In layman's terms, critical but stable means someone who is severely ill but their condition is not deteriorating at the present time. In other words, the doctors cannot predict what will happen, but the patient is very ill.
Hereof, what does it mean to be in a critical condition?
GW Hospital defines critical condition as "uncertain prognosis, vital signs are unstable or abnormal, there are major complications, and death may be imminent." Many hospitals use the term "treated and released" to describe patients who received treatment but were not admitted.
What is worse than critical condition?
According to the American Hospital Association, serious condition means vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable. According to the American Hospital Association, critical condition means vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits.