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My sentence is At the individual level, it seeks to provide an objective risk estimate for medical decision making in the highly charged and emotional environment of intensive care

I want to rephrase the bolded parts so as to give an effect of the intensive care being a place where decisions needs to be made fast and accurately because there is so much to lose if something went wrong. I thought of high stakes but I find it a little informal

4 Answers 4

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Both the word and phrase that come to mind (coincidentally or not) have a medical connotation.

Critical:

[Merriam-Webster]

2 a : of, relating to, or being a turning point or specially important juncture · a critical phase : such as (1) : relating to or being the stage of a disease at which an abrupt change for better or worse may be expected; also : being or relating to an illness or condition involving danger of death · critical care · a patient listed in critical condition (2) : relating to or being a state in which or a measurement or point at which some quality, property, or phenomenon suffers a definite change · critical temperature
b : indispensable, vital · a critical waterfowl habitat · a component critical to the operation of a machine
c : being in or approaching a state of crisis ·a critical shortage · a critical situation
d : crucial, decisive · a critical test

Life-and-death:

[Merriam-Webster]

: involving or culminating in life or death : vitally important as if involving life or death

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Exigent

Urgent; needing immediate action.

Demanding; needing great effort.

That said, I suppose the above doesn't necessarily clarify the stakes, although it does imply them. I suppose emergency, or triage might be better. "The triage environment of intensive care."

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  • Hmmm I really like exigent but having gone through its usage in example sentences, I feel it'll imply an impulsive nature to my context. Thanks though
    – HMK
    Jul 13, 2018 at 13:31
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crucial TFD

a. Extremely significant or important: "Infancy ... is now understood as a crucial building block of human personality" (Anne Roiphe). b. Vital to the resolution of a crisis or the determination of an outcome: a crucial moment in the political campaign.

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I'd suggest pressurised:

2 British (of a person or situation) under considerable psychological or social pressure.

‘their ability to perform in a very pressurized environment’

oxford dictionaries

That definition only mentions "psychological or social" pressure, but I personally would also use it for time pressure and the pressure to mkae the right decision.

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