounge, every detail has been painstakingly considered.