Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, no information other than a one-word condition on a patient's medical status is made available to any member of the media unless/until Media Relations receives written authorization from a patient's parent or guardian.
As stewards of our patients, Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland respects their right to privacy and confidentiality. The Media Relations staff will work with the news media to obtain permission to feature our patients in news stories on a case-by-case basis.
Defining Patient Conditions
The following definitions are provided by the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. These are the only condition terms used at Children’s Hospital Oakland. Note that 'stable' is not a condition, but merely a description of vital signs.
Good. Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are excellent.
Fair. Vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
Serious. Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable.
Critical. Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
Deceased. Announcement of death is not routinely made by the hospital. Children’s Hospital Oakland will refer news media to the Coroner's Office in the case of a death.