I am translating a Swedish text, and I am having problems translating the term "akutremiss" to British English. The term is commonly used in Swedish healthcare. It is basically a referral, of any type, where the medical issue is urgent. I have done some basic googling on some of the options, just to see which ones are the most commonly used.


healthcare "acute referral"
19 700

healthcare "emergency referral"
95 400

healthcare "urgent referral"
56 800

The clear winner is "Emergency referral". "Urgent referral" is the runner up. But I feel there is a big difference in the level of urgency between "urgent" and "emergency", with an emergency being way more urgent than something which is just "urgent", at least to my ears.

Note: I included "acute referral", mostly because it is a direct translation of the Swedish term, but it sounds really strange to me. I have never heard anyone use the word "acute" to mean "urgent". The pages I checked seem to be mostly about eye damage, so perhaps the term is eyes-only (pun intended).

What are some thoughts? Is there anything like an "official" term used in the healthcare community?

  • Check site:uk, gov.uk and co.uk
    – Jan
    Nov 22 '17 at 9:00
  • 1
    At least in US English, "emergency" (or "emergent") is not synonymous with "urgent." If the Swedish word means "urgent" then that's what I would go with. It makes perfect sense in US English and I suspect UK English as well.
    – Carey Gregory
    Nov 23 '17 at 17:11

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