Guarded prognosis?

  1. Hi all, wondering if anyone could tell me what it means to have a guarded prognosis? I went to the hospital today to collect my pt assignment/information for clinical tomorrow and I read in the doctor's notes that the pt's "prognosis is guarded." My instructor wasn't there and the unit was busy so it wasn't a good time to ask the nurses. Thanks in advance
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    About lalopop86

    Joined: May '11; Posts: 96; Likes: 65
    Nurse Tech/Nursing Student; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Esme12
    It just means they are pretty sick and have a long road ahead of them, they will probably get well but it will be a long haul.
  4. by   AgentBeast
    There is a 50% chance the patient will get better 50% chance they will get worse. The physician really doesn't have a clue at this point.
  5. by   lalopop86
    Thank you!
  6. by   Double-Helix
    For example, in our ICU, the patient condition is listed as:
    Fair, Poor, Guarded, or Critical

    Think of it as an answer to a questionnaire:
    How likely is this patient to recover with no complications?
    Likely, Somewhat Likely, Unlikely, Very Unlikely

    If your patient is unlikely to recover without complications, then his prognosis is guarded.

    This is used only on admission (in my unit) to assess how unstable or sick the patient really is and how much care they are anticipated to need. It's also probably used for insurance purposes (i.e. justifying a transfer to the ICU), but I'm not sure. The patient's condition, and thus their prognosis may be constantly changing.